HR Focus on Wellbeing in the Workplace
Amid the cost of living crisis that we have all been facing, employers have moved their focus to the mental wellbeing of their employees. Management are encouraged to check in with their staff, however is this pressure to be everything to everyone, now taking a toll on everyone’s mental health including HR teams.
It is a well known fact that some HR professionals often put themselves at the bottom of the priority list when it comes to taking care of their own mental health. HR professionals should approach their Managers with any concerns, in exactly the same way as other employees within the company.
However, in order for Managers to be able to deal effectively with the extra pressures within their departments, organisations need to ensure that they are equipping Line Managers with the right skills, and actively training them to be able to handle often difficult and sensitive conversations. This in turn, falls back under the responsibility of the HR department, so it is key to ensure that there are robust processes in place and that the wellbeing goals of the business are aligned with both senior management and HR.
As we know, budget is often the biggest factor when it comes to allocating enough funding to be able to successfully implement and endorse wellbeing initiatives across an organisation, and it something that us, as HR professionals, always seem to come up against at one point or another.
The other issue is, which wellbeing initiatives to run with as it can seem so confusing! The first point to consider is, what is achievable within your own organisation, in terms of budgets, values, skills and time. Focus groups can be a really useful tool at this point to find out what your employees really want and need in terms of wellbeing support. It is also vital at this point to ensure that you as a HR professional are on the same page as your senior management team in terms of what their expectations are and reality of what can be achieved in any given timescale.
Ultimately, we as HR professionals, have a duty to protect both ourselves and our employees mental health the best way we can. Approaching this with an open and curious mindset will enable us to better understand our people and plan for a happier, supportive and ultimately more productive workplace.
Author: Sally Mason, HR Advisor at Howarths