Supporting employee mental health: Practical steps for SMEs 

Smaller employers, who may be unable to afford to introduce Employment Assistance Programmes (EAPs), or other similar initiatives to support their employees’ mental health should be reassured that there are many simple actions that they can take, which don’t have to be overly bureaucratic, or costly – it’s often simply about being aware and creating a supportive environment. Luckily, this is often easier for smaller employers to achieve!

SMEs often have better relationships with their staff than their larger counterparts and may already be taking actions that contribute to staff wellbeing without necessarily realizing it. Thinking about your business within the context of its impact on the mental health of those that work for you will help you to recognise what you are already doing well and identify any further actions that you can take to improve.

Whilst each business is different and will need to find an approach that fits with its unique objectives and culture, here are some practical steps that smaller employers can take to promote and support employee mental wellbeing: If you’d like to know more about each step, click here to read the full article.

• Lead from the top and demonstrating a genuine commitment to supporting employee mental health by, for example, developing an
Organisational Wellbeing Action Plan.

• Take steps to raise awareness, through training and other activities, so that employees have an increased understanding of mental
health conditions and there is less of a stigma attached to such issues.

• Support line managers and develop their interpersonal skills, so that they are able to have open, supportive and effective conversations
with staff about mental health issues.

• Ensure clear confidentiality policies and procedures are in place, so that staff feel confident that any disclosures about their mental health
will not be leaked to colleagues.

• Explore with staff if there are any changes to the working environment that would aid their mental health e.g. ways to reduce noise levels.

• Discourage harmful working practices such as presenteeism and eating lunch at your desk. Make sure employees are encouraged to
take their full holiday entitlement.

• Consider ways to give employees more flexibility, so that they can effectively manage and balance the demands of work with their
personal responsibilities..

• Ensure that workloads are manageable and that employees are given the right resources to do their jobs well.

• Ensure good job design, so that, wherever possible, employees have some measure of autonomy and control over their work and
appreciate how what they do contributes to overall company objectives.

Click here to read full article…

People Based Solutions is a HR and Workplace Health & Safety support company, specialising in supporting small and medium sized businesses. If you would like to know more about how we can help you with the issues covered in this blog, or with any other HR or Health & Safety matters, call us on 01925 425 857, send an e-mail to or click here to visit our website.