Movember – Four ways organisations can help promote men’s health
A global campaign, which takes place in November each year, Movember is a month-long event dedicated to raising the awareness of men’s health.
Since 2003, the Movember Foundation has funded more than 1,250 men’s health projects around the world, motivating men to take action for their health and raise awareness of men’s health issues such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer and male suicide.
It may seem like a generalisation, but it is a well-reported fact that men do not look after their health as much as women, especially when it comes to their mental health. Men die, on average, four years earlier than women, for largely preventable reasons.
Unfortunately, levels of embarrassment continue to be associated with discussing these subjects but Movember can provide the opportunity for individuals, employers and organisations to help drive change surrounding that.
Promote open communication
Get to know your colleagues better so that you can more easily spot the signs of ill health or stress. Create an open-door culture and encourage employees to come to you with any problems you may be able to help them with. Creating an open and inclusive culture will make employees feel more comfortable approaching you about their issues. It’s also important to ensure that wellbeing support and initiatives are well communicated throughout the business so that colleagues know themselves where to get support. Ensure your people know:
- What support is available
- Who can access support
- How support can be accessed
- How quickly support can be received
- When support can be accessed
Stress is one of the leading causes of workplace absence and the effects of stress can have a huge impact on health – sleep issues, high blood pressure, depression, increased risk of a heart attack, diabetes to name a few. Stress can also have a knock-on effect on increased alcohol, or drug use, over eating or undereating, social withdrawal and social exclusion.
Reducing employee stress is essential for both the company and the staff; high turnover and training new staff can be expensive so it’s important to up morale to keep staff in their jobs.
Once you’ve had a discussion with your worker, it’s important to take what they’ve said on board and make some changes – this might well benefit other members of the team too.
For more information about handling an employee who is off work due to work related stress, take a look at our blog.
Provide flexible working options
Statistically, men are more likely to skip routine health screens or make GP appointments which means they could be missing important health issues and symptoms. While this could be down to a number of reasons one of these could be due to pride or the perception that they’re unable to take time away from work – and with most GPs and pharmacies operating within working hours, this may deter them from seeking help.
By offering flexible working options you make it acceptable for people to take some time away from work to visit health services, rather than delay the appointment or ignore the problem altogether.
Monitor sickness absence
Health problems ultimately lead to increased sick leave which can have a negative effect on your business. The issue for many organisations is that they don’t monitor absences effectively, or line managers don’t have access to the right tools or training for handling employee absence. The risk of not monitoring or dealing with sickness absence properly is that the problem will grow, resulting in a considerable effect on team morale, productivity and the organisation’s bottom line. With the right HR technology, people support and data insights your sickness absence levels can be reduced and any potentially worrying absence trends, uncovered.
If your business is having problems with health-related or general sickness absence, find out how we can help, here.