How Workforce Management Software Supports Better Mental Health at Work

Good mental health at work and good management go hand in hand.

There is strong evidence that workplaces with high levels of mental wellbeing are more productive. Employers have a duty of care to have systems and strategies in place to monitor mental health at work and be able to offer support, should they find that their employees are struggling. As well as having a huge impact on the individual, poor mental health has severe repercussions for employers — including increased staff turnover, sickness absence, decreased motivation and lost productivity.

Companies need to monitor and better support their staff’s mental wellbeing. Often the first sign of someone suffering from poor mental health is taking more time off sick. Patterns of absence such as regularly being off on Mondays or taking more time off than usual could indicate a problem.

Where workforce management software is present in an organisation, management teams have been able to track absences and spot trends in employee behaviour. By speaking with the people that the system flags up, managers can get to the root causes of why they are taking time off and ensure that effective re-engagement and support is put in place upon their return to work. Monitoring absences, along with scheduling in regular catch ups with employees, are all measures employers can take to ensure their workforce is mentally well.

How workforce management technology supports mental health at work

Workforce management software, particularly solutions design to enable better workforce engagement, help organisations strengthen employee relationships and better support employee wellbeing. Particularly now, when businesses are trying to recover after multiple lockdowns, workforce management software is a tool that organisations are turning to, to provide support and motivation to team members worrying about their jobs. The use of self-service portals gives employees more control over their own work experience, but also enables management to use the technology to check how their team members are feeling, physically and mentally.

Creating a work-life balance

The importance of using workforce management technology to give employees ownership of their working life is incredibly important. The wide use of employee self-service software has transformed workforce planning and given staff more power to manage their own work-life balance, creating a more content workforce and efficient operation. The option to view available shifts and fill gaps gives employees flexibility and control, enabling them to give up or swap shifts with colleagues in an instant, rather than waiting for managers to action or authorise. With full visibility of skills, the process of filling shifts is simplified whilst increasing teamwork and collaboration.

Benefits of technology integrations

Where workforce management software is integrated with other technology solutions, the mental health benefits are even greater. Automating processes and integration with other products enables employees to engage with just one platform rather than log in and log out of multiple programmes.  For example, having a workforce management solution that integrates with HR and payroll gives employees much greater control. Enabling people to be proactive in updating their own personal details or query wages directly, rather than suffer the wait of someone else having to do that for them, plays a big role in supporting good mental health. At a time of uncertainty and unpredictability, practical technology measures that help employees manage their own finances and work opportunities are invaluable in managing work, life and wellbeing.

Feedback tools to monitor employee wellbeing

As awareness of the need to look after employee wellbeing has intensified during the last year, workforce management software is being used more effectively and as more of a support mechanism. By engaging employees, communicating and listening to feedback from staff every time they log in, out or connect via their mobile device, workforce management software is helping management and the employee to better connect on a multitude of levels. Offering employees the opportunity to confide about any issues they are having enables managers to in turn offer help or sign post them to specialist support services. Without this insight, managers may be completely in the dark as to what is happening with their workers. Relationships are key to good mental health, and working in a supportive team environment is hugely important for mental health at work.

Workplaces that challenge, support and develop their employees’ sense of purpose and support them when things are hard can play a massive role in protecting and building good mental health. A mentally healthy workplace can be built on the back of good basic line management relationships, clear HR policy and engaging staff in decision making. Workforce management software enables this, and organisations are quickly catching on. Prevention is key and businesses need to be able to help those in distress access support quickly, and for those recovering from mental health problems, stay well and flourish when back at work.

For more information on employee engagement, read about our Timegate E-engagement Pack.