7 ways to achieve the Mental Health at Work Commitment Standard 6

Emma Smail
Emma Smail

Lead client services manager: Workplace Wellbeing at Mind

Signing the Mental Health at Work Commitment is a great step towards becoming an organisation that openly cares about the wellbeing of your employees. However, working on all of the six standards can be tricky, and we know the last one in particular can present some difficulties when you’re just starting out.

Standard 6 – Increase transparency and accountability through internal and external reporting.

It might sound confusing, but this standard is all about showing you understand what you’re doing well, what you might need to improve on, and then talking about your journey with all the right people.

It's important to know where you're starting from

An organisation’s staff team is one of its most important assets, and honestly assessing and reporting on their wellbeing shows people – whether employees, investors, clients or potential recruits – that you understand that.

We’ve broken down seven steps to help you achieve Standard Six here:

1) Work out where you are now

If you’re going to measure the impact of your mental health interventions, then it’s really important to know where you’re starting from. This will give you a good baseline to compare from in the future. You could use something as simple as a Google form to make a quick survey for your staff, and follow up with them in a few months to see what has changed.

Or, you might be interested in taking a deeper look. The Mind Workplace Wellbeing Snapshot, for example, provides a 5-minute questionnaire for your staff to help highlight where you are now, and what next steps you might like to focus on. Check it out here.

A man uses a laptop.

2) Check out these resources that can help

Here at Mental Health at Work, we collect the best resources from around the web to support you and your organisation on your mental health journey. We’ve put together a toolkit of tips and advice for meeting Standard Six, which you can find here. You can also use the search function on the site to look for more resources which match exactly what you need, once you’ve identified some areas you want to work on. Give it a try!

Make sure you’re on the right track

3) Compare yourself with others

Once you’ve started implementing some new wellbeing interventions, you might want to compare yourself to other organisations and make sure you’re on the right track. There are a few benchmarking tools and services you could use to find out how you’re measuring up.

The Mind Workplace Wellbeing Index, for example, will work with you to analyse exactly what you’re doing right, where you could improve, and show your staff you’re dedicated to improving their working lives. Plus, every organisation taking part in the Workplace Wellbeing Index is invited to attend an annual awards ceremony, where you might discover you’ve won a Gold, Silver or Bronze ranking!

A woman raises a glass at a fancy event.

4) Look outside of the Commitment

The Mental Health at Work Commitment is just one way you can show your people that you’re serious about their wellbeing. There are other schemes, awards and certifications you can work towards that will help broaden your knowledge and understanding of mental health and show the world how important it is to your organisation. Finding one that is linked to your industry or particular issues your workplace faces is a great way to focus in on the things that really matter to your people.

For example, the Disability Confident scheme encourages employers to remove barriers for people with disabilities, including long-term mental health conditions. Or, the Building Mental Health Charter is a voluntary initiative to help organisations in the construction sector demonstrate their commitment to raising awareness of mental health issues, promoting understanding, lowering stigma and supporting their employees.

Try to find something that matches the needs and concerns of your staff – searching the Mental Health at Work website could be a good place to start.

Communicating your initiatives and successes to your staff is important

5) Share your findings with your people

It’s great that you’re putting in the work to support your people – but it’s no good if they don’t know about it! That’s why communicating your initiatives and successes to your staff is so important. You might want to start sending round a monthly email updating them on new wellbeing plans you’re introducing. And, you might like to make posters with your key messages highlighted, and share them in places like break rooms or toilets.

Gathering feedback is also important to find out what your people really need. An anonymous email inbox (or a physical comments box) can be a good way to allow your people to have their say.

Did you know that as a Mental Health at Work Commitment Signee, you can use the MHAW logo on your digital materials and physical material? Click here to find out more.

Brewery workers listen to a team leader.

6) Learn from other organisations

Sometimes, the best way to learn is from your peers. They might have run into the same issues you have, and have the key bit of advice you need to improve. And you too might be able to support another organisation with your own learnings, improving the wellbeing not only of your own staff, but in other workplaces too!

The Mental Health at Work Peer Platform is a space where organisations can help each other to deliver the Commitment’s six standards. You’ll be able to connect with professionals from organisations of a similar size and sector so you can ask and answer questions, and share ideas, resources and tips on how to put the standards into practice.

Let everyone know you’re taking the wellbeing of your people seriously

7) Share your journey with others

Once you’ve put all this into practice, you might want to give yourself a pat on the back. Focusing on your people and their wellbeing has been shown to have a big impact on retention, recruitment, sickness absence and productivity – so it’s understandable you want to shout about it from the rooftops! As well as using our logo internally, you can also use it on your website or other promotional materials, so everyone knows you’re taking the wellbeing of your people seriously.

And, we’d love to hear more about what you did – what went well, what you’d do differently next time, and any advice you’d have for those just starting out. If you want to share your experiences, let us know at mentalhealthatwork@mind.org.uk.

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Whether you work with 10 people, 10,000 people or just yourself, paying attention to mental health in the workplace has never been more important.

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