While our contemporary understanding of mental health began to take form in the 19th Century, the conversation surrounding this vital matter has experienced its greatest boom within the last decade.
One central issue is the relationship between work and personal life. We spend a huge portion of our lives at work – so if our jobs are negatively impacting our wellbeing, this can cause major problems.
In this article, the bloggers at Property Solvers explore how business owners and managers can better engage with employee mental health, and why doing so may revolutionize the performance of their organization.
Cultivating Great Employee Mental Health
There are a number of ways in which your business can better support employee mental health. We’ll explore some of these below.
Use Mental Health First Aiders
Assigning specially trained individuals to care for their colleagues’ mental wellbeing is a great approach.
Without mental health first aiders, this duty falls to management – who may well be too busy with business’s day-to-day running to give these matters their due care and attention.
Specialist courses exist with the sole purpose of equipping mental health first aiders with all the knowledge they need to do the job.
Designating mental health first aiders will give those who are struggling someone to turn to, making the workplace a safer and more comfortable place for everyone.
Don’t Pile on the Pressure
When assigning tasks, it’s important to take into account the existing workload of each employee – and to look for indicators of stress or overwork.
If an employee has too much on their plate, they may suffer from burnout, anxiety, and other problems which will affect their performance.
In extreme cases, staff members may find themselves doing work that should really be distributed between two or more people, but are afraid to complain for fear of being deemed lazy or unsuited to their role.
Before assigning additional work or setting tasks for which your employees are not properly trained, consider whether your staff currently have the capacity to take these things on.
It may be that you need to push deadlines back, invest in further training or even recruit additional people to avoid asking too much of your existing employees.
Maintain a Sense of Openness and Support
Your staff members need to see that you support them in their pursuit of good mental health.
Try to encourage employees to share their concerns with their managers or designated mental health first aiders by creating a positive and open environment.
If there is any indication that a staff member will be judged or treated differently for being open about their mental health, they will not reach out to the right people and may end up pushing themselves to crisis point.
Normalize Mental Health Days
A person’s work can be just as easily affected by poor mental health as it can by poor physical health. To that end, many businesses now support the idea of “mental health days” as part of normal sick leave.
Flexibility of this kind is key to a healthy workplace and will serve to keep your team comfortable and productive.
Implement Proper Management Training
According to NICE, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, employers should provide mental health training to managers – whether they are appointed as a mental health first aider or not.
This will serve to better “identify and reduce work stressors” in any industry.
Make Sure There is Always Support Available (privacy, check-in sessions)
Your employees should always be able to access mental health support when they need it.
Consider implementing regular confidential one-to-one drop-in sessions with trained mental health specialists to enable staff to share their concerns, ideas, and questions.
It’s even for employees to be able to request these sessions as and when they are needed so that they can be utilized to full effect.
Where possible, information from these sessions should be sensitively used to improve conditions in the workplace to avoid similar issues in the future.
How Great Employee Mental Health Helps Your Business
The pursuit of great mental health in the workplace is a clear moral requirement – but it also helps your company’s continuing success. Here’s why:
Lower Staff Turnover
Every year, companies lose a certain number of man-hours to the recruitment and training of new employees. This is unavoidable to some extent – but you can reduce it by providing the best possible environment for existing employees.
Investing time and effort in staff mental health will improve employee retention levels, as fewer people will feel forced out by sub-par conditions.
Better Quality of Work
Mental health leads to greater productivity among employees – plus, the work they undertake is likely to be of better quality.
Staff members who feel supported and cared for are usually more loyal to their employers – plus, their concentration and stamina will be greatly improved as a result of a good sense of wellbeing.
Companies that neglect the mental health of their staff risk severe damage to their reputation.
Public criticism of their methods will be likely, meaning fewer people will want to support them – either by working for them or by using their products or services.
For the above reasons, a strong approach to employee mental health is vital when it comes to your company’s success.
Make a start today by following the suggestions at the beginning of this article, and see what you can do to create a positive and proactive work environment for the benefit of your brand and its staff.
Leon Howard is a freelance writer who creates quality and original content. He is working for the company ICOholder. He believes that creativity and improvement are things, which distinguish a good writer.