Mental health has become a hot topic in recent years, but do you know what it really means and how to implement proper mental health guidelines for your employees? According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, mental health “includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being”.
An employee cannot function to his/her/their maximum efficiency or potential without proper care for their mental health.
Supporting your employees’ mental health is essential for your business and company culture. Humanity and empathy are incredibly strong assets to businesses. In fact, Center for Creative Leadership’s survey demonstrated that organizations that “empathy in the workplace is positively related to job performance”.
Here are some ways employers can support their employees’ mental health:
- Check in authentically in pod meetings
At 9Dot Education Solutions, the leadership team implemented communication practices that allow for the management team to connect with employees in smaller groups. Leadership teams discuss their emotional well-being and struggles, which in turn, opens a safe space for a transparent discussion.
This is a wonderful way to promote transparency and inclusion in the workplace. According to Harvard Business Review, research has shown that authentic leadership can cultivate trust and improve employee engagement and performance.
2. Normalize flexibility and inclusion
Now is not the time to keep “business as usual”. In fact, doing so will hurt your organization much more. The “new normal” for a high performing workplace involves a strong sense of communication, flexibility, and inclusivity. Top tech organizations across the globe have already translated their work to a full “remote work” environment. Allowing for more flexibility to your employees, such as time to exercise, take yoga sessions, or read can be very helpful. This is especially important if they are struggling mentally or emotionally.
3. Model healthy behaviors with open communication
Qualtrics’ study showed that employees who felt their managers were not good at communicating have been 23% more likely than others to experience mental health declines since the outbreak. Without proper communication, employees are left scrambling to solve a globally-shared problem of dealing with the pandemic and their work.
Sharing mental health concerns and allowing for open communication among employees helps to ease the stigma and shame behind mental health. It also helps to clarify your goals and how your team can realistically manage and achieve them.
What are some ways you can help your organization? See below for workplace resources such as e-trainings, manuals, guides, educational videos, and much more.
Workplace Mental Health Resources:
APA’s Center for Workplace Mental Health: The Center for Workplace Mental Health exists to provide useful, informative resources to employers seeking to improve absenteeism and productivity while enhancing worker quality of life. Includes e-trainings, research, and guidelines for employers to help support their employees.
American Heart Association’s Mental Health in the Workplace: The American Heart Association CEO Roundtable’s Sharing campaign aims to normalize the conversation around mental health, reduce the stigma and encourage employees to use company resources.
National Safety Council: The National Safety Council is America’s leading nonprofit safety advocate. Provides excellent resources and research into workplace safety and mental health, especially during COVID-19
Mindshare Partners: Mind Share Partners is a 501c(3) nonprofit that is changing the culture of workplace mental health so that both employees and organizations can thrive. They provide free resources to provide managers and employers with guidance.