Be a Mindful Employer this RUOK day


Perhaps it’s been on your ‘to do’ list for a while. You know the stats. You know that building a mentally healthy workplace is good for staff and good for business, but things have been so busy lately...

September 14 is RUOK day.

As people across Australia prepare to reach out and open a dialogue, why not use this RUOK day to develop a plan for your workplace?

Mindful Employer’s tips for creating a mentally healthy workplace will help you to take a lead on mental health this RUOK day.

Build mental health awareness into the culture of your organisation. Lead by example. Staff look to their employers for guidance for what is okay and what isn’t, in the workplace. A cultural shift needs to come from the leadership team and stem from a genuine interest in improving mental health in the workplace. Once the leadership is on board, your organisation can begin to re-examine its values to support a mentally healthy workplace culture.

It’s never too late to change workplace culture. If your workplace culture needs to change in order to better support employees, begin the process now and be vocal about it. Call a meeting and inform your staff that the leadership team have decided to prioritise mental health. This would be a great opportunity to send out surveys or have an informal discussion about what your employees would like to see change.

Implement a wellness program in your organisation. A wellness program needs to be supported by the leadership team and developed with the employees in mind. This means that it will be different for each organisation. For your organisation, it could be an Employee Assistance Program, while for another it could be weekly opportunities for socialising. There is no right or wrong here, the flavour of your wellness program should be informed by your employees—asking them what they think is important.

Focus on keeping well people well. Create a workplace culture where people are encouraged and supported to seek help early when they are not well and, when they are well, to stay well. An RUOK conversation should extend to everyone. Consider including a simple ‘check-in’ during your next round of employee catch-ups. This will build trust and openness and remind your staff that you care about creating an inclusive, mentally healthy workplace.

Educate your team to build confidence to talk about mental health and illness. Creating a mentally healthy workplace takes time and commitment. The Mindful Employer program can support your organisation to achieve this. Mindful Employer training increases awareness and understanding about mental health concerns as they commonly present in the workplace. It gives managers and staff the tools to address mental health issues at the earliest stage of presentation. 

Workplace Psychology and Wellness expert, Margaret Aboody talks to Mindful Employer about how her organisation implemented a successful wellness program and the benefits of a mentally healthy workplace in this short podcast

Sarah Earnshaw