Are mental health and workplace wellness openly discussed in your company? Or is the subject of mental health still off the table, so it is not addressed? The pandemic and its subsequent effect on the workplace have been stressful for many executives and career professionals in many industries.
Earlier this year, Microsoft published a report that identified 54% of workers globally were feeling overwhelmed and overworked. The pressure of these feelings often leads to a negative effect on workplace wellness and burnout. It is in an organization’s best interest to address the wellness of its employees for many reasons, including improving employee engagement, enhancing culture, and increasing productivity.
Despite the importance of mental health, 93% of managers confirmed that workplace wellness is already having an impact on their bottom line. However, only one-quarter to one-third of global managers felt equipped to handle the mental health needs of their teams. This highlights the issue that many industry leaders now face. They agree that conversations about mental health are imperative to have in the office, but they do not know how to tackle the subject.
Additionally, “80% of managers worry about using the wrong language when addressing issues like mental health, race, gender, and other sensitive topics.” While the concept of workplace wellness is a significant issue that can seem difficult, here are three ways organizations can encourage their employees’ mental health in the workplace!
Survey Your Staff and Employees
When was the last time your company conducted an anonymous employee survey? Many businesses do not take surveys regularly and rely on management teams to raise queries or employees to bring up issues directly instead.
The problem with expecting employees to actively share that they are struggling with mental wellness (or any part of their performance) is that it rarely occurs. Many professionals feel shame around starting a conversation about mental wellness and health, as well as fear that their boss or manager might judge them negatively. Questions about workplace wellness, stress, burnout, and mental health can be included in an organization’s employee satisfaction survey or standard engagement. When these types of surveys are anonymous, people feel more comfortable sharing, and an organization can get honest feedback.
Promote Wellness Days and PTO
How many PTO days do your employees get monthly? Does your business offer mental health or wellness days that staff can take off with pay? If your company is not offering wellness days off, now is the perfect time to start! A mental health or wellness day is an incentive that many companies provide where employees can take off that doesn’t pertain to a physical illness. An employee might use that day to rest, relax, or get focused on some part of their personal life. If your company doesn’t offer mental health days, you can promote PTO days for employees to spend time on their mental health and well-being. This lets your staff know that you truly value them for more than the financial or productive benefit they bring to the business.
Get Support from Mental Health Professionals
Companies can get support from licensed mental health professionals in a variety of ways to help their employees. Some mental health professionals offer group training that can be facilitated for teams to approach mental well-being and stress management. These types of group training can be very beneficial in encouraging trust and communication among teams and their managers.
Businesses can also ensure that they offer mental health resources with their insurance plans. Having the organization’s insurance broker or an in-network mental health professional do a lunch and learn presentation for the staff or a talk is another way to demonstrate that mental health is essential.
The topic of workplace wellness and mental health is unavoidable for organizations to consider due to the pandemic and high levels of burnout employees are feeling. When asked, 8 out of 10 managers shared that they are not comfortable discussing mental health with their team. However, there are things organizations can do to encourage an environment of positive mental health.
Surveying employees anonymously can let leaders know if mental health appears to be a challenge for their staff. Actively promoting mental health days and PTO to employees can be beneficial to address well-being. Finally, having mental health professionals speak to employees in an organized training or short talk takes the pressure off managers and allows employees to meet a licensed individual who they could reach out to as needed. How can your organization encourage positive mental health?
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