Mental health is the foundation of good health and well-being. Many business leaders, employers, and supervisors assume they don’t need to consider an employee’s mental health and well-being, much less find ways to improve it.
Despite that, some workplaces do take that into consideration, and with the indication that a mental health epidemic is occurring, employers need to know effective ways to improve mental health in the workplace.
Some recent data from Workplace Health Report revealed that approximately 58% of employees suffer the symptoms of anxiety, 52% of them experience depression, and 67% of the individuals face moderate to the high level of stress working within any workplace or organization.
These figures point towards a mental health epidemic. Stress and anxiety alone can impact an individual’s professional as well as personal life. As an employer, it is your legal duty to ensure the health of their staff is not compromised, be it physical, mental, or emotional. This post will cover how to improve it at work.
The Cost of Mental Illness at Work
In a world where mental health issues affect 1 in 5 individuals, it is important for business leaders, managers, and supervisors to take action. Mental illness and mental ill health are major reasons in any workplace that affects a worker’s productivity and performance.
It is seen that mental health issues cost employers around $79 to $105 billion every year, according to the Centers for Prevention and Health. The major causes of higher costs to businesses are absenteeism, reduced productivity, and workplace stress.
A healthy workplace needs to take full accountability to mitigate mental health issues. Employers can take some steps to build strong foundations of health and safety in their work environment.
Ways to Improve Mental Health at Work
Below are some of the effective steps that can help control and manage mental health issues within the workplace:
Start a Gratitude Culture
A gratitude culture within the workplace help reduces mental health problems. It helps minimize stress leading employees to take fewer days off work. Employers can incorporate such a gratitude culture at work by involving staff in activities or writing down ideas to be able to think of the things they are grateful for.
Promote Work-life Balance
Work-life balance is extremely important for anyone struggling with mental health. It is a serious matter of concern that is often neglected in most workplaces. Praising employees who arrive early at work and making them sit for long after work hours can hurt a business in the long term, as it goes against having a work-life balance.
It might disturb the physical and mental health of individuals which leads to poor work-life balance. Employers need to understand the fact that without the right balance between life and work, employees will not be productive, their performance declines, and so increases the staff turnover rate.
Raise Awareness Around Mental Health at Work
There is a huge stigma around talking about mental health at work. When talking about the workplace, employees feel too hesitant to talk to their managers about the issue, regardless of whether these issues are work-related or personal. But the fact is that these issues cannot be ignored.
Being an employer or supervisor, the duty falls on you to raise awareness among your staff by arranging proper mental health awareness training sessions at work to encourage them to open up, and create an atmosphere for it.
This creates a sense of care among employees and shows them, they are valued for the work they do and so their health matters to their managers.
Keep Communication Going
Alongside mental health awareness at work, employers also need to pay special attention to effective communication within their workplace.
Having proper communication channels to keep the conversation going helps reduce half of the workplace problems.
When you talk to your employees about certain issues which they cannot communicate openly, it will build trust in them and if someone is suffering from a problem it can be handled in a better way.
Take Regular or Short Breaks
Taking short intervals between work is also a healthy practice to destress the hectic days and reduce the chances of absenteeism at work.
It is recommended to take short breaks of 5 to 10 minutes every hour. This will help keep employees active and involved at work.
The average individuals spend over 7 hours on the display screen every single day. This means we spend more time indoors sitting and not moving our bodies enough.
This may affect an individual’s health in one way or the other. Therefore, it is recommended that employers arrange some physical activities for their staff to keep themselves active and engaged at work.
Health and safety are the key components of ensuring a safe and secure workplace. This involves the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of the employees as well.
For the scope of this blog post, some of the effective yet simple ways are mentioned to help employers and employees improve mental health in the workplace.