Working professionals face many mental health challenges. You can have mental health issues in many ways, from behavioural addictions to depressive symptoms.
Although it’s not your job, as a leader or owner of a company, to ensure that your employees have a healthy mind and body, it is your job .
Better mental health is a sign of better business performance. The key to getting the best from each employee and your company is to pay attention to mental health challenges.
Here’s what to do if you have any questions about mental health.
WHAT INFLUES MENTAL AND WORK HEALTH?
Stress has the primary impact on mental health in the workplace. Stress can cause behavior changes, absenteism and lack of motivation, anxiety, tension among coworkers and employers, as well as behavioral changes.
Mental Health America conducted a survey among more than 17,000 employees working in 19 industries across the U.S. The survey was conducted to find out about employees’ perspectives on stress and workplace culture.
The survey revealed that the best environments for working in healthcare, finance, or non-profit are those where the highest health is found. Manufacturing, retail and food and drinks were found as the unhealthiest sectors.
This is what the survey revealed:
- 64 percent think their supervisors will abandon them if things get tough.
- 77% feel people are not being properly recognized, while the better-educated are not.
- 74% think their work is too focused and dominated by trivialities.
- 63 Percent prefer to work alone when their work environment seems hostile or unhelpful.
- Poor work environments can lead to 79% of workers being regularly distracted.
Here are some comments from employees on workplace stress.
- 81 Percent of those polled said that stress from their jobs negatively impacts their relationships with friends and family.
- The frustration and stress of their jobs causes 63 percent to turn to unhealthy habits such as drinking and crying, according to workers.
These factors — such as lack of support and recognition from supervisors, personal relationships that are hurtful, and unjustified dismissals — can have a detrimental impact on both the professional life of employees.
This is a partial picture of work in different countries. There are some healthy companies that support employees and do the right thing. The numbers speak for themselves. They indicate that employees require better mental healthcare support.
THE RISK OF A UNHEALTHY MEMBER WORK ENVIRONMENT
Employers are suffering from unhealthy work environments. This is costing them real time as well as money.
Gallop studied disengaged workers and found they missed work 37 percent more, were 49 per cent more likely for accidents, and 60 per cent more likely had errors and defects. This is equivalent to between $450 billion and $500 billion in lost productivity each year.
Companies with high employee engagement experience a 20 per cent increase in productivity each year.
In stressful or unhealthy work environments, turnover rates for employees is much higher. Mental Health America discovered that 70% of workers were actively seeking new employment.
Let’s talk about some ways that employees and employers can make positive changes within the workplace.
1. COMMUNICATE CLEARLY
Open communication between employers, employees and managers is essential for a healthy work environment. Lack of communication can often lead to poor mental health and behavioral challenges in employees.
Employees often skip work, work less efficiently and experience higher levels of stress if they don’t feel heard or if their expectations are unclear.
Employers should make sure everyone is on the right page when assigning projects or providing direction.
2. PROVIDE SUPPORT TO EMPLOYEES
According to the survey results, employees do not often feel supported and cared for by their employers. Employees also expect lower support from their employers when they are experiencing stress or difficulties.
Support the mental health and well-being of your employees if you’re a leader or manager in an organization or business. This can be achieved through a variety of methods, including:
- Regular meetings and checkins with employees.
- Flexibility regarding hours, lunch breaks, or making arrangements for appointments.
- You can gather resources to support employees in their mental health.
- You can conduct anonymous surveys with your employees to assess their mental health and then adjust based on what they have said.
- Ask your employees for their feedback on leadership abilities and communication skills. This will help you determine what is working well and what is not.
Get involved in the lives your employees lead and encourage empathy in the workplace. Ask your employees questions like:
- How are you handling your work load lately?
- Is there any thing you could do with your time?
- Do you feel heard and respected by me, your coworkers?
- Are you currently stressed because of your job? Why?
- Is it possible to better assist you professionally or personally?
3. LEARN BY EXAMPLE
Employees are unlikely to talk openly about their mental illness if their managers or peers aren’t doing it.
Be vulnerable with your staff and share your experiences with mental health in the workplace to encourage openness. This might mean sharing your thoughts and experiences with therapy or discussing stress and the resulting issues.
The COVID-19 panic set a new tone in mental health awareness. Now, we are more aware that everyone struggles with mental health. Make this an opportunity for employees to share their vulnerability.
4. MAKE YOURSELF AVAILABLE to YOUR EMPLOYEES
Modern workplaces are plagued by a lack in access to upper management and management. When workers feel not valued, seen or heard by their employers and aren’t appreciated, they are more likely be affected by behavioral issues like depression.
Employees can feel cut off from creative brainstorming or decision making within their company. This can lead employees to feel hopeless and helpless which can hurt their productivity and motivation.
Your employees need to know that you are available to discuss any topic, whether it’s mental health or brainstorming for new ideas. Do not be afraid to provide a safe space for employees.
5. OFFER PERKS & OTHER BENEFITS
According to the Mental Health America Survey, benefits and perks have been identified as key factors that positively affect work conditions, engagement, and stress levels.
This is because employees love perks. They are encouraged to work harder, and they can earn more rewards. When workers are provided with good benefits, they want to stay employed and work hard for their job.
It doesn’t mean that you have to offer vacations or health insurance. A healthy work environment can provide employees with many benefits, including flexibility during workdays, communication between managers, two-way communication, professional growth opportunities, and access to management.
THE WAY TO GO
If you are an employer or supervisor, CEO or other leader of an organisation or business, these tips can be modified to suit your needs.
You can use this information to determine the mental and psychological health of your employees. This might involve asking questions, one-on-one meetings, or meeting as an entire body.
By being vulnerable, you can create a new path for employees by creating new patterns in how they address mental health at work. You will see happier, more resilient employees.