It’s crucial to maintain an effective, supportive and engaging work environment, which includes caring for the mental health of your team members. Here’s how you can take steps to prioritize and encourage mental health in your workplace:
- Embrace approachability
The classic belief of leaving personal issues at the door isn’t practical anymore. As a leader, it’s important to ensure you’re there for your team, lending an ear when needed, and offering assistance when possible. This can range from providing professional mental health referrals to accommodating flexible work schedules. Being there for your team not only boosts morale, but also enhances engagement and productivity.
- Master the art of listening
Encourage an environment where everyone’s voice is heard. Foster a meeting culture that promotes active listening, providing an avenue for all to share their ideas. The art of listening extends to one-on-one situations as well. When in conversation, show your presence, ask probing questions, and assure confidentiality unless sharing becomes a necessity for the employee’s wellbeing.
- Set an example
Leadership isn’t about appearing invincible; it’s about authenticity and vulnerability. By sharing your struggles and coping mechanisms, you create a culture where employees feel comfortable discussing their own challenges and seeking help. From attending personal events to scheduling mental health appointments, every action of yours sends a message that mental health matters.
- Empower employees to prioritize their mental health
Give your team the green light to prioritize their mental health. While there are provisions like PTO, sick leave, and bereavement leave, it’s important to make mental health leave an accepted norm. Coach Dean Smith’s approach of trust and understanding with his basketball team serves as an excellent example. Such an environment encourages employees to perform their best without the fear of consequences when they need a break.
- Provision of resources and support
Employees may decide to move on from a job if they feel unsupported or lack necessary resources. Make an effort to know your team members, inquire about their needs, and supply resources to support their work and personal development. From celebrating achievements and hosting team events to offering professional training and robust benefits, every small step counts in creating a supportive workplace.
The findings of the 2022 SmartDollar Employee Benefits Study reveal the significant impact mental health has on employees’ job performance. Other studies also demonstrate the prevalence of stress among Americans. In this context, employers need to play an active role in encouraging employees to look after their mental health.
The correlation between mental wellness and financial wellness is clear. Financial stress significantly affects the mental health of employees. Thus, providing resources for financial management can be a crucial step towards supporting mental health.
Overall, how a company manages mental health in the workplace is becoming a major deciding factor for job seekers. Employers who effectively support the mental health of their employees are likely to retain top talent and foster a productive and positive work environment.
- Embrace approachability: Engage with your team members, listen to their concerns, and offer support.
- Master the art of listening: Cultivate an environment that values every voice and opinion.
- Set an example: Promote a culture of openness by discussing your own challenges and coping mechanisms.
- Empower employees to prioritize their mental health: Build a culture of trust where mental health leave is accepted and encouraged.
- Provision of resources and support: Understand and cater to your team’s needs, provide resources, and create a supportive work environment.
By promoting mental health at the workplace, you’re not just creating a better environment for your team, but also paving the way for improved productivity, engagement, and overall business health. Remember, a mentally healthy workplace is not just about work – it’s a place where everyone can thrive.