The days are growing shorter and moustaches are sprouting across top lips everywhere. Yes, it's Men's Health Month, a perfect reminder that men’s health really matters. And because most guys spend the majority of their time at work, the office is the perfect place to start when it comes to boosting their wellbeing.
Men's Health Month is a great opportunity to focus on and discuss issues predominantly affecting men. Whether it’s prostate cancer, testicular cancer, or mental health, well-informed employees are more likely to take action if they develop symptoms.
Better still, encouraging and organising staff to take part in initiatives such as No Shave November, Wear Blue Day or any of the numerous Movember challenges can not only help raise awareness and money for good causes, but it can also boost team morale.
This could sound like a cliché, but men often take better care of their cars than themselves, and unhealthy lifestyles can have a big impact on health. Why not use Men's Health Month to kick start healthy habits in the workplace?
Perhaps you could schedule sports events throughout the month, or harness your team's competitive nature with step or cycling challenges. Encourage walking meetings or swap staff room cakes for healthier snacks. Remember, healthy, happy staff are also more productive and engaged.
In the past, men have been told to ‘man up’, appear tough, and prioritise their work over their health. As a result, they often seek help late, when treatments are less effective and could require more time off work.
Using the language of a ‘health MOT’ helps normalise the idea of health checks for men. You can even promote a quick and easy DIY Man MOT1 to do at home, or encourage individuals to discuss their concerns on a Doctor Care Anywhere GP video call.
Men are just as likely as anyone to struggle with their mental health, but less likely to get the support they need.
Burnout and work-related stress can impact enormously on employees themselves, as well as team morale, organisational performance and staff turnover. It is absolutely crucial therefore that men in the workplace know it’s OK to not be OK.
Strong social connections protect men’s mental wellbeing, while also improving productivity and team work.
Find ways to encourage employees to connect, perhaps by enhancing office social areas, arranging a weekly team breakfast or setting up a walking club. Offer activities outside of work too, and send the message that a good work-life balance is important.
It’s also important to normalise the conversation around mental health. Lead by example and encourage senior employees to share experiences of accessing support, or consider choosing a mental health charity of the year2.
Male employees often respond well to peer support, so explore mental health first aid training. A positive work environment and culture not only benefits individual employees, but enhances relationships within teams and promotes loyalty to your organisation as well.
The physical and mental wellbeing of your employees is our priority, so encourage staff to activate their account today.
Whether it’s dealing with little problems before they become big ones, supporting a colleague who’s feeling overwhelmed or enabling someone to discuss their health concerns confidentially, our doctors are on hand 24/7.
Together, let’s make sure this November is about something that lasts longer than facial hair - supporting a thriving, productive workforce who prioritise their wellbeing.
Last reviewed: October 2022.