Last updated on: February 6th, 2020
Today, businesses are increasingly demanding speed, accuracy and productivity from their employees in order to remain competitive in their respective fields. But this trend is also making a negative impact on the mental health of workforce. Growing stress is affecting personal and professional lives of employees these days, which is why fostering a good mental health at workplace has never been so important.
Are your employees going through similar mental stress at the workplace?
As a concerned employer, you need to create a work culture that is based on wellbeing, good mental health and stress-free atmosphere for your staff. Investing on the health of your employees will surely help you reap great dividends because a healthy and happy workforce is the most productive workforce. This proactive and positive approach on your part would be a welcome step for your employees as well as for your business.
Here is how you can create and establish a good mental health regime at your workplace:
- Create a positive work environment
The environment in which employees work, plays an important role in terms of nourishing mental health. So fostering a positive atmosphere in and around the workplace will promote a healthy well-being of your employees. A great atmosphere also prevents stress-related issues from escalating. A negative work environment is the root cause of high stress levels at a workplace, which can exacerbate existing mental health problems. So tackling the causes of stress-related issues should be your first priority. If you force your staff to overwork, exceed their working hours frequently, or make them skip their break times, you are staggeringly adding to their stress levels. Instead of promoting such culture, you should create a healthy balance between work and personal life. This genuine effort of yours can make a huge difference in the lives of your employees.
- Create open and supportive culture of communication
Communication is very important when anything wrong is going on at a workplace. You need to create a culture where people can talk freely about issues and problems. An open communicative environment is the one where employees are given confidence to talk about mental health openly. It fans the ignorant and fear that prevents people from seeking the help they need. You need to strive towards allowing your employees to bring their ‘whole self’ to work by actually making things easier for them. Encourage your staff to connect with each other by sharing their stories or anecdotes regarding their mental health. This is a strong message of togetherness that shows mental illness is normal human condition, not weakness.
- Incorporate employee assistance programs
There are several ways by which you can help employees who are having trouble with their mental health. One way is to incorporate employee assistance programs (EAPs) wherein a mental health professional can screen them. Mental health issues are completely treatable, so you should support such employees who are at immediate need of mental health checkup. You can provide free trauma treatment to your employees by allowing them weekly therapy appointments during working hours if needed. When you show your employees that you really care for their health and well-being, it gives them a lot of confidence and strength to rise again.
- Show your appreciation for your employees’ efforts
Employees’ healthy state of mind, or lack of it, depends a lot on their motivation levels, inspiration and confidence. If you keep them happy and motivated, it is less likely that they would develop mental health issues or illness. That is why a gesture of appreciation will go a long way in making them happy, motivated, and bringing out of stress. This will also uplift their enthusiasm and comfort level, which are key ingredients for good state of mind. The fact is a simple ‘Thank You’ or ‘well done’ can uplift the morale of your team members. You can also throw office parties for completing their projects or achieving stated targets. On such occasions, having a toast with custom wine labels would be an amazing way of appreciating their performance. This way of recognizing the efforts of your employees will shoot up their motivation levels for sure.
- Recognize triggers and eliminate them
Sometimes mental health issues are not glaringly visible on people, but remain lateral more or less. This condition is more concerning because the person can’t make his/her mind whether to visit a therapist or not. There are more people with mental health issues than we usually think of. According to a report by National Alliance on Mental Illness, 19% of people are suffering from mental health problems. So to prevent condition from becoming worse, you need to identify symptoms and triggers and nip them in the bud. Though the feelings of sadness and stress are quite normal in everyday life, but awareness and understanding are fundamental to identifying mental health issues. The early signs of mental illness are:
- Problem concentrating
- Uncharacteristic behavior
- Difficulty performing usual tasks
- Mood swings
- Social withdrawal
- Loss of interest in activities
It is not uncommon that mental health problems arise at workplaces, but not addressing them properly could be detrimental for personal as well as professional life. Businesses can get seriously affected when employees are no in their usual self. So it is also the responsibility of employers or managers to look after their employees and create a good mental health regime.