Many business leaders assume that the mental health of an employee is none of their concern, but the way in terms of how one thinks, feels, and behaves impact the process of oneself, from work productivity and communication to their ability to maintain their safety and sense of self in the workplace.
Clearly, a healthy workplace won’t prevent or reduce all mental health problems instantly. Genetics, life experience, and past traumatic events all play a key role in the development of mental illness. Helping employees in improving their mental health could be one of the most important steps an employer can take to improve the wellbeing of an individual, as well as the health and working culture of the organisation as a whole.
Hence, here are the top 5 strategies business leaders can use to create a mentally healthy workplace.
1. Promote a work/life balance
Praising employees who work late and arrive early, or expecting them to work from home in the evenings hurts your company in the long run. Without a healthy work/life balance, productivity is likely to decline, and employees are more likely to burn out.
Employers can insist employees take regular vacations where they are able to unplug from the office. Don’t expect everyone to answer their emails around the clock, simultaneously, encouraging everyone to develop a rich, full life outside of the office. People who engage in hobbies, spend time with their loved ones and take time to care for themselves make better employees.
2. Provide in-service events
Companies can provide employees with in-service training on self-care, stress management, and resilience. Hiring a therapist to provide half-day workshops a few times a year could go a long way toward preventing problems and emphasizing the importance of building healthy strategies into your daily life.
These in-service training could save the company money in the long-term while also helping employees reach their greatest potential in maintaining their health and wellness as well.
3. Reduce the stigma and discuss mental health in the workplace
Employees should not be afraid to bring up their personal issues related to stress, anxiety, depression, or other mental illness. Talking about stress management, self-care, and mental health preferably in meetings face-to-face can reduce the stigma associated with mental illness.
Educate managers about the signs of mental health problems and train them to respond appropriately. A caring conversation between a supervisor and an employee could be instrumental in encouraging an individual to get help.
4. Make friendships and building relationships a priority
Besides working, companies should also implement more fun, leisure activities in allowing employees to participate and it is one of the simplest ways to build mental strength and improve friendships in the workplace.
So make it a priority to help people develop good habits. Whether you offer incentives to employees who participate in wellness programs, or you offer free gym memberships, make wellness a top priority for your organisation.
5. Welcome pets to work
There are loads of scientific evidence showing that being around pets improves mental health, from anxiety to depression and PTSD. Therefore, some companies have their own office pets, but also allow employees to bring their pets into work.