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20 Sep 2023
by Dr Julia Lyons

Why better mental resilience means better business

There is a correlation between a happy and healthy workforce and an organisation’s productivity

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The UK is currently experiencing weak productivity growth and is less productive than many of the G7 countries, with the US, France and Germany producing about one-sixth more than the UK per hour worked.

When considering how to improve productivity, one area to focus on is increasing mental health resilience in the workplace, as there is a correlation between a happy and healthy workforce and an organisations’ overall productivity.

In today’s workplace, the high-demand and fast-paced work culture can put a strain on employees, with expectations to constantly meet tight deadlines, manage difficult work relationships and stay connected out of hours. This can put enormous pressure on employees and can result in workplace stress and poor employee mental health having an overall negative impact on the organisation.

Why mental health resilience is vital

Resilience is the ability to use positive mental skills to remain psychologically steady and focused when facing challenges or adversity. Improving it contributes substantially to how workers deal with stress and perform at work. When stress is high, resilience is needed.

Even if an employee has never been diagnosed with a mental health disorder, feelings of stress, panic, or being overwhelmed at work are familiar experiences to all of us. These are universal emotions — triggered particularly in high-stress environments and demanding roles — and they can interfere with the quality of work and efficiency.

Many employees feel taking some time off will allow them to build back their resilience, but this is not necessarily the solution. A holiday may help employees gain a temporary distance from problems in the workplace, but it won’t solve them, and within a matter of weeks they may start to feel like they did before they went away.

The importance of company culture

More people want to work for a company that values the employee experience and, in turn, encourages a supportive and collaborative culture, mitigating anxiety and encouraging healthy productivity.

Resilience training can provide employees with strategies to improve mental health and organisational performance, including emotion regulation, impulse control, causal analysis, self-efficacy and realistic optimism.

The ability to ‘bounce back’ from adversity can be learned and nurtured, with employees empowered to use practical tools to manage their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. 

Things to consider before introducing resilience training

1. Understand the needs of your employees 

Every organisation is as unique as the people who run them, so what works for one organisation will differ for another. It is important to identify which areas require training and adapt your approach to suit them better.  

2. Training leaders on mental health 

Management and team leaders will be the first to spot an employee who has had more absent days than usual or is showing up to work but doesn’t seem as focused or their work isn’t at their usual standard (presenteeism). These are easy enough problems to solve, so robust and well-trained leadership is your best investment.

3. Create a resilient culture 

Promote an open and trusting management style and train managers to understand the importance of supporting employees’ mental wellbeing. Making a declaration isn’t enough. Commitment to mental health support requires action and regular communication.

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In partnership with Onebright Mental Health

Onebright is a personalised on-demand mental healthcare company.

Contact us today