Tag Archives: Workplace Mental Health

silent-scream

Office Rage: Handling Anger in the Workplace

Anger managementAnger. Everyone feels it at some stage in their lives. Putting a person – any person – in the pressure cooker that is the work place for a period of time and they are guaranteed to get angry at some point. That includes you, the manager, as well. A strong leader knows how to identify anger within themselves and others and knows what steps to take in order to rectify the situation.

As mentioned, there are two types of anger in the work place: yours and that of your people, each with their own two separate sub-types, overt and covert anger. Overt anger is visible and easy to spot, both within yourself and your people. It is out in the open, most likely used in a confrontation.


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Covert anger is the anger that nobody was able to spot in time and became overt anger. This is the one to look out for. It is annoyance, irritation or passive aggression. Feelings we have all been told not to show, to grin and bear, to the point where sometimes, we don’t even notice they are there. But, they still manifest in a variety of different ways:

    • Procrastination
    • Perpetual or habitual lateness
    • A liking for sadistic or ironic humour
    • Sarcasm or cynicism
    • Frequent sighing
    • Clenching of fists or jaws
    • Facial tics
    • Passive aggressiveness

If you’ve noticed any of these within a member of your team, you will want to subtly investigate the cause so you can decide what to do next.

The best way to approach this is by being casual. Instead of pulling the person into your office for a chat, which may only exacerbate the situation, align your lunch with theirs, ask them about their day, their lives. Allow them to open up to you. If it is an issue at work, work with them to address it.

If it is an issue at home, be patient with them and allow them time to sort it out, and of course, offer your support if you can and it is appropriate. For anybody, having a manager that they can confide in and is understanding is of great comfort. It makes it much easier for them to “leave it at the door.”

And the same applies to you, the manager too. If you notice these feelings or signs, talk to someone about them, even if it is a member of your staff (showing that you trust them helps build their trust in you). It is important not to let this anger bubble under the surface, because it will eventually explode and either you or a member of your staff to will find themselves in a very compromising situation.

All overt anger was once covert anger. However, the length of time it has been bubbling under the surface can vary. It can be built up over weeks or months, or it can boil over in a matter of minutes. If confronted with this sort of anger in a member of your staff, it is important to remove them from the situation immediately. Again, taking them to the intimidating confines of your office for a chat has potential to make matters worse, therefore, it is best to take them for a walk or a coffee and talk to them calmly about what is making them feel this way.

Getting angry yourself will only make matters worse.

It is important to be a calming influence. Again, this is done by showing patience and care. Having a calm, rational and friendly chat with the employee will allow them to open up and tell you their grievances in order for you to help resolve them.

If you find these feelings boiling over within yourself, it is important to remove yourself from the situation, compose and control yourself and let the initial anger dissipate before you confront the source. This is especially important if the source of your anger is a member of your team. Taking a breather, whether it be for 5 minutes or leaving it for the next day is invaluable as it will allow you to confront the situation calmly, rationally and maturely – ensuring you don’t hurt or break the trust and respect you have worked hard to build with your team.

Author: Peter Diaz
Peter-Diaz-AuthorPeter Diaz is the CEO of Workplace Mental Health Institute. He’s an author and accredited mental health social worker with senior management experience. Having recovered from his own experience of bipolar depression, Peter is passionate about assisting organisations to address workplace mental health issues in a compassionate yet results-focussed way. He’s also a Dad, Husband, Trekkie and Thinker.

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Legal-Risks-vs-human

What Are The Legal Risks Of Choosing A ‘Humane’ Path When Managing Performance Of Someone With A Mental Health Problem?

Legal risks vs humanI recently presented as a speaker at an ‘Employment Law for HR Managers’ Masterclass, held in Sydney. It was quite an interesting experience. First, because the focus was on employment law, whereas my specialty as a psychologist is in mental health, and also because I was engaged as a panelist, alongside three lawyers. It did make sense though – they were looking for the ‘human’ angle, wanting to balance legal considerations with what is best for the person experiencing mental health problems.

So that presented the first challenge – the legally ‘right’ thing to do is so often pitted against the morally ‘right’ thing, or at least the ‘nice’, person centred way of doing things. In fact, one of the questions asked directly reflected this:

“What are the legal risks of choosing a ‘humane’ path, when managing the performance of someone with a mental health problem?”

At that moment I thought one of the lawyers in the room was going to stand up and say “I object your honour, that question is leading the witness!” It was, after all, a leading question that makes the assumption that the humane approach may be somewhat riskier than the non-humane approach. But no, no one objected. Shame. In my opinion, a humane path reduces the legal risks, not increases it!

And let me back that up with evidence. Studies from the medical field show that patients are more likely to sue their doctor, even if the doctor didn’t actually do anything technically wrong, if their bedside manner was poor. And, on the flip side, people are less likely to sue a doctor who did make a clinical mistake, if they had a good bedside manner, showed respect, and listened to the person’s concerns. It seems we just don’t want to take legal action if the person was ‘nice!’.


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Apply this back in the workplace to performance management. A ‘humane path’, a path which is compassionate towards the person, is much less likely to end in legal problems,.

But what this question reveals to me, and what became apparent at the masterclass, was that we seem to have different ideas about what a humane path looks like.

There was an underlying assumption that a humane path meant not following through on the performance management process, stalling and delaying taking any action or follow through. It’s almost as if ‘humane’ was akin to not upsetting the person at all.

I would argue that that is actually not very humane at all. You see, sometimes as managers, we think, if we’re a bit more lenient, or we make allowances for the person, they’ll appreciate it and we won’t have to face a disgruntled employee. Now I’m all for having flexibility. Flexibility is key, but when we’re talking about things which really bend the line on what’s acceptable, that’s something else. And in fact, what happens when you deviate from the agreed fair performance management process, is that it creates all sorts of confusion for the person. When a person is experiencing a mental health problem, often it can be really hard to think clearly, or to remember details, people describe it like a ‘fog’ in their thinking. That’s just one of the reasons why, for their sake, it is really important to stick to the process. Not only that, but think about what messages are being sent to the rest of the team by accepting poor behaviour or performance from one person? Here’s just a few ideas: compassion is compromise, the leader shows favouritism, lower standards are ok, the leader is weak and can’t stick to what they said, maybe if I acted like that… you see where I’m headed. What about the message being sent to the person? The person could be hearing a number of things: ie ‘if you are anxious, depressed or stressed, you can’t cope with the job’

And yes, sometimes, in extreme cases, sticking to process will mean eventually letting a person go. If they are simply not able to perform the inherent requirements of the job, or they consistently breach conduct requirements, then it can be the best thing for everyone – the business of course, but also for them, to be let go. I’ve seen way too many organisations hold jobs open for people for way too long. They’re trying to be kind, but in fact the person would be much better off in a completely different field or industry.

So what does ‘humane’ mean then? It means being compassionate in your communication towards the person, while you stick to the process! It means respecting the person, the human, even if you don’t respect their behaviour. It means allowing them dignity through the process and ensuring the process is dignified. And THAT can actually be life changing for people.

Author: Emi Golding
Emi-Golding-blog-imageEmmaline (Emi) Golding is a registered psychologist and Director of Psychology for the Workplace Mental Health Institute. With experience both at the frontline and in Senior Management positions within mental health services, Emi is passionate about educating and expanding people’s knowledge of mental health issues, particularly within workplaces. For her own well being, Emi loves to dance and spend time with friends. She also enjoys learning languages and travelling to new and exciting places around the world.

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Man-thinking

Why do many managers shy away from mental health at work?

Managers shy awayIt’s hard being a manager. Often, it can feel like you’re the meat in the sandwich, between the needs of the employees and the needs of the Senior Directors or Board. But when it comes to mental health, taking action can have a positive effect for both parties. And it’s great for business! So why do so many managers get stuck – why do they shy away from addressing workplace mental health? Here are just some of the reasons:
Will this look like harassment?

    For managers who do decide to wade into a mental health issue, a real concern is how the employee will react. What if the employee takes exception to the line of questioning? What if they feel so put out that they lodge a formal complaint against the manager for harassment? This is a valid concern, as they’re likely to be dealing with a person in a heightened state of sensitivity, with many people with a mental health issue reporting that they feel bullied or harassed more often. For a manager, having a workplace harassment or bullying judgement go against them has serious consequences: the organisation may be liable for damages, the manager themselves may be personally liable. And it can seriously curtail that manager’s confidence and ability to manage performance thereafter. Once bitten, twice shy.

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What if I make it worse?

    In reality (and we’ll discuss this later) the risk of a successful harassment or bullying claim being brought against a manager for addressing a mental health concern is very low, when done properly. And therein lies a challenge: ‘properly’. Many managers who are genuinely concerned about an employee’s mental health will avoid addressing it for fear of doing something that makes things worse. ‘What if I say the wrong thing?’, ‘What if I embarrass them?’, ‘Should I just report it to someone?’, are all common questions that go through a manager’s head. These are valid questions by the way – managing a mental health issue in a team does take a set of skills. The reason most managers don’t feel confident with this stuff is that they’ve never been taught the skills. In no business degree, MBA or even HR qualification that I know of are mental health management skills taught. Managers are really left to rely on their own experience and their emotional intelligence to deal with these situations. And in allowing that to happen, frankly, we are letting our managers down.

I really don’t have time for this.

    We don’t have to look far to realise that managers across the country are overworked. I don’t mean in a ‘we just say we’re busy so people think we’re useful’ kind of way – I mean many of our organisations are chronically under resourced. The downsizing and delayering of middle management in the late 80s and early 90s was taken too far. To use a medical analogy, companies went beyond ‘cutting out the fat’ and have cut out some of the minor muscle groups. Line and middle managers in particular are seeing their workloads and responsibilities grow for little to no extra resources or compensation as organisations downsize and rationalise. Many managers simply do not have the headspace or the energy to involve themselves in the mental health of their employees – they’re flat out managing their own.

As you can see, these are genuine considerations that need to be addressed if a workplace mental health strategy is to be effective. And they all can be addressed by educating managers about the need to (and benefits of) managing mental health effectively, but also to equip them with real and practical skills to do it right, so they are not at risk of a harassment claim, and so that they don’t make it worse.

Author: Peter Diaz
Peter-Diaz-AuthorPeter Diaz is the CEO of Workplace Mental Health Institute. He’s an author and accredited mental health social worker with senior management experience. Having recovered from his own experience of bipolar depression, Peter is passionate about assisting organisations to address workplace mental health issues in a compassionate yet results-focussed way. He’s also a Dad, Husband, Trekkie and Thinker.

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Pillar-5-Mutual-Responsibility

Building a mentally healthy workplace: 5th Pillar

Mutual responsibility is another trait of mentally wealthy workplaces, where a culture of blame is replaced by a culture of shared concern.

From a workplace safety perspective, if someone sees a cord in the office over which someone could trip, whose responsibility is it to do something about it?

The person who left the cord there? Of course, but what if they didn’t realise it was unsafe?

Is it the workplace safety manager? Sure, she’s responsible for making the organisation safer but she’s working interstate for the week and knows nothing about the cord.

Is it the cord-leaving employee’s manager? He’s accountable for the performance of his employees, but he’s been in meetings all morning and hasn’t spotted the cord either.

The answer of course is, the person who saw the cord.


Read about all the 7 Pillars of Mentally Healthy Workplace….


Hopefully you twigged to the metaphor. Everyone shares responsibility for mental health – their own and those of their team members. We must move from a culture of blame:

“The employee should have looked after their own health so they could present fit for work.”

“That team should have looked after its own a lot better.”

“That manager could have avoided this by not being such a slave driver.”

“My organisation didn’t provide me with a physically and psychologically safe workplace.”

…to one of shared concern :

“Yes all of those statements are true, but it’s no one person’s responsibility. We’re human beings in the same plane at the same time, and if someone is unwell, let’s take care of each other.”

It’s not all about the manager and they shouldn’t feel the need to move heaven and earth for someone with a mental health issue. Likewise the person with a mental health issue is not a victim. They’re not powerless. They are also responsible for their side of the deal. It’s a mature, balanced way of thinking. And it empowers everybody.

Talk soon and have a mentally healthy day.

Author: Peter Diaz
Peter-Diaz-AuthorPeter Diaz is the CEO of Workplace Mental Health Institute. He’s an author and accredited mental health social worker with senior management experience. Having recovered from his own experience of bipolar depression, Peter is passionate about assisting organisations to address workplace mental health issues in a compassionate yet results-focussed way. He’s also a Dad, Husband, Trekkie and Thinker.

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What-kind-of-father-is-worse

What kind of father is worse?

What kind of father is worse?I grew up with a father who loved me but was incapable of saying it. I knew he loved me because he’d discipline me very harshly and tell me it was for my own good, but in 50 years he was never able to say it. Even when I said it at the end of every phone call. Now, this is not strange. I know many people have grown up in this kind of environment. And many people have it many times worse than I had it. At least, I’m certain I was loved.

But, I’m wondering, what’s worse? a physically present but emotionally unavailable parent or a physically absent parent? I am reminded of this today simply because a client-friend of ours just forwarded me a link to a Canadian article saying that Presenteeism – when people are physically present but ‘not there’ – is costing Canada up to 3 times more than Absenteeism – when people are not there at all. This is because their performance is impaired, the quality of work declines, they make errors and fall behind. I believe that, at last count, the same is true for Australia. It’s an important topic for workplaces when we are talking costs of billions of dollars per year, don’t you think?


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And then, there’s another aspect to this. Managers. What kind of a manager are you? are you a manager that suffers from management presenteeism? What I mean is, are you physically there for your staff but are you emotionally unreachable? I’ve met many managers that have been taught to be like that. They’ve been told to have ‘professional detachment’. What does that even mean? and how effective is that in a business world where your success depends on your ability to form relationships? And, more importantly, what do you think the impact of having professional detachment is on your team?

For all of you who grew up with emotionally unavailable parents, don’t repeat the same mistake. Be available and contribute meaningfully to each other.

Food for thought, right?

Author: Peter Diaz
Peter-Diaz-AuthorPeter Diaz is the CEO of Workplace Mental Health Institute. He’s an author and accredited mental health social worker with senior management experience. Having recovered from his own experience of bipolar depression, Peter is passionate about assisting organisations to address workplace mental health issues in a compassionate yet results-focussed way. He’s also a Dad, Husband, Trekkie and Thinker.

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17-Mental-Health-Month-Ideas

How is your workplace’s Mental Wealth?

Back in 2014 I coined the new term ‘Mental Wealth’. Workplace Mental Wealth describes the business potential of an organisation, as a direct result of how well it fosters the mental health of its people. But what is it exactly?

It’s a measure of your organisation’s ability to create, collaborate, problem solve and take initiative. It’s a measure of your team’s resilience and ability to keep going when things are tough and uncertain. These ‘soft’ factors are more important these days than ever. It’s the passion, creativity and collaborative efforts of an organisation’s people that creates wealth for shareholders.

Mentally wealthy workplaces display the following characteristics:

Ten-Essential-Element
  • People are focused, creative and highly productive, and free of debilitating chronic stress and anxiety
  • The dynamic between people in an organisation is one of respect and inclusion, where people feel free to voice opinions and contribute ideas, for which they are valued as an employee and as a person
  • Leaders truly recognise the value of people, encourage diversity in values and styles, and actively curtail behaviours that diminish or demean others
  • There is a positive organisational climate, absent of bullying & harassment, mental injury, stress claims and mental health crises

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How does your organisation measure up?

If you are interested in developing your management team so they can create a mentally wealthy workplace, then the Leaders Masterclass will help. Contact the office for more information at admin@thewmhi.com

Author: Peter Diaz

Peter Diaz is the CEO of Workplace Mental Health Institute. He’s an author and accredited mental health social worker with senior management experience. Having recovered from his own experience of bipolar depression, Peter is passionate about assisting organisations to address workplace mental health issues in a compassionate yet results-focussed way. He’s also a Dad, Husband, Trekkie and Thinker.

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Top-3-Tips-for-HR-Managers

Top 3 Tips for HR Managers

Recently, I was asked by a National HR Director for three tips she could give to a meeting of HR Leaders. She only had one hour. Here are my top three tips (mind you, these are the ones that come to the top of my mind straight away but by no means the only ones! Any surprises?

The top three tips I would give are:

1. Don’t be in a hurry to send people home

– often, when someone has expressed some problems with mental health, managers panic and their first response is to send someone home. In fact, that is not necessarily the best thing for the person’s well being nor for the business. If the person goes home, they can start ruminating about challenges at work, feeling like a failure for not being able to perform at the level they want to, and returning to work becomes harder and harder.

Top-3-Tips-for-HR-Managers

Statistically, once a person has been absent due to stress of mental ill-health for more than 3 days, the likelihood of them returning to work is very slim. We know staying at work is better for their mental health. And for the business, when someone has gone home, others have to pick up the extra work, leading to more pressure on those team members, and resentment towards the absent person (or their manager). It’s much better if you can work with the person to negotiate a way they can stay at work – perhaps some reasonable adjustments are needed for a certain period of time. But in order to navigate these conversations, managers have to have good skills and a solid understanding of the complexities of mental health issues.

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2. Play nice and be kind

– given the research shows that between 20-30% of people will experience a mental health issue each year, it is not anything to be frowned upon, or which should be a surprise for managers. It doesn’t discriminate according to your job position either. It just as likely could be a supervisor, a senior manager, or the CEO who is going through something challenging like this. So when we are responding to mental health in the workplace, we need to consider how we would like to be treated if it was us? The relationship that the staff member has with their direct supervisor is the most critical indicator of how a mental health problem will impact the workplace. Whether it is a small matter that gets dealt with early, or whether it unravels and becomes a psychological injury claim. Managers need to watch their own frustration with people experiencing mental ill-health, in order to manage it in the best way possible. This takes a high degree of resilience and emotional intelligence.

3. Have higher expectations of people with mental health problems

– returning again to the statistics of 20-30% or people, that means that up to a third of your workforce may be experiencing mental health problems in any one year. Mental health problems may impact on their work, but for many people work becomes a safe haven, where they can feel productive and contribute. Just having a mental health problem does not necessarily mean the person has lost any intelligence, skills or capability. However they may need some extra support. At the WMHI our position is that we need to support employees to meet the expected level of performance, rather than lower the expectations. This is another conversation that managers need to be able to have skilfully.

That is what I’d like to communicate to your managers too. If this sounds right to you, I’d be happy to have a chat with you about these concepts if you think it would be useful.

Author: Peter Diaz

Peter Diaz is the CEO of Workplace Mental Health Institute. He’s an author and accredited mental health social worker with senior management experience. Having recovered from his own experience of bipolar depression, Peter is passionate about assisting organisations to address workplace mental health issues in a compassionate yet results-focussed way. He’s also a Dad, Husband, Trekkie and Thinker.

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Addressing-Stigma

How can I address stigma in the workplace about mental health?

Addressing StigmaAccording to the studies, 9 out of 10 people experience some kind of discrimination in relation to mental health, and one in 10 employees have resigned as a result of feeling unsupported with a mental health condition.

Many people think that the key to addressing stigma about mental health is to run some awareness campaigns – put on a morning tea, maybe put some posters up, get people talking about mental health. And to a degree, that’s right. It is a good idea to raise awareness about mental health, start to make it OK to have a conversation about it.

BUT, in our experience training hundreds of organisations around Australia, those workplaces where stigma exists need a lot more than just some ‘awareness’ activities.


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In these environments, if awareness activities are run without a proper educational program to support it, or a longer term action plan in place, they can often be ridiculed, resulting in the completely opposite effect than what was intended in the first place! The well meaning HR Manager has put a lot of effort into this activity, but it doesn’t have the desired effect long term.

And then there’s the education itself. Training needs to be more than just providing information about mental health, it needs to be designed and delivered in such a way that it actually shifts attitudes. It must touch the individual people in the room, as human beings not just as their job title. It has to move them to build empathy for their colleagues, and help them to face their fears in talking about mental health.

After all, the majority of people who are stigmatising or making jokes about people with mental health issues, do so because they are uncomfortable with the topic themselves. Maybe they have had their own experiences themselves, or been through something with a friend or family member. Whatever the case is, the person stigmatizing is usually not a bad person, they wouldn’t mean to hurt someone else, they’re just struggling with how to respond emotionally. And when you have someone who is socially influential who is in that space, its not long before other colleagues follow suit and before you know it the workplace environment is one where people do not feel safe to reach out for help. And when that happens, people bottle it up, don’t get help, and often there can be very dire, sometimes fatal consequences.

We’ve been to workplaces like this where it is only after someone has taken their life that colleagues respond with ‘I never saw it coming’.

And this is just one of the reasons why we strongly encourage workplaces who have this problem to make sure they couple their ‘awareness campaign’ with some solid, transformational education, over a period of time. You are looking to change culture after all, and that takes a series of consistent actions over time.

Author: Peter Diaz
Peter-Diaz-AuthorPeter Diaz is the CEO of Workplace Mental Health Institute. He’s an author and accredited mental health social worker with senior management experience. Having recovered from his own experience of bipolar depression, Peter is passionate about assisting organisations to address workplace mental health issues in a compassionate yet results-focussed way. He’s also a Dad, Husband, Trekkie and Thinker.

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Not-at-the-top-of-our-priority-list

Not At the Top of Our Priority List

Not at the top of our priority listThe client sounded worried on the phone. We’d just been getting to know each other for the past few weeks; discussing the very real, and worrying, mental health needs of their staff, and today’s call was about setting up some dates for training. To my surprise, my new friend and colleague, had come come back with an unexpected answer: “At this time, it’s not at the top of our priority list”. I was dumbfounded. A little like a rabbit in the headlights. What did that mean? That the mental health of their people was not a priority? I knew that not to be true. These are caring and compassionate people interested in the wellbeing of their staff and their families. My conversations with them over the past few weeks had left no doubt in my mind. But why were we now having this particular ‘not-at-the-top-of-our-priority-list’ conversation?

Thank god, ‘not-priority’ conversations are not daily occurrences. But, I have found that, unfortunately, they do happen often enough. It does bring up some questions for me – what is at the top of the priority list for businesses? and is that what should be there for them to get better outcomes? and, more importantly, SHOULD a robust mental health initiative be a part of it?


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We’re not going to get easy answers to any of those questions, but I can follow a thought trail to shed some light on the matter.

1) follow the results – whatever is on their priority list is what’s giving them the results they are getting now. From our conversations, we know the mental health of their people is suffering, not a good result in my books!;

2) since they are not getting the results they want in that area, that means that those priorities need some readjustment. But only IF they want better results in the area of mental health.

3) Which brings up the next question: do they really want better mental health for their teams? well, what would that require? it would require commitment, time and resources. And here’s where the problem starts to unravel, in business, as everywhere else, these three are precious and limited commodities. Which translates into the need to do an analysis of our business aims, values and options to get us there. Which brings us to point

4) Is the mental health of our teams going to get us closer to our business aims? how? By the way, these are highly valid questions. If the mental health of our teams has no correlation whatsoever to the business aims of the organisation then we should not use our precious time and resources on this, period. So what does the research say?

As a fellow business leader and manager, I also have to look at the business case. I need, want, to make sure something is not just an expense and it’s going to bring some hard, tangible benefits to our business. It’s my responsibility. I wouldn’t be doing my job properly if I didn’t. So, what’s the Business Case?

Download the Silent Expectations report to get the facts.

For now, stay well and keep mentally healthy.

Author: Peter Diaz
Peter-Diaz-AuthorPeter Diaz is the CEO of Workplace Mental Health Institute. He’s an author and accredited mental health social worker with senior management experience. Having recovered from his own experience of bipolar depression, Peter is passionate about assisting organisations to address workplace mental health issues in a compassionate yet results-focussed way. He’s also a Dad, Husband, Trekkie and Thinker.

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Taking-Care-of-Bottom-Line

Taking care of the bottom line through good mental health

Bottom lineI was reading an article from the UK about a lady who had a mental health crisis working in the retail industry, with a strict employer who constantly demanded their minimum wage employees push clients to spend thousands of pounds in one transaction. She talks about the high turnover rates among the 100 plus employees, and the impact the working environment had on her mental health.

And it got me thinking – how many employers are there out there who spend such a huge portion of their time, effort and resources focussing on creating sales, to generate higher and higher income, while at the same time they completely forget that the ways in which they treat their staff can end up costing them much, much more. Turnover is just one aspect of this – the cost of recruitment, and time spent hiring and training up a new employee. But then if it’s not a good working environment, it won’t be long before they are spending on more sick leave and having to replace that employee too. Not to mention the costs involved if someone actually puts in a stress claim! That can be a huge drain on the business.


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And it’s not necessarily that managers or businesses are bad or evil. They are people too. And they are likely doing their best to keep everything running, to keep people in jobs. There is a lot of stress involved there too, and sometimes, in cases like this it can filter down to the frontline staff. Before you know it it’s a downward spiral.

BUT!!! it can so easily be reversed by:

1. Training managers in how to better support people within the workplace.

2. Making sure the managers have the support of the executive team – that they are committed to addressing mental health and wellbeing

3. Communicating the plan clearly to all staff, and following through.

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Not only will this directly help the bottom line in terms of generating more income – the evidence is very clear that with a healthy and happy workforce, productivity, customer service, and all the other good stuff increases dramatically. But it will also have a huge impact in terms of the money saved in all those places where it is just being drained at the moment.

And besides the financial incentive, what about the fact that the people working in the business are real people too, with thoughts and feelings? Work is such a huge part of our lives, why not make it a pleasurable place to be, rather than one staff dread coming to each day. Now of course it doesn’t mean that you’ll stop all mental health problems – people are still people, and they still have personal lives too, but when someone does have something difficult happening in their personal life, the approach of the manager at work can make all the difference as to whether they spiral downwards and end up needing time off or whether work can become a haven for the person. This makes all the difference not just for the person, but for the business too.

Author: Peter Diaz

Peter Diaz is the CEO of Workplace Mental Health Institute. He’s an author and accredited mental health social worker with senior management experience. Having recovered from his own experience of bipolar depression, Peter is passionate about assisting organisations to address workplace mental health issues in a compassionate yet results-focussed way. He’s also a Dad, Husband, Trekkie and Thinker.

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