Five steps for promoting positive workplace culture

Mar 20, 2015

Organisational culture is crucial for a mentally healthy workplace, but can be a hard thing to pin down. It's largely based on intangible feelings and actions that are difficult to measure - the way people treat each other, loyalty, and a sense of camaraderie.

A positive workplace environment and good mental health go hand in hand. Here are five ways you can set the right tone in your organisation.

 

1. Include mental health as one of your organisation's defined priorities 

If profitability and responsible business practices are part of your company’s vision, mental health should also be a priority. It’s important to communicate your commitment to mental health to all employees – make it a part of induction packs for new starters, display posters about mental health in your workplace, and include policy information on your intranet.

Don't have a mental health policy in place? Download our template and create one today.

 

2. Get your senior leaders onboard 

Change starts at the top - organisational leaders and business owners need to make visible, long-term commitments to mental health in their workplaces. They are in the strongest position to positively influence the working environment, management practices and the experience of employees. 

 

3. Seek regular feedback from employees

Every workplace is unique. Identifying the needs and preferences of employees can help ensure you are implementing the right mental health actions for your business. Feedback can be sought through confidential surveys, one-on-one meetings, a suggestion box in your workplace, or you could host a meeting with staff to encourage an open exchange of ideas.

 

4. Ensure a culture of openness and accountability

Mentally healthy workplaces usually have a few things in common when it comes to organisational culture. Effective communication, transparency in decision-making, and strong performance management and evaluation practices are all features of a positive workplace culture.

Ensuring robust policies around bullying and harassment is also important, as well as encouraging employees to call out or report any inappropriate behaviour they witness or experience. Open-door policies, mentorship programs and regular manager-employee catch-ups reinforce the message that senior leaders are visible and approachable. 

 

5. Invite guest speakers to share their personal experiences of mental health conditions

Learning about other people's experiences can play a major role in reducing stigma and improving understanding. You might have a colleague who is willing to speak about their condition, recovery and staying well, or you could connect with the beyondblue Speaker Bureau to arrange for someone to visit your workplace.  

After more ideas to create a mentally healthy workplace? Check out our tips for getting started

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