Good mental health in the workplace is crucial for employee morale. A workplace where employees are stressed, undervalued, and uncomfortable can have a serious effect on productivity. It is therefore important to support the mental wellbeing of employees to ensure a happy, productive working environment.
Stress, lack of sleep, and illness are just some of the multitude of reasons that can cause poor mental health. While physical ailments are often visible, mental illness is harder to detect. If an employee’s work starts to inexplicably decline, there’s every chance they might be suffering mentally.
How you address your employee’s distress depends on what’s causing it. If their poor mental wellbeing is caused by stress at work, look at ways to alleviate that – are you putting too much pressure on them? Can you give them more flexibility? If their problem is due to personal issues, offer friendly advice and let them know that you support them.
Mental illnesses such as clinical depression can leave people feeling worthless, so it’s vital that you do not undermine their distress in any way. Look to mental health charities for advice or suggest to your employee that they visit their doctor, emphasising that you will support whatever treatment program they might be recommended.
One way to get the most out of your staff while protecting their mental wellbeing is to offer employee benefits. These can include numerous perks , such as rewards schemes, day care, retirement packages, paid sick leave, company car use, and lots of other bonuses.
Offering such fringe benefits within your workplace can help make your staff feel rewarded for their hard work and therefore improve company morale. But not only do employee benefits help motivate staff, they also show that managers care about them. Long-term, this should increase loyalty within your organisation, reduce staff turnover, and help to create a positive image overall for your company.
Look after their physical health
Physical and mental wellbeing are interconnected, so it’s important to look after your employees’ physical health.
Sitting for long periods at a desk can have a serious detrimental effect on the body over time. Not only can workers experience back problems, but long inactivity can also slow down the metabolism, lead to obesity, and has even been linked to cancer and premature death. If your staff are working in an office or from home, it’s a good idea to suggest standing desks.
You might also want to consider encouraging your employees to take part in daily exercises. You could organise a morning stretching session or suggest that workers go for a walk on their break.
People feel appreciated when they are listened to, so make sure that you take the time to show your employees that you value their opinions by giving them a voice within your organisation. Provide a platform for them to speak on, such as a social media group, and vow to take action on any concerns or ideas that are raised.
Also emphasise to your staff that they can come to you any time to discuss issues. Check in with your workers regularly – hold wellbeing meetings or make a point to casually ask them how they are. You could also look at distributing employee surveys to not only identify any concerns, but to show your staff that you consider their point of view to be important.
When it comes to poor mental health in the workplace, it’s not only useful to know what signs to look out for, but it’s also important to determine the cause of your employee’s distress. Creating a positive working environment where you listen to employees, offer them incentives, and consider their physical wellbeing goes a long way in supporting their mental health.