Effective communication - having the conversation
As a manager, it is important that you understand the principles of effective communication when having a conversation about mental health with a staff member.
Why is it important that managers are effective communicators?
As a manager you have considerable influence on creating a safe and healthy work environment.
How you communicate with, and treat your staff can affect how they undertake their work, display resilience at times of pressure and manage any difficulties they may be experiencing.
Effective people management skills, active listening and empathy are integral to managing mental health in the workplace.
Staff members are more likely to disclose mental health issues that they may be experiencing if they feel heard, valued and supported.
How can effective communication improve mental health?
Good communication and good people management skills across an organisation can have a positive impact on minimising stress and mental health problems in the workplace. By increasing mental health awareness and implementing policies and strategies that address mental health issues in the workplace you can help foster a comfortable and accountable environment to address a staff member's mental health issues. Refer to: communication tools: effective listening for more information.
- How can I manage a staff member with a mental health issue?
- BeyondBlue Workplace online is a series of free online resources to raise awareness of depression and anxiety in the workplace, and provide practical strategies to support individuals and promote mental health in the workplace. The Having a Conversation resource contains mini dramas (up to 20 minutes) that demonstrate how to talk to someone at work you are concerned about. The scenarios feature staff from both blue and white collar workplaces.