“Turn that frown upside down”

“Cheer up, it might never happen”

“Leave him alone, he’s mental”

When it comes to dealing with mental health issues in the workplace, we’ve made undeniable progress. Having said that, I heard all three of the above statements used to and about a member of staff on a visit to a client’s office only last year. The person in question did look like he needed cheering up but he certainly wasn’t “mental”. He was a good professional coming to terms with a mental health issue. He’d flagged this up to his employer who’d assured him that his job was secure and spread the word that this person was to be treated well. Everyone tried to do that and many succeeded, but one person saying “leave him alone, he’s mental” is one too many.

NHS research tells us that a quarter of Britain’s workforce will have to cope with a mental health issue at some point in 2018. Obviously there are degrees of severity but employers are waking up to the fact that these issues are complex and debilitating and must be managed effectively.

Saying “chin up” to a person suffering from depression is about as constructive as dragging someone with a broken leg to their feet and telling them to walk it off.

Different managers have different leadership styles, and old school motivators may find it challenging to deal with conditions that they can’t personally identify with. The reality of modern management, though, is that being open to supportive communication and flexibility around hours and duties now comes with the territory.

We deal with senior HR professionals every day, and the judgement and consideration they show is admirable. Their instincts serve them well, but instincts can only take us so far. Sooner or later you need to have a plan. That’s where we come in.

Jane software actively encourages workplace interaction, with our self-service options enabling your people to put in immediate requests for training and development activity. By the same token, self-service allows people to manage their time and focus on self-contained activities when the need arises. When we say Jane Systems responds to your priorities, we’re not just talking about technical needs. We’re talking about ways to positively shape your company culture.

Jane software enhances communication between managers and staff. It provides high quality data analysis that can help you track performance levels and absence patterns, identify stress or unhappiness and respond accordingly. You may choose to scale back an employee’s workload, offer them flexible hours or simply sit down and have a supportive, trusting conversation. The action you take will depend on the individual you’re dealing with.

What you know for sure is that when you work with Jane Systems you have the tools to do something far more constructive than slap them on the back and say “chin up”.

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