20 Ways to Improve Mental Health in Your Workplace
Mental health in the workplace should be a top priority for every organization because of its immense significance for employee well-being. Consider this: 59% of employees reported mental health issues in the workplace in 2021. It is a significant uptick in mental health-related numbers at workplaces. In addition, 4% of all sick leaves from workplaces are related to mental health problems.
Improving employee mental health is a continual process that requires serious efforts from managers and executives. It also brings a multitude of benefits to the workplace culture and business.
Benefits of Supporting Wellbeing of Mental Health in the Workplace
Workplace mental health is a critical component in the success of any business. Without a healthy workforce, no business can survive in a competitive environment. Also, employees with mental health issues end up facing financial stress. Here’s why it’s crucial to focus on employee well-being and the benefits it brings:
Boosts Team Engagement
Enhancing the mental health and wellbeing of employees boosts their engagement. Employees who enjoy their work become more productive. According to Forbes, businesses with better-engaged teams are 21% more profitable. Stress can harm the workflow of employees and bring down their engagement levels, ultimately affecting the business.
Fuels Creativity & Innovation
Creativity and innovation flourish in situations where people are free to think and don’t have loads of work on their to-do lists. Both traits are highly valuable assets for any business, but stress can hamper them significantly. Taking care of employees’ mental health in the workplace can bring intrinsic motivation— a trait present in employees who exceed expectations and show exceptional performance.
Attracts & Retains Talent
Attracting talent and then retaining it is an important characteristic of any successful business. If your workplace is filled with positivity and people who love their work, you have a higher chance of attracting desired talent. Mental peace in terms of job security is extremely crucial for talent retention. For prospective employees, company culture has become increasingly important. Luckily, more businesses are competing to make their workplace culture more inclusive and positive.
Show You Care
Being authentic is something employees value highly. When you show your authentic concern for their well-being, your workers don’t take it as a box-ticking exercise. Instead, offering them a safe space for managing stress makes them genuinely happy and improves their well-being. It also boosts your workers to be more authentic in expressing their experiences, which improves the overall communication framework in any organization.
Controls the Stress Contagion
Stress is like a contagion at the workplace that can spread among employees if not controlled timely. Once the spread starts, it hurts the engagement, productivity, and well-being of your employees in general. It can also result in more complex issues such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, and stress-related physical illnesses.
How to Improve Wellbeing & Mental Health in the Workplace
Let’s unveil how to improve mental health in the workplace:
1. Mental Health Training
Managers & executives often leave employee mental health out of focus, which can become a trouble spot in the future. Problems related to mental health in the workplace aren’t anything new, but due to the increasing workload, they have shot up significantly. Therefore, leaders need to understand the situation they’re dealing with and carve out an effective solution. Mental health training helps executives gain valuable insights and identify problematic signs in their employees.
2. Develop a Safe Culture
The practices and culture followed at a workplace constitute its perception and also contribute to how employees engage leaders. The most important step in developing a safety culture is to remove the stigma of mental health issues and take down barriers faced by your workforce. It’s crucial to understand the relationship between your workplace and mental health to better implement your policies.
3. Hire Outside Professionals
Getting trained in identifying workplace mental health issues is welcomed, but that’s not the end of the story. It is also crucial to hire professionals to deal with mental health issues in the workplace. They take the right actions at the appropriate time and protect the mental well-being of your valuable workforce.
4. Promote Anonymous Feedback
Getting feedback from your partners is a handy way of gauging the effectiveness of your workplace’s mental health policies. And the best way of getting honest feedback is to use surveys with focused and specific responses. Work with professionals to craft questionnaires and gauge the results of your policies on workplace mental health.
5. Embrace the Feedback
Getting the feedback isn’t enough; embracing it and reflecting on it is even more important. Receiving positive responses isn’t always the case, so you should be prepared for negative feedback too. If you honestly want to support the workplace mental health of your workforce, you should know what each member thinks of you as a leader and also about their workplace.
6. Be Empathetic
An empathetic leader is a priceless asset for any team. In fact, empathy is often considered to be a significant part of leadership competency. It helps a leader create strong bonds with their team, communicate effectively, and understand what team members want from their workplace. Ultimately, it effectively strengthens an organization in dealing with mental health issues in the workplace.
7. Be a Serving Leader
Leadership isn’t a position to hold immense privilege. Instead, it is an opportunity to serve a greater cause and help people around you. A leader’s success depends upon how well their team performs, not on how much they brag about their position. Therefore, keep your personal goals and biases aside when it comes to working with a team to improve employee mental health in the workplace.
8. Embrace Vulnerability
Sometimes people think of vulnerability as weakness, especially if someone is in a leadership position. However, being vulnerable as a leader is a valuable asset that helps your team members connect deeply with you. It brings forth your human side and creates meaningful engagements, a positive development for employee mental health in the workplace.
9. Be Respectful
Being respectful to your team members is crucial for supporting their mental health. Disrespect from leadership can affect a team member deeply and leads to stress. Respect should be deeply embedded in the culture of an organization. Take measures to develop a positive mental attitude in the workplace. No matter what part of the organizational ladder someone occupies, they should be respected for dealing with mental health issues in the workplace.
10. Encourage Mental Health Days
Taking a break from work stress is crucial for employee mental health. Therefore, executives should encourage and allow mental health leaves/days for team members to recoup their strength and relax. Also, there shouldn’t be any questions when an employee wants a mental health retreat.
11. Promote Supportive Teams
It is a no-brainer that leaders should support their employee’s mental health in the workplace. However, they should also encourage team members to support each other to boost their mental health at work. By fostering a judgment-free environment, executives can ensure that everyone performs their best and appreciates each other.
12. Arrange Non-work Activities
Meeting goals is important, but it shouldn’t be the only thing a team focuses its efforts on. A well-knit team should take part in fun activities too, such as hiking, swimming, and other sports. Teams that have a connection beyond work develop healthier relationships with better communication.
13. Arrange Tools for Decreasing Workload
If you engage employees in some meaningless manual work instead of giving them something creative, their mental health at work will deteriorate. Therefore, make use of the latest technologies and reduce their workload as much as possible. It also frees up time for them to add more value to the organization.
14. Communicate Effectively
Lack of communication from leadership is a significant cause of anxiety and deteriorating mental health at work. Therefore, the leadership needs to keep a consistent stream of communication running. Otherwise, it leads to unnecessary confusion and uncertainty.
15. Create Quite Spaces
Sometimes the workload can be too much for an employee to handle. Therefore, having a yoga or meditation space at your workplace can be a lifesaver. They can kick back and relax there for a while to improve their mood and boost their mental health at work.
16. Recognize Achievers
Promoting a culture of recognition in your organization can go a long way in dealing with mental health issues in the workplace. When an employee accomplishes something, make an effort to show them you care. It’ll boost the wellness of your workplace and encourage them to achieve more.
17. Arrange an External Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
Sometimes mental health in the workplace are personal and can’t be shared with peers. Having experienced therapists offering anonymous support can be a big plus and help employees share their issues effortlessly.
18. Adjust to Change
Situations keep changing, so something working today might not work tomorrow. Circumstances and organizational strategies around them change, so support for a team member’s mental health might become ineffective. Therefore, efforts to boost employee mental health in the workplace should always be updated and refined.
19. Set Clear Expectations
When expectations and goals aren’t clearly laid out by leaders, it can become a stressor for employees and contribute to workplace mental health problems. Hence, leaders should always communicate the goals effectively to team members. They should also encourage them to ask questions freely to clear the confusion.
20. Keep Checking Back in with Employees
Lastly, caring about mental health at the workplace also involves closing the feedback loop. Getting feedback on what’s working and what’s not is appreciable, but following up is also as important. Checking in with team members is crucial for providing them with the mental health support they might need.
The Bottom Line with a Bonus Tip
If you are just starting, implementing all of these measures might be too much of a task. However, you can pick a few of them and make a start.
And to help you out, EmployeeConnect provides comprehensive HR management software to facilitate employee mental health issues. It traces absentees and tracks behavioral changes of employees over time. This in turn help in efficient planning and policy making.
Additionally, it contains everything a manager needs in his arsenals such as the management of onboarding, remuneration, and safety, and provides excellent analytics.
So, get in touch with us today and take your management to the next level.