Honestly telling, ‘Mental health‘ and ‘Workplace‘ are the two contiguous terms becoming a matter of concern nowadays. It is increasingly being observed that an employee’s mental health is crucial to their overall health. Indeed, mental health is the foundation for our health and well-being! Poor mental health is that out-of-sight matter, which is often overlooked, especially in workplaces, but not anymore! Also, unsound mental health and work stress can contribute to physical sickness.
Not just this, poor mental health can also lead to burnout amongst employees and extremely affect their ability to partake in both their personal and professional lives. Thus, being an employer, you must evaluate employees’ mental health and make all possible efforts to improve it. And I have made this dish out the best way to do so; keep reading…
Understand mental health at work
Like any other stress, mental stress at the workplace is also common, and if left uncontrolled, it can obviously lead to something big like depression or anxiety. Workplace stress develops unfavorably negative emotions, affects productivity, and evokes the inability to concentrate on work. In fact, it has even been observed that poor mental health disrupts employee relationships and affects teamwork and unity at work. Thus most organizations today focus on prioritizing good mental health as a part of their culture.
What causes stress at workplace?
To tell you the truth, anyone can suffer from poor mental health at work. Poor thinking, mood or behavior, anxiety and depression are common mental health problems. A number of ill factors in the workplace can lead to stress and the risk of developing mental health issues, even sometimes worsen the existing ones.
No doubt being a manager, you might have tried to figure out the root cause of stress among the employees but just adding the common factors;
- Unrealistic workloads, short deadlines and high-performance expectations.
- Lack of support and communication, unclear role and responsibilities.
- Long working hours, poor work-life balance and lack of opportunities for career progression.
- Poor management practices; chaotic, unsupportive, inflexible work environment.
- Physical workspace environment like lighting, noises and ventilation.
- Bullying or harassment and troublesome coworkers can be the major cause of the poor mental health of an employee.
Yes, even the events outside the workplace can also lead to poor mental health. Distress, domestic violence, relationship breakdown, financial problems or physical health problems can also impact an employee’s mental health as well as their work.
Promote positive mental health at work
Having a healthy and dynamic workforce demands employees to emphasize their emotional wellness in the workplace. The overall productivity, performance, attendance, staff retention and enthusiasm can go out of track when employees deal with poor mental health. To be frank, your employees need your support for better mental health. And, if positive mental health is sustained, nothing can stop you from growing your business. Below are the major benefits of adopting ways to improve mental health;
- Robust and an organization
- Enhanced working relationships
- Reduced staff turnovers and better staff retention
- Improved productivity, performance and creativity at work
- Reduced staff absences
- Better reputation as an employer
- Better working environment
- Improved work-life balance
- Elevated self-esteem, morale and confidence among employees
- Improved mental and physical wellbeing
- Lesser risks of stress and depression
- Recovery support for mental health issues
What can be done?
Poor work environments influence the burden of mental health conditions, but steps can still be taken. An ideal employee-centric organization understands mental health’s ill effects and reduces the stigma associated with mental health problems. There are a plethora of steps managers can take to help their employees cope with mental health. So let’s just read a few of those; what say chiefs?
Create a favorable ambiance for a change
Employers can always help improve mental health at work by creating an enabling environment for better change. And by that means you need to strengthen;
- The leadership and commitment to mental wellbeing at work, probably by integrating mental health into the organization’s relevant policies.
- The rights to be part of work culture; by aligning employment laws and regulations with international human rights and inforcing non-discrimination policies at work.
- The investment funds and resources; establish dedicated budgets for actions to improve mental health at work and offer mental health services available to lower-resourced enterprises.
- The participation of employees in decision-making; holding meaningful and timely consultations with them and their representatives with lived experience of mental health conditions.
- The Integration of mental wellbeing at work across all sectors, embedding mental health into existing systems for occupational safety and wellness.
- The compliance with laws, regulations, and recommendations; integrating mental health into the responsibilities of national labor and other compliance mechanisms.
- The evidence on psychosocial risks and effectiveness of interventions ensures that all action taken on mental health is based on the latest evidence only.
A few more general ways you can opt to help your employees
Survey employees regarding mental health in the workplace
Many organizations implement stress management programs; it’ll be a good start if you do the same. This helps them deal with mental health, strengthens their enthusiasm, and reflects that leadership always cares.
Make time for triviality and relaxation
Whether playing games or just a random chat about life; spending time with employees boosts productivity and builds faith. Boss occasionally sitting with workers, laughing together, and eating together creates a positive emotional response. Plus, laughing triggers relaxation, consequently reducing stress all on its own.
Make sure your employees often take time away from work
Continuous and overworking sometimes leads to burnout; thus, taking breaks from work is a must! Challenge your people to rest, recharge and connect with loved ones so that they stay mentally engaged.
Always keep an eye out for depression
It’s been recorded that almost 70% of the employees struggle with depression, but not all of them are aware of their condition. Being a helping hand, if you run a regular eye on your workforce to find the sufferer, you can save them and the costs associated with health and productivity.
The need is real!
Believe it, today’s mental health at work panorama is really unsound! So always try to be the helping hand for your workforce, always available to provide support and help. Make sure your company provides employee mental health services, including individual and couples counseling and even group therapy. After all, they spend most of their time with you, make them feel the comfort of this workplace, and offer a touch of care!