Reduced absenteeism, higher employee satisfaction, greater productivity, better teamwork and communication, increased employee retention and a more supportive culture are just a few of the many notable changes.
On the flipside, if not properly addressed, mental health issues can severely impact an employee’s ability to focus, make clear decisions and their engagement with work-related tasks.
It’s important to de-stigmatize mental health, encourage conversations surrounding the topic and equip employees with tools to combat the issues that may arise. This gives them the support they need to better themselves and their mental wellbeing. It will boost motivation and moral throughout, resulting in an engaged environment.
These changes may not happen overnight, but there are many ways an organization can begin to bring awareness to this topic and create a more supportive working environment for everyone.
Top 4 effective strategies that companies can start implementing today to foster a mentally healthy workplace:
- Encourage the use of mental health resources – Encourage employees to utilize the mental health resources available such as Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) and counseling services. Alongside this, ensure that these tools are confidential and employees know how to access them.
- Provide mental health awareness training to all employees – Offer awareness training sessions and seminars to all employees. Additionally, implement regular training for supervisors and managers to aid them in recognizing signs of mental health issues and how to appropriately support employees.
- Give more flexibility – As mental health needs may not be the same for all employees, consider offering more flexibility as it relates to work. Some strategies companies can offer include adjusting schedules, flexible working hours, remote work and encouraging more breaks. This can aid in creating a better work-life balance for employees, preventing the probability of employee burnout.
- Increase check-ins with employees – Checking in with employees frequently not just to ensure that they are being productive, but out of genuine concern for their well-being, allows for open communication. With proper training, managers may even be able to discern if an employee’s mental wellbeing is being affected and offer tools to assist them.
- Leading by example – A strong example needs to be set at the top level. The leadership team should have open conversations about their own struggles with mental health and promote dialogue about prioritizing one’s wellbeing.
Aegis Business Solution’s Head of Business Development, Melissa Cobham stated that,
“Embracing the priority of mental health in the workplace is imperative, considering the distinctiveness of each employee and the inherent difficulty in gauging their mental well-being.” She goes on to infer that by wholeheartedly integrating mental health practices at all levels, leaders have the power to instil profound comfort and unwavering support within their workforce.
It’s safe to say that mental health plays a pivotal role and is crucial in the functionality of a business. Though it won’t be easy, as leaders take a more proactive approach to bettering the mental wellbeing of their employees, the end result will be worth it for everyone.