GingerMay signs up to the Mental Health at Work Commitment
At GingerMay, we’ve always taken employee mental health and wellbeing very seriously. We understand that our team members’ lives don’t begin and end in the office; personal issues can often become entangled with work, and vice versa. This makes it important to create an open and understanding culture, with the flexibility to accommodate each individual’s specific needs.
It’s never been more essential to discuss mental health issues and support those living with them, particularly as mental ill-health is now recognised as something many employees are living with on a daily basis. At least one in six UK employees experience anxiety and depression, for example, which can severely impact concentration and productivity.
These issues have only worsened since the pandemic, with one in four adults experiencing mental health problems for the first time during the global health crisis. Yet, despite the scale of the problem, 52% of employees did not feel supported by their place of work in the period between August 2020 and September 2021.
With the cost of living crisis set to further exacerbate these issues, there’s an even greater urgency for businesses and organisations to promote staff wellbeing and make a longer term positive impact. So, to prioritise mental health in the workplace and to demonstrate our ongoing dedication to the cause, GingerMay has signed up to the Mental Health at Work Commitment.
What is the Mental Health at Work Commitment?
Developed in partnership with the Thriving at Work Leadership Council and Business in the Community Leadership Team, the Mental Health at Work Commitment provides employers with a set of tools, advice and recommendations to improve and support employee mental health.
The commitment is based on the Thriving at Work standards, an independent review that identified core guidelines for prioritising mental health. In short, it’s a simple framework employers can use to ensure they’re following best practice when it comes to promoting employee welfare.
Considering poor mental health leads to over 12% of all sick days in the UK and can cost employers up to £56 billion each year, establishing a strong set of actions to support the mental health of staff is not only the right thing to do – it’s in businesses’ best interests, too.
Upholding six key principles for a robust mental health strategy
The agreement incorporates six fundamental standards that businesses and organisations should observe to create a healthy, happy workforce:
Prioritise mental health in the workplace by developing and delivering a systemic programme of activity.
This involves a comprehensive mental health at work plan, monitoring employees’ wellbeing and gathering feedback from them to continuously improve processes. Companies could hold events or workshops to keep psychological wellbeing at the forefront of conversations and inform employees of ways to improve their mood.
At GingerMay, we regularly invite external speakers to hold workshops on mental health-specific topics, such as our recent talk on the importance of sleep.
Proactively ensure work design and organisational culture drive positive mental health outcomes.
Employees should have access to everything they need to perform at their best, in good working conditions, with the opportunity to speak up when work processes are affecting their wellbeing.
We frequently assess workload to limit stress and prevent burnout, actively urging employees not to work late. Our flexible work practices also promote a healthy work-life balance. These include hybrid working, flexi-hours, early Friday finishes throughout the summer, and an extra day of annual leave for birthdays.
Promote an open culture around mental health.
To reduce the stigma around mental health issues and increase the likelihood that employees will seek help if they are struggling, we normalise conversations about psychological wellbeing at GingerMay, through our informative workshops and in our weekly company meetings.
Increase organisational confidence and capability.
Mental health awareness is embedded into our culture at GingerMay, and all line managers regularly check in with their reports to monitor both professional and personal wellbeing. We ensure staff are prepared for conversations around mental health and are well informed of mental health issues, along with the support that is available.
Provide mental health tools and support.
We now have three fully trained Mental Health First Aiders (MHFA) in the team. Every new starter gets an introductory meeting with one of our MHFAs so they know who to talk to if they are experiencing any difficulties.
Increase transparency and accountability through internal and external reporting.
Employers should identify key indicators of employee wellbeing to gauge the success of their efforts. They could use external frameworks such as the Business in the Community Responsible Business Tracker and Mind’s Workplace Wellbeing Index for clear, universal guidelines on implementing mental health best practice. At GingerMay, we frequently conduct employee surveys to monitor wellbeing and overall workplace satisfaction. This enables us to keep improving workplace initiatives to provide the best support for our team members.
For more information about the Mental Health at Work Commitment, visit:
For useful information about mental health and what to do if you or somebody you know is struggling, visit: