Building a culture for supporting mental health at workplace
“Do not be late for office.”
“This report is full of errors.”
“You are taking too long breaks.”
“You are being disrespectful by being late for meetings.”
“You are too slow in completing the tasks.”
These kind of harsh sayings are surely a part of life for every worker in an organization and such factors prevailing continuously can have a negative effect on their health and well-being.
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There are many things happening around in an office that workers have to deal with leading to mental health problems like depression, anxiety or stress. Such problems can inhibit the performance of employees.
Mental health issues are a major cause of long-term absence from work. An employer needs to be always concerned about mental health of their employees and consult them individually about their concerns. They must promote good mental health practices and a mentally healthy workplace for employees who are struggling in this aspect.
But what is a mentally healthy workplace?
A mentally healthy workplace brings positivity at work and try to get the best out of their employees. Different workplaces come in different shapes and size, but a healthy workplace generally has these few things in common.
Positive workplace culture: People would feel excited and feel good about coming to work in a positive workplace culture, where everyone would be encouraged and supported.
A managed stress and other risks to mental health: Factors like stress, heavy workloads, poor communication, uncertainty and other factors can all contribute to anxiety and depression, and it needs to be kept under check by leaders.
Zero-tolerance approach to discrimination: The employees should be protected from discrimination encouraging a diverse workforce and ensuring that everyone gets a fair go.
Those who work in healthy workplace reflect increased productivity and general development. And, we all know that happy employees tend to be more committed to the organization and have a sense of purpose towards the company. While those in an unhealthy work environment are usually seen undergoing health care appointments and office stress also impacts their family life, mental health, and increased illness.
In a national survey, reports were collected to see how mental health is experienced at work. The survey results show that better mental health at work should be considered more.
77% of employees exhibit symptoms of poor mental health.
29% of employees have been diagnosed with a mental health condition.
62% of employees claimed that the reason for their poor mental health is work.
35% of employees were experiencing poor mental health but did not approach anyone for support.
How can you as a manager help?
Thus, the importance of supporting mental health at work is gaining recognition for improved workplace culture. Here are some initial steps that a business owner may want to consider when trying to deal with mental health challenges in office:
A manager is intended to provide increased support to its employees. Some people need support from manager to ensure they have to work in sensible hours. Other areas of support are:
- Extra training, coaching or mentoring
- Extra help with managing workload
- More positive feedback
- Mediation in case of difficulties between colleagues
- Mental health support group
- Self-referral to internal support available
- Provision of sharing approaches to support others
- Motivate people to build their resilience and doing things that support good mental health
Address Values and Conduct
A progressive employer is usually intended to look for warning signs of someone who is going through some mental trouble. What is the code of conduct of your employees when some weird situation arises? Does your office has some policy on respect in the workplace?
It is not compulsory to have some fancy values and conduct, just the ones that employees know what’s acceptable. There should be something that is acceptable and is no surprise for a person who has issues related to mental health.
Make Resolving the Issue a Partnership
When an employee fails to perform up to the expected level there is a process of analysis like training or coaching. The employer needs to know if there is something serious that they need to refer them to a counselor. Try to have a conversation with your employee in a way to find a solution for their problem. The manager should always try to find resources and the right support.
Keep a check on those employees who are showing noticeable changes in their work. Remember everyone’s experience of a mental health problem is different and there may be only certain clues like a change in how they interact with colleagues and changes in their work output, changing in eating habits or appearing tired and losing interest in their favorite activities.
If your team is healthy, focused and motivated you will be good in your business, so support mental health problems at work and help employees to give their peak performance.
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Post originally published at YourStory
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Vartika Kashyap runs the marketing team at ProofHub — a project management software for teams of all sizes. She is a seasoned marketing professional who is an expert in digital marketing and entrepreneurship. She’s been featured among LinkedIn’s Top Voices for the year 2016. Connect with Vartika on LinkedIn, Medium and Twitter.
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