It’s always been important as a smaller employer to be on high alert for mental health issues amongst your team, especially in current times.
The more intimate nature of a small business means that you or one of your staff may be better able to spot an employee who is struggling with mental health issues.
FSB Care have shared their top tips for employers, and you can download your own copy of this checklist here.
Employee mental health checklist
✔️ Practice empathetic active listening. Take the time to speak to employees, ask open questions and most importantly listen non-judgementally and without interruption.
✔️ Ask what would help them. It may not always be possible to deliver on all needs, but it will help to understand their situation.
✔️ Try to pick-up on verbal and non-verbal messages and signs that something may not be right.
✔️ Be self-aware and appreciate the impact of employer communication on your employee. Do they seem comfortable with the conversation? Would they prefer a different method, for example a phone call or email?
✔️Summarise what has been said. Be supportive and non-judgemental.
✔️Signpost to relevant sources of help, including charities such as Mind or The Samaritans, or employee benefits that are available. FSB Care can help to provide the right resources.
✔️Follow-up regularly and constantly reassess.
“Smaller employers will know their staff well and have a good gauge about how COVID-19 has affected individual people,” says Christine Husbands, FSB Care. “Employers need to be aware, more than ever, of a potential decline in the mental health of their staff.”
Whilst not a substitute for professional mental health support, your small business has a key role to play in supporting employees who may be concerned about their mental health.
It’s important to remind employees about any mental health provision available - FSB Care can offer advice if you’re unsure.