This blog will outline some of the ways that you and your company can avoid employee wellbeing tick boxing.

More and more companies are implementing strategies to support mental health and employee wellbeing. But whether those strategies are working is another question.

The ‘tick box’ method for managing mental health isn’t quite as successful as some may think. Establishing the right practices throughout your company will help your employees to perform at their best.

What Is Tick Boxing?

Known as ‘tick box culture’, or ‘tick boxing exercise’, tick boxing is a popular term that ensures all requirements (the boxes) for an activity have been performed (ticked).

So, in company terms, the policies and strategies are monitored using checklists. The purpose of this is to show that both the internal and external aspects of the organisation are fully complicit with current legislations.

Checklist and pen

What Is The ‘Tick Box Trap’?

More organisations are incorporating additional support structures for workplace wellbeing and mental health. Especially since the pandemic, working remotely has been focused on, too.

This may include EAPs (Employee Assistance Programs) or training managers in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA). And there’s also extended subscriptions to mindfulness and wellbeing apps. These actions often have reactions because they are deliberate, targeted responses to employee issues or wellbeing crises.

So, what’s the problem? This can mean the company now finds itself in a ‘tick box trap’. There is a tick box mentality that can be introduced alongside provisional employee support. The support is guided by the criteria already laid out in official mental health certificates and regulations. Therefore, organisations can focus more on said criteria rather than what the actual employees want or need.

Workplace wellbeing can be difficult to approach. No one person is the same. One answer for one employee may not apply to another employee with a similar issue. So employers collecting data directly from employees can allow them to better understand the needs of their employees.

How Can Employers Avoid Employee Wellbeing Tick Boxing?

Employers need to create an open, supportive work culture where employees can feel encouraged to talk about their mental health and wellbeing. It’s important that employees aren’t made to feel ashamed, guilty, or embarrassed about a bad mental health day affecting their work.

Here’s some things that you can do to avoid employee wellbeing tick boxing:

  1. Mental Health Policies

Having a formal policy in place is crucial. Creating a mental health policy sends a strong message to employees that your company cares about mental health in the workplace. It demonstrates how your company sees mental health as important and serious.

Any policy created in a workplace usually has an outline, noting the purpose of the policy and its importance. A mental health policy should outline the support that’s available to employees. Additionally, it should include solutions, such as time off or easing workload, rather than discrimination.

It can invite space for a culture change in work. An open environment in the workplace where employees know that there are no negative consequences for raising these issues.

  1. 24/7 Helpline

Sometimes, talking over the phone with someone you don’t know is actually less nerve-wrecking. Providing a confidential helpline that is available 24/7 to employees is important not just for inside the workplace, but outside of it, too. Knowing that they can talk to someone at any time can be a huge comfort.

This is a proactive tool for employees with mental health conditions to be supported and manage their mental health.

  1. Using Employee Data

There is no such thing as ‘one solution fits all’. That’s where employee data comes in. Employers need to listen to their employees. This is the only way to gain insight into the needs and wants of the employees. It may even highlight areas of the company that need to be improved.

Ensuring employees feel supported and happy is so important for improving their wellbeing. And employees with high wellbeing make for a better working environment. Not to mention higher levels of productivity and satisfaction for your employees. And isn’t that the main goal?

  1. Encouraging A Work-Life Balance

Employees need time away from work where they can just relax and ‘recharge their batteries’. Poor mental health and burnout could be consequences of employees working too much, too hard, or just not having a proper balance between work and life.

Therefore, encouraging a work-life balance is essential. Plus, if employers themselves demonstrate a good work-life balance, it sets a good example for their employees.

How do you encourage a work-life balance? Organisations could set reasonable communication expectations for non-office hours. And offer flexible working arrangements. On top of that, employers can urge employees to take lunch breaks and use their holidays. This ensures that they take adequate time away from work and enjoy their free time.

  1. Mental Health Training

Providing mental health awareness training to managers would equip them with knowledge of mental health in the workplace. They would have the necessary knowledge to spot and support employees who are struggling with mental health issues.

Get In Touch

We can offer specialist advice on wellbeing questions and tell you how our wellbeing app will support your company. (And therefore your team, too!).

Contact us for more information or call us on 0808 178 0748. One of our team experts will be happy to chat with you!