Mental Health Awareness is not a new-fangled idea; Mental Health Awareness week was set up 20 years ago. However, historically, people with mental issues have faced stigma and discrimination. It was only as recently as 2010 that the Equality Act was strengthened to protect those with mental health issues from discrimination. But the tide is turning.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we were forced to find new ways of working. As a result, many people found themselves suddenly working longer hours from home while juggling family and a lack of childcare.

One of the side effects of this is that a lot more people are talking about Mental Health and publicly sharing their experiences. For example, during this year’s Olympics, Simone Bile was applauded for pulling out of the Olympic women’s team gymnasts final to focus on her mental health.

In this week’s blog, we will look at a few reasons why employee wellbeing is so important in the workplace and how it can be integrated into a company’s performance management programme and improve company culture.

Don’t worry, be happy!

When you are feeling happy, your brain releases more “feel good” chemicals, such as serotonin (said to regulate anxiety) and dopamine (said to increase drive and goal-directed behaviour). Thus, when you are happy, you feel more energised and motivated. So, it makes perfect sense that being happy in the workplace is directly connected to workplace performance.

What is positive workplace performance?

Positive workplace performance isn’t just about meeting targets. Positive workplace performance is reflected through employees who:

  • Support their colleagues
  • Encourage innovation and seek input from colleagues on improvement ideas
  • Have a high level of accuracy/ attention to detail/competence.
  • Are interested in development and learning.

Create a positive work culture

Company culture is created from the top down, so it is the responsibility of HR and the Senior Management team to establish a working environment based on open and honest communication, trust, and support.

You can build a positive work culture by:

  • Setting achievable goals that your team can relate to and commit to.  
  • Welcoming and giving constructive feedback without recrimination.
  • Providing clear development paths for your team.
  • Welcoming and discussing new ideas.
  • Ensuring everyone is treated equally.
  • Ensuring that management is visible and accessible (no US vs THEM).
  • Being flexible in accommodating your employee’s family commitments, where possible.
  • Having regular one-to-one and team meetings.
  • Encouraging your employees to take regular breaks away from their desks and make use of their holiday entitlements.

Is the return worth the investment?

As discussed in our previous blogs, over-working, stress, and feelings of discontentment can lead to burnout, absenteeism and presenteeism. None of these scenarios offers a productive outcome for your business; one person’s feelings of unhappiness can easily rub off on the person next to them, affecting the entire team’s performance. Creating a positive work culture doesn’t happen overnight but making minor changes to support your team will lead to marginal gains, contributing to your team’s overall productivity.

Vero HR offers a range of external HR services to meet the needs of your business. Please do not hesitate to give us a call on 01733 830830 or email us at

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