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Businesses around the country recently held events to promote the mental well-being of their employees as part of Mental Health Awareness Week. But, at Haines Watts, we believe that this should be a year-round concern.

There is now a huge amount of information in the media about mental health in the workplace. This is great and it’s important that your employees feel they work in an environment where mental well-being is openly discussed.  But what about if you’re a business leader? Who do you get support from when the pressure starts to build?

Our own research shows that running an SME is stressful and business owners often rely heavily on the support of loved ones to help them through.

That’s fine, but our study also highlighted that nearly three in four (73%) of the owners we asked find their position “emotionally exhausting”. A significant number admit their relationships with their partner (38%) and children (30%) have suffered as a result of running the business. So, it is important to spread the load and seek help from other sources too.

A problem shared…

We work with our clients across a wide spectrum of business challenges, from managing tax and cashflow to strategic business planning. We speak to our clients about everything from new product ideas to bottle necks in their financing and HR conundrums – all the issues that can keep a business owner up at night.

But we’re also in a unique position of being a trusted external resource who, while we know the business inside out, we’re not tangled up in its politics. We often work with owners to make sure they care for both their business and their own mental wellbeing. This is external support is vital, as our study showed that over half of respondents said they feel it’s important not to show vulnerability to their management team or business partner.

So, here are my top five strategies for improving your own mental health as well as mental well-being in the workplace:

  • Make mental health in the workplace a topic that everyone can openly discuss in your business.
  • Plan for the ups as well as the downs over a period of at least five years, so there are fewer nasty surprises.
  • Make sure you’re not the only decision-maker – find people you trust to share the load.
  • Find support and expertise outside of the business.
  • Focus on achieving work/life balance – being a workaholic is not a sustainable way of life.

As a business owner, what is your main strategy for protecting your own mental well-being?

Find and contact your local Haines Watts office

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