I am a manager

Create a positive culture and manage factors

As a manager, you’re uniquely placed to work with workers to build a positive and inclusive workplace culture and good systems for supporting mental health.

A supportive culture may pave the way for participation in mental health programs and can help everyone feel safe and supported to talk about mental health, reach out for support early and, by doing so, improve their recovery.

You can help managers and workers at all levels feel included and promote a positive culture. Find out how to do this in your workplace.

Reduce workplace factors affecting mental health

There are common workplace factors that can contribute to mental ill-health, like excessive demands and low job control or a lack of clarity around what is expected of you in your role. These factors may impact individuals, particular teams or groups, and sometimes your whole organisation.

Get to know the workplace factors so you can prevent them to support mental health and wellbeing and improve productivity in your workplace.

Measure factors affecting your workplace with a risk assessment tool from the mentally healthy workplaces toolkit.

Data-informed action

To improve mental health talk to managers and workers across the business to identify workplace factors that are impacting them. This will help you work out the best plan of action, check the effectiveness of your actions over time, and make improvements.

How to manage factors impacting mental health at work
Source: Mentally healthy workplaces toolkit

Video courtesy of the Victorian Workplace Mental Wellbeing Collaboration (SuperFriend, VicHealth, WorkSafe Victoria), duration: 5:01

Get free expert advice

Free expert work health and safety (WHS) advice from an independent consultant can help you support your workers to be their best every day and improve the productivity and success of your business.

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If you’re a small workplace:

Identify workplace factors
  • ask workers what factors are affecting them and what changes would better support their health and wellbeing
  • consider what processes may affect workers, such as:
Take action
  • check your workers understand what’s expected of them in their role and to whom they report
  • make sure your workers are given equal and fair treatment
  • see other actions and interventions you can use to improve mental health in your workplace.
Monitor and review
  • keep a record of the factors you identified and use it to inform changes
  • book in a time to talk to your team and check if the changes you made worked
  • consider what is needed now: new actions, adjustments, or is your approach working well?

If you’re a medium or large workplace:

Identify workplace factors
  • gather information about factors affecting worker mental health from staff surveys or focus groups, health and safety committees, audits, and human resources indicators, such as:
  • absenteeism
  • participation in health and wellbeing programs
  • access and use of support services, tools and resources
  • workers’ compensation claims
  • disability statistics
  • bullying and harassment claims
  • data from risk assessment tools like that in the mentally healthy workplaces toolkit.
Take action
  • using this data, decide what actions or interventions best suit the needs of your workplace
  • you might also review, evaluate and update what you already have in place for example your policies, procedures, support services and resources and training programs.
Monitor and review
  • keep a record of this data including the factors you identified
  • book in a time to talk to managers and workers across the business to check your data see if your actions are working
  • consider what is needed now: new actions, adjustments or is your approach working well?

Remember, personal information is confidential and should not be disclosed with third parties, unless individual workers are consulted first.

More on this topic:

Explore more evidence-informed tools and resources to help you manage risk, no matter what business size or industry you work in.