Mental Health Matters: Support your Employees with These Tips
Employee mental health is a growing concern for many companies, especially post-pandemic. As employees return to full-time, in-person work, the effects of mental health issues such as anxiety, stress, and depression directly impact businesses.
For managers, learning how to support their employees’ mental health and create a safe, open workplace that encourages productivity and performance is the key. Building a strong, supportive, and inclusive culture at work can decrease employee turnover, save money, and increase revenue.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month and a great time to look at ways to build a solid mental health culture in the workplace. Here are some tips to jump-start creating a safe, transparent culture for your company.
Tip 1: Talk About Mental Health
When it comes to mental health, the most important thing you can do as a manager is to encourage discussion of mental health issues. Taking care of mental health should be encouraged as much as physical health, and managers need to communicate this to employees openly and frankly.
Employees should also be encouraged to voice concerns and talk openly about mental health issues that affect the workplace. Discussion of work-life balance and strategies for managing stress is also essential.
Tip 2: Offer Mental Health Benefits
In the U.S., more than 40 million people live with some form of mental illness. As awareness of employee mental health increases, so does the need to offer mental health resources as an option for employee benefits plans, including coverage for mental health services and even onsite clinic options to increase employee support and access.
Examples of valuable employee benefits include:
- An Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which may include counseling services and specialized care for employees
- Mental Health Coverage as part of the company’s employee insurance plan
- Access to Wellness Apps, many available either for free or at a discounted price
Tip 3: Create Opportunities for Employees to Relax
Today, work culture has become high productivity, high efficiency, and high demand. For many employees, the need to be on the job is persistent and stressful. However, studies have shown that taking time to relax, recharge, and return to tasks increases performance and productivity.
Creating an environment without the guilt associated with needing time off or a break to decompress is critical to fostering a healthy mental health environment at work.
Tip 4: Create a Positive Work Environment
Improving mental health at work begins the day employees are hired. Managers aware of the importance of a balanced, positive workplace will hire employees for positions that utilize their unique talents and strengths. Encouraging employees to embrace and excel in the main tasks of their job decreases stress dramatically.
Also, look for employee feedback through programs like suggestion boxes, regular meetings, informal discussions, and focus groups. Keep communication lines open and positive to encourage employees to share feedback and suggest improvements to the workplace culture that promotes mental health. Be flexible with your approach to addressing workplace stressors. Accommodations such as enhanced childcare or allowing employees to set their schedules can help your employees thrive.
Tip 5: Set a Good Example
Many managers take time and make an effort to promote one type of behavior while exhibiting very different behavior themselves. It’s essential to take your own advice when it comes to mental health and stress relief, using the available benefits and relaxation opportunities yourself as an example to your employees.
Managers can care for their own mental health and set a good example in a lot of ways. One of the easiest ways is to take breaks throughout the day and encourage employees to do the same. Get fresh air for a few minutes, meditate, or perform “desk yoga” poses to relax the body and mind.
Managers should also be authentic, describing their own challenges and cultivating trust within the workplace. When employees see and hear that you experience the same struggles and emotions at work that they do, it helps to improve their engagement within the company and builds an essential level of trust between managers and employees.
Leaving the workplace at work is also essential. When your workday is done, be sure you unplug from the demands and tasks of the job. When your workday ends, your workday should end. When employees can disconnect away from work, they return to their jobs ready to engage and perform at consistently high levels.
Contact Vector Talent Today to Learn More
Supporting your employees and fostering a workplace culture that supports positive mental health is essential. From offering open communication and assistance to those in need to setting a good example and creating a positive work environment, mental health awareness should be encouraged, pursued, and celebrated all year long.
A staffing agency can be a valuable partner when it comes to managing workplace mental health, from providing information and guidance to procuring talent and streamlining hiring. Contact Vector Talent today for more details!