In October 2017, the UK government published ‘Thriving at work: The Stevenson / Farmer review of mental health and employers’ which responded to the government’s request for advice on how employers could support mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.
The report detailed the cost of mental ill health to employers; an estimate of between £33 billion and £42 billion. This is not simply down to absenteeism; over half the cost comes from presenteeism – when individuals are less productive due to poor mental health in work. Lack of wellbeing in the work place also creates costs with staff turnover; work has to be covered in the short term, time is spent finding a new employee and more time is invested making them fully effective. In short, it pays for a business to think about what makes employees thrive in the workplace.
The Farmer/Stevenson report made several recommendations for employers, including developing mental health awareness among employees, encouraging open conversations about mental health, providing employees with good working conditions and ensuring they have a healthy work life balance with opportunities for development.
A conversation about mental health, is more than a conversation about mental ill-health. Our workshop facilitates staff to share what energises, what drains and what restores, both personally and collectively. We have found these conversations help staff better understand their and others’ approach to work, leading to a more productive, appreciative environment. These are important conversations, but they rarely happen unless time is prioritised, and the right conditions for participation are created.
The workshop isn’t simply about conversation, we provide input and resources on a variety of approaches and practices to help staff consider the choices they make about how they work. Workshops can be planned from 2 hours (though we usually recommend a minimum of 3 hours) up to a full day; course booklets with helpful resources are provided.
Work places are often fast-paced environments, where information is exchanged rapidly and concisely. In this atmosphere, friction can develop between colleagues, sometimes resulting in conflict in the workplace. Similarly, misunderstanding can easily develop between partners from other organisations or with clients.
To promote good practice in perspective sharing and to reduce the time spent in ‘difficult conversations’, we provide training in the use of communication tools that enable people to communicate more positively.
We address common work place scenarios such as when:
- the conversation seems uneasy or unproductive
- someone feels ‘got at’ or threatened, or the other party seems angry
- the conversation becomes a debate or an argument
- the conversation has become negative, and seems stuck.
We use accessible, memorable communication theory, in our workshops, delivered in an easily applicable manner to enable staff teams to reduce conflict in interpersonal communication, and create positive outcomes. Workshops draw from a range of components, according to the needs of an organisation. Workshops can be planned from 2 hours up to a full day; course booklets with helpful resources are provided.