Mental health may not seem important to you as an employer, but there are 7 tips you should definitely make sure to pass on to your employees.
As an employer, you want what’s best for your employees so you’re often thinking about things like office design, productivity, and payroll. One thing you probably never give much thought to though is their mental health. However, this is equally as important as all the other considerations you undertake because your employees’ mental health affects things like safety, concentration, and taking sick leave. Here are some tips that you should heed to make your work environment healthier this year.
1. Identify Mental Health Problems
It isn’t easy to discover when someone has a mental health issue. Many of these issues are very complex and difficult to address. For instance, things like stress and anxiety often go undetected until it reaches a dangerous level. You must be vigilant in watching for slow changes in your employees’ behavior (e.g. arriving late, not showing interest, mood swings). When you notice these things, it may be enough to simply make some changes.
2. Create a Healthy Work Environment
The prevalent attitude in today’s workplace should be all about nurturing mental health. Employees who work in a positive atmosphere feel both happier and healthier. These environments also really help prevent stress-related issues from growing out of hand. On the other hand, studies show that when you work in a negative environment stress levels are bound to go up. When this happens it only exacerbates your mental health issues. This is why it’s so important to tackle stress-related issues head-on. When you know someone is under a lot of stress, don’t add more, undue stress. Instead, keep them on a regular work schedule that includes regular breaks. You should also encourage them to create a healthy work-life balance. These things will help them see a dramatic decrease in their stress level.
3. Promote a Culture of Open Communication
It’s a good idea to meet with your employees regularly so you maintain open communication with them. During this meeting, you should encourage them to speak openly with you about their mental health. These issues are things that should never be hidden in your workplace. Instead, people should be encouraged to connect through sharing stories and anecdotes from their own life. This is important because mental illness will typically isolate people, which will then make their mental illness even worse. Instead of letting this stigma fester, discuss its impact, what resources are available, and how tapping into these resources will benefit them.
4. Keep a Look on Employee Behavior
It’s normal to feel sad or stressed out occasionally. However, it’s important to know when this becomes more than a “normal part of life,” and is indeed a mental health issue. After all, approximately one in four people will have a mental health issue at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, many of these people suffer in silence because people around them don’t have enough insight into these issues. This can cause them to undergo years of undue suffering. Instead, The Undercover Recruiter says employers should know about the early signs of mental illness, which may include:
- Problems with memory, concentration, or thinking logically
- Difficulty performing tasks they’re skilled at performing
- Illogical thinking
- Showing less initiative when it comes to participating in activities
- Strong, angry feelings
- Not taking as good of care of themselves as they did in the past
- Acting uncharacteristically
- Mood swings
- Withdrawing from social events
- Being fearful or suspicious of other people
- Changes in sleep patterns or appetite
Many of these signs can be invisible or well-hidden. It’s also important to understand that merely having a few of these signs doesn’t mean someone is mentally ill. However, when you notice them in your employees you may want to act – at the very least, encourage your employee to take a quick, confidential screening.
5. Show That You Care
Another way to show your employees that you care about them is by conducting workshop and seminars with motivational speakers. It’s up to you to show your employees that you care about their health and productivity and this is a great way of doing so. This is also a great morale booster as it’ll encourage your employees to take the necessary measures as they work towards better mental health. Throughout this time, you’re also taking steps towards creating a friendly environment which will help them build good rapport among themselves regardless of their position in your company. As such, they’ll feel more comfortable being forthcoming about any issues they’re going through.
6. Appreciate Their Efforts
There are many factors that determine how a healthy person is mental. SHP Online says this includes things like their happiness, how motivated they feel, whether they’re inspired, and how high their self-confidence level is. When you’re able to help your employees excel in these areas of their lives, you’re building up their mental health so they become less likely to experience issues that are brought about by stress.
A simple act of appreciation can really make an employee feel good. By recognizing their efforts and praising them for such efforts they’ll become more enthusiastic and positive – important things for their state of mind. This is why you should celebrate with parties, small favors, and kind words. Doing so will also make them more productive because this is how happy, healthy employees act. It’ll also help decrease the amount of job turnover your company experiences.
7. Support Employees with Mental Health Issues
As an employer, you must understand that your employees’ health issues could be caused by an extremely stressful work schedule or impending deadlines. When this happens, they may find themselves without enough time for their family or personal lives. The best thing you can do for your employees when this happens is to support them as they reach out and to get some medical help. They may even need to take some medication that will help relieve them of the stress-induced anxiety they’re feeling. This is something you’ll want to make sure they’re comfortable with and they don’t feel any shame in doing.
Considering that the average time employees take off work for a mental health claim is a little over three months (about 15 weeks), it’s in your best interest to heed the tips that are found in this article. Doing so will save your company a lot of time and money, while also making sure that everyone is happier and more productive while they are at work. None of these things will require a large investment of time, effort, or money on your behalf so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t start doing them today.