5 tips to help support your teams’ mental health as a business owner

7 Oct 2021

According to the charity Mind, 1 in 6 workers experiences poor mental health symptoms such as stress and anxiety. Many business owners worry about the well-being of their teams but can often be too busy or may even feel unprepared to help. We look at some potential ways business owners can support the mental health of their employees, as well as their own health.

Team meeting happening in an office

As a business owner, employing people is an important part of running a business and looking after their well-being is part of the daily job. With the uncertainty of the last 18 months and the added stress the pandemic has brought us all, it’s even more important to be aware of how your teams are feeling and consider each individual’s mental health. 

These 5 tips can help you as an employer ensure you’re considering the mental health and wellbeing of your workforce, as well as your own and may even help establish some great changes within the business to ensure mental health is at the forefront of daily working life. 

1. Create work-life boundaries

It’s important to set boundaries for both yourself and your employees when it comes to working and private life. This means no late-night emails or expectations of long working days outside their contracted hours. Setting boundaries might be easier for you to do for your team but it’s important to follow through with your own rules too, to help preserve your own mental health.

2. Sign up for some dedicated training courses

The charity Mind has revealed that 56% of employers said they would like to do more to improve staff wellbeing but don't feel they have the right training or guidance. If you are one of these employers, it’s a great idea to sign up for dedicated training courses as an employer anyway to help you create the right working environment for your employees.

Whilst there is a good range of mental health training courses available online, using dedicated mental health charities such as Mind for resources, will ensure your training course is created by experienced professionals in mental health. 

3. Encourage regular breaks and holidays

Ensuring your team is well-rested and feel like they can, and indeed do, take proper work breaks is important for their wellbeing.  Encourage them to regularly take holiday throughout the year. Keep a holiday calendar that everyone can access so they can add their holidays or days off without concern. We all know how good it is to take a break and come back to work feeling refreshed so make sure your team is taking those holiday days regularly. As a business owner, you should also be keen to take regular breaks and lead by example.

4. Embrace flexible working

After 2020 and the changes with working from home, employers are now recognising the many benefits of introducing flexible working for their teams. If your business allows for either flexible hours or even the choice between working from home or being in an office, let your employees make the choice for themselves and whatever best suits their lifestyle.

Being flexible with when people start and finish work means you’re considering their life outside of work. This will also have a positive impact on the general mood and environment within your business which helps your teams feel considered and their individual needs met.

5. Look after your own mental health 

Being stressed, tired, overwhelmed and working longer hours will have a direct impact on your own mental health and anyone working with you. Many business owners don’t consider their own well-being but it’s just as important as everyone else’s in the team.

It might feel like a big step to set your own boundaries with work hours but spending time with friends and family, relaxing or taking a break to get outside will help recharge your energy. It could be that you aren’t managing stress in a productive way, or need to consider hiring someone to help share the workload.

Paying attention to mental health at work is more important than ever and as an employer, the responsibility largely falls at your door. Whilst the tips above can help make a real difference to how you and your teams feel, it’s important to recognise when you need external help and support.

If you’re experiencing poor mental health or are concerned about your team, it’s vital to reach out and speak to a dedicated resource. The charity Mind has a few forms of support immediately available from their website here.

Zoe Cornish

Chief People & Operations Officer

Zoe Cornish is the Chief People & Operating Officer at Funding Options. Zoe has an extensive background in human resources and in developing and implementing people strategies within companies, covering employee engagement, performance management, organisational culture, coaching, as well as policies and practice. Prior to Funding Options, Zoe was the COO at Emerald group (acquired by Mind Tools).

Subscribe to our newsletter today

Sign up for the best of Funding Options sent straight to your inbox.