5 ways to protect your people’s mental health with PAS 3002
Given current circumstances, this year’s World Mental Health Day which occurred on 10 October could not have been timelier. Phil Barwell, Head of Marketing – Certification Division at Alcumus, provides some expert commentary on how to look after employee mental health.
The coronavirus pandemic has created a world of turbulence and uncertainty which has impacted everyone differently.
The workplace standard for health and wellbeing, PAS 3002, is the code of practice that supports the physical and psychological health of a workforce and helps embed health and wellbeing in a business. Significantly, it brings mental health to the forefront of the wellbeing of employees.
The core benefits of implementing this code of practice into an organisation are based on its five key principles, each of which can easily be applied to the current environment we find ourselves working in.
- Capitalise on diversity and inclusion as an organisational strength
PAS 3002 tackles diversity and inclusion and uses it as a key strength and driver of positive health and wellbeing in an organisation. It encourages businesses to support connection between employees, which has been proven to improve mental wellbeing, reduce stress and foster a sense of belonging. For those that have suffered from loneliness at any point throughout the pandemic, such connections have provided a massive, positive boost to mental health.
- Proactive support of the physical and psychological health & wellbeing of workers
We’re all familiar with the saying that ‘prevention is better than the cure.’ PAS 3002 requires businesses to provide proactive health and wellbeing support for their employees. This can be done by providing healthcare benefits as part of an employment package, comprehensive health surveillance and flexible working. Many workers across the county have been required to try and work from home while also caring for children during the earlier periods of lockdown so providing this support has been especially helpful in reducing stress.
- Foster a work culture that offers strong, ethical relationships and a collaborative and communicative management style
One of the key factors behind the mental wellbeing among your employees is the culture that exists in your organisation. Having a culture and management style that proactively supports the health and wellbeing of workers can improve business performance.
PAS 3002 requires you to create a culture that provides strong relationships and a collaborative and communicative management style. During times of uncertainty, having these channels of communication between different levels of a business allows managers to be transparent and to set expectations, identifying areas or individuals that may need extra support. Also, the strong relationships that the code of practice encourages provides potential for peer support where employees are more inclined to help one another through difficult circumstances, ensuring that challenges aren’t faced alone.
- Ensure jobs are designed so that they offer meaningful work
Job design can play a large part in ensuring motivation and enthusiasm among your workforce. This theory works on the premise that variety, identity, significance, autonomy and feedback are crucial factors influencing the behaviours of employees.
PAS 3002 ensures that businesses provide their people with correct job design and meaningful work. As many companies continue to operate in the safest possible way and work remotely, it is important that employees are trusted to work in a way that is most suitable to their circumstances.
Also, even though there is little to no face-to-face interaction for many, regular communication and feedback should occur to give workers peace of mind that they’re doing the right things. Likewise, employers should look to receive feedback from their people to discover what could be improved. Implementing these changes then demonstrates to employees how valued they are as an asset to the business.
- Support good people management policies and practices, including procurement design and risk management
PAS 3002 requires organisations to show serious consideration for employees’ health and wellbeing at every turn. This includes considering the impacts on mental health when looking to purchase any goods or services and factoring health and wellbeing in any risk management policies. It could also mean making procurement decision with an improvement in mental health as a key objective. An effective way of reinforcing this is for senior management to lead by example and communicate that the business is taking employee health and wellbeing seriously, leading to your people feeling valued and looked after.
Alcumus ISOQAR is one of the UK’s largest UKAS accredited certification bodies and audits for the new PAS 3002 standard.
Wellbeing by numbers
Wednesday 28 October 2020 | 14:30 – 15:30
The webinar will cover:
- Learn how to use data to shape your workplace wellbeing strategy;
- Hear evidence of the impact that wellbeing has on productivity and bottom line;
- Get expert advice on the challenges of implementing a data-led wellbeing strategy and how to overcome them;
- Walk away with a health & wellbeing toolkit that will help you implement and evaluate your wellbeing strategy.
Click here to register, or to find out more about this webinar.