Employee well-being has a direct impact on productivity and numerous core business areas. Unfortunately, one in five adults in the US suffers mental illness every year and only one-third of them get the help they need. As a result, people either miss their work or are unable to work properly (presenteeism). Hence, focusing on workplace mental health is crucial for your bottom line.
Creating a workplace wellness program can improve employees’ health and happiness. This can lead to better work performance, loyalty, and other benefits. As a leader in your organization, it’s a good idea to invest in such a program to improve mental health of your workforce.
Ways To Improve Mental Health At The Workplace
1. Encourage Employee Well Being
Making small changes in the way a company operates can make employees happier and more engaged. Start by getting the leadership team on board with wellness and engagement activities.
Encourage them to communicate more personally with staff instead of relying on email. It’s also important to respect employees’ work/life balance and encourage healthy habits.
Finally, make mental health a priority by including it in the company’s training and induction programs. Consider and promote this as part of the company’s diversity. Further, equality training is another simple yet effective practice to promote employee well-being.
2. Promote Regular Communication With Your Staff
As a leader, it’s a good practice to interact with your staff. And the frequency of such interactions should be consistent. Further, make it a point to interact one-on-one with your people wherever possible.
Interactions between you and your employee shouldn’t be necessarily in-depth always. Sometimes, a simple and warm greeting from the manager or boss can work wonders for your staff.
Take time to visit people in your organization and ask them how they are, what they are working and if they need any support. Show a genuine interest in individuals, This makes them feel they are valued. This is another simple way to improve employee mental health. You don’t need to plan anything for this. All you need is time.
3. Open Discussions and Involvement
It is important to make your staff feel involved in company matters and decisions. When people are involved in decision-making discussions, they feel informed about business happenings. It can hike their motivation, provide clarity on business processes, and help them gain a clearer understanding of their role in the organization.
Be open about the business strategies and vision, ask for feedback, and listen to employee suggestions. These are all easy-to-implement ways to improve employee well-being.
Here are a few ways you can start promoting open dialogue and staff engagement:
- Focus Groups
- Staff Forums
- Staff Survey
- Innovation Workshops
- Steering Groups for Engagement
- Regular Team Meetings
- Quarterly Business Performance Updates
- Community Projects
- Team Building Events
- Away-Days for Staff
- Effective Use of Internal Communications
- Discuss Board Decisions with Staff
4. Keep A Track On Employee Performance
Employee mental health has a significant impact on their work productivity. If you see an employee’s performance decline, it’s important to talk to them and see if they need support. It’s usually best to have these conversations with their line manager or supervisor first.
By keeping abreast of employee performance, your company can intervene and provide support if a team member begins to face difficulties. Lowered performance and productivity are important early indicators that an employee could need additional support. Ensure you have easy access to this data and that you check it regularly.
When talking to employees, it’s important to have open and honest communication and genuinely want to assist them.
5. Encourage Learning And Development of Employees
Research on employee engagement and best practices indicates that people need support and meaningful work to feel fulfilled at work. By offering career pathways and opportunities for professional and personal growth, you can build trust and integrity, which are crucial for maintaining loyalty and productivity in teams.
It’s important to note that not all training and development have to be expensive. Coaching from a senior team member or job shadowing in other roles and departments can be done with little cost to the business. Implementing workplace mentorship programs is another effective way to enhance employee engagement and well-being.
6. Organize Events For Team
Work isn’t all about work but also fun. To support good mental health among employees, organizing events such as company meals and outings can be a great way to show appreciation for the team and allow staff to build relationships outside of work.
Planning an off-site day or half-day once or twice a year is another excellent way to boost morale and engagement by giving everyone an opportunity to get to know each other better. Don’t forget to put morale and engagement on top.
7. Include Mental Health Coverage In Your Employee Health Plan
You may be providing health plans to your employees. Make sure to include mental health coverage for employees who may experience mental health issues at the workplace.
Be cautious of insurance plans that appear to offer mental health coverage but have hidden limitations or exclusions. Additionally, research the number of psychologists and psychiatrists available in your network to ensure adequate coverage.
Consider providing a Health Savings Account (HSA) to assist with out-of-pocket expenses related to mental health treatment.
8. Be Aware Of Workplace Triggers
Mental health and stress at the workplace can be caused due to several reasons. These include:
- Working for hours or having no breaks
- Being in a high-risk role
- Unrealistic expectations
- Being a lone worker
- Lack of control over work
- Repeated unavailability for annual leave
- Poorly managed business changes
- Unmanageable workloads
- Job Insecurity
- High-pressure work environments
- A lack of managerial support
- Difficult or unhealthy interpersonal relationships
- Weak internal communications
9. Reward Good Performance
It’s not only about paying employees; it’s also important to offer a competitive salary and acknowledge excellent performance. Recognizing and rewarding hard work can have a significant impact on how employees feel at work. This can be as simple as expressing gratitude or acknowledging accomplishments through incentives.
By highlighting positive achievements, rewarding good work, and acknowledging individual efforts, you can enhance engagement, morale, retention, productivity, and motivation.
The Final Say
Mental wellness in the workplace directly affects the company and its employees. Whether you’re already taking action to enhance employee mental health or researching your options, there is always room for improvement. While some of our tips require careful planning, others can be put into practice right away.
As you know, Rome was not built in a day. Hence changes take time. By demonstrating a consistent, reliable, and clear commitment to your staff’s well-being, you can expect to see improvements in productivity, engagement, morale, and communication among team members over time.