"Mental Health Awareness Week is the perfect opportunity for businesses to reflect on how theyre supporting their employees. "
Jamie Mackenzie, Director at Sodexo Engage
As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, Sodexo Engage has highlighted five key changes that businesses can implement to support employee body image as part of a wider effort to promote mental wellness in the workplace.
1. Training: Employee training is often built around enhancing or introducing skills that are needed to perform more effectively at work. However, providing training around soft skills such as improving confidence and managing stress can help employees both inside and outside of work. If employees feel more confident in general, this will impact their body image perceptions as well.
2. Mindfulness: Mental health and wellbeing have a huge impact on employees’ physical health as well. If employees are unhappy with their body image, it’s important to help them feel better about themselves more broadly. Mindfulness sessions, yoga and meditation are just a few examples of how business can improve staff wellbeing overall.
3. Healthy benefits: The business can also help staff looking to pursue a healthier lifestyle by offering benefits like fruit in the office, cycle to work schemes and discounts to gyms. This way, staff will have access to resources they need to live healthier lives and feel better about themselves.
4. Limiting the drinking culture: An excessive drinking culture can impact employees physically and mentally, especially if staff feel obligated to drink at socials or work events. Removing this pressure and providing alternative opportunities for teams to socialise without the need to drink alcohol will help employees maintain a healthy lifestyle while still engaging with colleagues.
5. Teamwork: In some cases, work has been the cause of ill mental health, but it can also be a solution. Socialising, working together and collaborating with colleagues can be hugely positive for self-esteem. Staff looking to live healthier lifestyles can often obtain encouragement from colleagues pursuing similar goals, while those that have a negative body image can get support from other employees who feel the same way.
jAMIE MACKENZIE, DIRECTOR AT SODEXO ENGAGE, COMMENTED:
“Mental Health Awareness Week is the perfect opportunity for businesses to reflect on how they’re supporting their employees. It may feel like an individual’s body image isn’t really an issue for an employer to address, but support in this area can help staff to boost their confidence, feel better about themselves, and make proactive changes that improve both their physical and mental health. Some of these changes may require a fundamental shift in the company’s culture, while others may be very small – but all of them can have a huge impact on employee wellbeing. This week, all companies should commit to making a meaningful change in this area that will improve their employees’ lives.”