As a leader in your business, looking after the mental health of your staff should be one of your priorities. Ensuring your staff have a safe environment to talk about their mental health can go a long way to creating a happy and productive working environment.
One of the most effective ways you can do this is to create a Wellness Action Plan (WAP) for your organisation.
A Wellness Action Plan is a personalised tool that everyone in your organisation can use – whether they have a mental health problem or not – to help identify what keeps them well at work, what causes them to become unwell and what support they would like to receive to boost wellbeing and ensure a successful recovery.
This proactive method is designed for business leaders like yourself to support and manage mental health – whether your own, or your staff members’. There is a current trend of high stress and poor wellbeing within the workplace, and combining this with the current stigma behind mental health shows how much of a priority creating a mental health plan for your organisation should be.
A Wellness Action Plan is created by your staff, for your staff - and each individuals’ WAP may be completely different. Encouraging your staff to create a WAP gives them ownership of their mental health, and the practical ways in which they can feel well at work. It also creates an open conversation between you and your staff member to ensure you look after their mental health in a productive way, and in a way they find beneficial. In doing this, you will create a safer environment, one free of mental health stigma, with greater productivity, better performance and increased job satisfaction.
What should a Wellness Action Plan include?
Your organisation should already have a specific WAP template that your staff members can relate to, with guiding questions and suggestions about how to complete the plan. The template should explain that the Wellness Action Plan is confidential between yourself and your member of staff, unless they consent to it being shared further.
If your organisation does not have one in place that should be your first step, to ensure your staff know exactly what to include in their WAP.
Here are some suggestions about what to include in a Wellness Action Plan;
The Mental Health charity Mind also have an example WAP that you may find useful.
How does a Wellness Actions Plan help you as a manager?
Creating and implementing a successful WAP can help you to achieve many things as a leader in your organisation. A Wellness Action Plan will help you to;
- Start the conversation about mental health in your organisation.
- Develop an open culture around mental health.
- Understand the impacts of mental health on your organisation.
- Understand the potential signs of poor mental health.
- Understand your employee’s needs and experiences.
- Manage a staff member’s return to work and show new members that you are committed to their mental health and wellbeing.
Mental Health should be a priority for you and your organisation and implementing a successful Wellness Action Plan will go a long way to managing it in the long term.
If you are interested in how else you can manage the Mental Health of your staff, and what benefits doing so will bring to your organisation, take a look at our new Mental Health platform Lumien.