While some businesses are winding down for the year, others are preparing for their busiest trading period. But regardless of whether you're shutting down or ramping up, Beyond Blue encourages all businesses to prioritise their employees' mental health, check in with staff and acknowledge the hard work they have put in this year as the New Year approaches.
Beyond Blue Chairman Jeff Kennett AC said mental health conditions (such as depression and anxiety) are a major cause of illness and lost productivity. Encouraging workers to have a break would help them to be refreshed and more engaged when returning to work in the New Year.
"It might be the holiday season, but it's still important for workplaces to promote good mental health by making it clear to their workers that they are valued and they should enjoy their break. People who still have to work should take care of themselves as they juggle priorities of work and family," Mr Kennett said.
"Our message to businesses and employers is that your workforce will be more productive in 2015 if you recognise your workers' efforts and allow them time to rest and recuperate.
"This time of year, people can become stressed by many different things, such as family events or financial pressures, however, if their bosses are understanding and commit to ensuring their workplace is mentally healthy, the staff and the company's bottom line will benefit."
Tips to help you get 2015 off to a flying start
- The end of the year is an ideal time to celebrate your employees’ efforts over the year. Team lunches, drinks or awards are a great way to say thanks.
- If your business is operating over the holiday period, try and arrange for staff to have some time off to spend with family and friends.
- If your employees are working extra hours, make sure they take annual leave during a quieter period.
- Encourage your team to take a proper break from work - switch off phones and email as much as possible.
Remember, mental health is not just for Christmas! Make creating a mentally healthy workplace part of your business's New Years resolution.