Blog

Mental Health Matters: Workplace Wellbeing

Riona Mulherin

Riona Mulherin

6 June 2024
Workplace wellbeing
In a recent report I saw from Unum, it showed that only 51% of companies have a ‘strategic approach’ in place for employee wellbeing. However it also showed that mental ill health is the UK’s fourth-most common cause of short-term sickness absence and the biggest cause of long-term sickness absence. So it seems like a good time to explore workplace wellbeing and how we can improve upon workplace culture and environment. We know that by taking care of employees’ mental health, we can reap the benefits with not just improved staff wellbeing but also potentially lower absenteeism, higher productivity, greater staff retention and establishing a reputation for being a caring employer and a good place to work.

There are a whole host of resources readily available on the Unum website here, if you are interested in exploring this more and looking for ways you can offer more support to employees.

Closely linked to this topic, earlier this month, we were pleased to take part My Whole Self Day, a campaign created by Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England to promote inclusive and supportive cultures where employees can bring their whole selves to work. I thought it would be useful to look in more detail about what it means to bring your whole self to work, and why it’s important for mental health and wellbeing.

What is My Whole Self?
My Whole Self is the idea that we all have multiple aspects of our identity and experience that make us who we are, such as our background, sexuality, religion, gender, health, and mental health. These aspects are not separate or fixed, but rather fluid and interconnected, influencing how we think, feel, and behave in different situations.

When we bring our whole selves to work, we are able to express ourselves authentically and openly, without having to hide or suppress any part of our identity. We are also able to recognise and appreciate the diversity and uniqueness of others, and build meaningful and respectful relationships with our colleagues, managers, and customers. It’s important to recognise that we don’t want to force people to talk bring their whole self to work if they don’t wish to share certain things; the My Whole Self campaign is about creating the right environment at work for people to bring their whole self, if they wish to do so.

Alarmingly, research from MHFA England who recently surveyed 2,000 employees in February, showed that:
- 1 in 5 employees said discriminatory or exclusionary behaviours had a negative outcome on their mental health
- 1 in 7 employees have considered quitting their job as a result of discriminatory or exclusionary behaviours


Why is My Whole Self important for mental health and wellbeing?
Bringing our whole selves to work has many benefits for our mental health and wellbeing, as well as for our performance and productivity. We all deserve to feel valued and empowered to be our 'whole self' at work, which can help drive innovation and excellence from individuals. According to MHFA England, some of these benefits include:
  • Reducing stress and anxiety
  • Increasing engagement and motivation
  • Enhancing creativity and innovation, driving positive change and growth.
How can we make a change?
One of my main take aways from My Whole Self Day is that we all need to take action to address the root causes and issues that are creating these barriers in some workplaces, which mean people do not feel comfortable and cannot bring their whole self to work. We should be questioning whether our workplace offers a safe, non-judgemental environment for employees and what more can be done to improve this.

MHFA England created a range of free resources for this years’ event, including some tools to help companies get involved, including this guide which you might find useful if you’re unsure where to start - My Whole Self: Guide to creating inclusive workplace cultures. It provides a range of practical tools for you to help create workplaces where everyone is respected and valued, and covers topics such as psychological safety, allyship, inclusive language, and mental health support.

I hope you found this article useful and that it may spark some ideas on how you can work on enhancing your workplace culture for the benefit of both your team and your business. If you have any questions or would like to discuss further, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me on [email protected].
 

Reading this blog counts towards your CPD!

Click here to add this session to your Paradigm CPD log.


Paradigm

THIS SITE IS FOR PROFESSIONAL INTERMEDIARY USE ONLY AND NOT FOR USE BY THE GENERAL PUBLIC.

APCC MemberConsumer Duty Alliance

Paradigm Consulting is a Member of the Association of Professional Compliance Consultants and also the Consumer Duty Alliance.

Paradigm Consulting is a trading name of Paradigm Partners Ltd
Office address: Paradigm Partners Ltd, Paradigm House, Brooke Court, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 3ND
Paradigm Partners Ltd is registered in England and Wales. No.09902499. Registered Office: As above

Paradigm Mortgage Services LLP
Office address: 1310 Solihull Parkway, Birmingham Business Park, Birmingham B37 7YB
Registered in England and Wales. Company No: OC323403. Registered Office: Paradigm House, Brooke Court, Lower Meadow Road, Wilmslow, SK9 3ND
Paradigm Mortgage Services LLP is a Limited Liability Partnership.

Paradigm Protect is a trading name of Paradigm Mortgage Services LLP
Office address: 1310 Solihull Parkway, Birmingham Business Park, Birmingham B37 7YB
Paradigm Mortgage Services LLP is registered in England and Wales. Company No: OC323403. Registered Office: Paradigm House, Brooke Court, Lower Meadow Road, Wilmslow, SK9 3ND
Paradigm Mortgage Services LLP is a Limited Liability Partnership.