Mental Health and Workplace Relationships

Published: 23 May 2016

Last weeks’ Mental Health Awareness Week had an interesting theme: the importance of our personal and professional relationships.  There was significant emphasis on establishing and maintaining quality relationships and the impact this has on our health and wellbeing. It is topical given the recent focus amongst HR professionals on the importance of retaining staff in the current economic climate.

The Mental Health Foundation which promotes Mental Health Awareness Week partners with stakeholders including Government, public bodies and employers, to promote good relationships to tackle the barriers that currently exist for us all. One of the key themes is on forming and maintaining relationships in the workplace, the pressures of the work life balance and the impact of bullying. Ensuring our mental health wellbeing is as important as maintaining our physical health – enabling us to live happier and healthier lives. According to a recent article in Forbes, we can improve our working relationships by addressing our own commutative style, body language, energy and persona. We need to take ownership for how we want to be perceived and the positive impact this can have on our own mental health wellbeing, and also the wellbeing of those around us.

From an organisational perspective, we need to look beyond just the basic needs expected from employees, but also consider what else makes a happy workforce?  It can be difficult to retain good talent, but it does not have to be. Employees rarely leave organisations in which they are happy, more often than not it is a result of the poor relationships they have internally. HR Grapevine conducted a large scale survey which found the main reason that individuals left their workplace was not having faith in their boss, leading to feeling unappreciated and disengaged in their work. We need to create an environment that develops and maintains strong professional working relationships and one in which employees see their manager as someone they aspire to be on a personal level as well as professionally. 

We need a greater emphasis on the quality of all of our relationships and need to focus on the ways we can improve.  The emphasis on strong working relationships mirrors the ethos we have as an executive search firm; we not only match candidates to our client’s requirements, but consider cultural fit to be a fundamental characteristic behind every successful appointment. We pride ourselves on ensuring the perfect recruitment match and exceeding our client’s expectations.

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