Mental wellbeing at work
Mental health and wellbeing at work: a simple approach
Posted by Stuart Falconer • May 10, 2021

One of the more topical questions posed to the HR community surrounds mental health and wellbeing at work and how employers can support their employees.

The impact of COVID-19

As we all come to terms with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, many people will find themselves struggling to adjust to the new normal. The prolonged absence of social gatherings and the removal of things we used to take for granted, like eating out, going to the gym and attending concerts or events, has left many of us vulnerable to the after effects.

What about people’s physical health? Exercise routines are no longer the same. Often, eating habits can be affected. And how about financial health? People have been fearful about the financial consequences of the pandemic: Will I still have a job? Can I keep a roof over my head?

Then there are the people who have either contracted the virus and are still recovering or have sadly lost loved ones before their time. All in all, this has been – and continues to be – a supreme challenge to us all.

We provide support to cover all possible challenges

HR – Human Resources. It’s what it says on the tin: the management of the most important resource in your business – your staff!

The most common questions I get asked revolve around the termination of employees’ contracts. We advise on the process to be followed, highlighting the possible consequences of a failure to follow advice. Of course, there may well be good reasons for terminating people’s contracts and the advice I give is always relevant to the situation. However, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve asked an employer whether they are aware of anything going on in the employee’s personal life that may be affecting their ability to perform at work. More often than not, they don’t know because they either haven’t been trained to ask those questions or have avoided them for fear of not being able to deal with the answers.

Morgan Thomson can help with these exact situations. Not only do we provide HR support to the employer, discussing how to deal with the situation, but we can also provide access to the right support services to help staff deal with bereavement, financial difficulties or their mental health.

There is no obligation on an employer to provide access to this type of support, but if your employee is struggling, why not ensure you support them in their hour of need?

A simple mantra

We adopt a straightforward attitude to the topic of HR advice, helping provide a framework for the successful and effective management of staff. It starts with a simple mantra: Expectations, Accountability, Consequences. Apply this and you won’t go far wrong:

  • Expectations — this is the job I expect you to do, and this is how I expect you to do it.
  • Accountability — it is your responsibility to do the job the way I want you to do it.
  • Consequences — if you don’t do the job the way I want it done, there may be negative consequences. On the other hand, if you do the job the way I want, there may be positive consequences.

This mantra can be applied to every aspect of the line management relationship. With a physical injury or illness, people go to their GP to get the appropriate treatment. It’s up to the individual to take responsibility for following the advice. What would happen if they didn’t go? It’s unlikely they’d get better. That’s the consequence.

An example: someone is struggling after the death of a loved one. The expectation and reality are that they’re not coping and this is impacting on their ability to function at the required level both in their personal and professional lives. What should they do? As an employer, you’d want them to seek the appropriate support, wouldn’t you? You’d want them to cope better, but they must take responsibility for seeking that help. No one can make them do it against their will.

What would the consequence be if someone chose not to accept that support? Nothing would change. If nothing changes, there’s a strong possibility that their home and work life would continue to be a struggle. You can apply that same logic to mental health, physical health, financial health, you name it.

We’re here to help

Morgan Thomson can help you tackle mental health and wellbeing at work and support your staff appropriately. A successful outcome goes a long way towards ensuring the loyalty of your staff and the overall wellbeing of both your employees and your business.

To find out how we can support you and your staff, contact Stuart on 0345 095 0139 or email

You can also find out more about our services here.