Caring for Your Employees: 5 tips for Supporting Mental Health in the Workplace
Taking care of your mental health is crucial for living a happy and healthy life, and it's no different when it comes to work. With the pandemic causing additional stress, work can sometimes feel like an uphill battle.
It's up to HR managers and leaders to prioritize employee mental health, as an unhealthy work environment can lead to decreased productivity, frequent absences, and a high turnover rate. By promoting mental health in the workplace, companies can boost morale, engagement, and job satisfaction.
So, let's dive into five ways that HR departments can support wellness in the workplace.
1. Provide Mental Health resources & adequate support
Providing access to mental health resources, such as an Employee Assistance Program, can encourage employees to seek help when needed, as employees may not feel comfortable seeking help within the workplace (or outside) on their own. Employee Assistance Programs are confidential services that provide employees with access to counselling (around financial, legal, or family issues) and other mental health resources to deal with stress.
Organising mental health days, where resources are shared with the broader team, can be also a solution to explore.
2. Actively encourage work-life balance
Employees need time to recharge and pursue their personal interests and hobbies outside of work.
It's important to remember that employees have lives outside of work that they need to tend to. Encourage your employees to take time for themselves and consider offering flexible work schedules that can accommodate their personal commitments, such as working from home (occasionally or more frequently).
Wellness programs that promote mindfulness, exercise, and healthy eating habits can also support mental health. Encourage your employees to take breaks throughout the day to practice mindfulness or exercise. Providing an on-site gym or healthy snacks in the break room can also make it easier for employees to prioritize their health.
Offering generous paid time off policies can also promote work-life balance. It's important for employees to know that they can take time off when they need it without worrying about any negative consequences. Encourage your employees to take their vacation days and emphasize the importance of taking a break.
3. Support your employee's career growth and development
Lack of growth and development opportunities are often a leading cause of dissatisfaction in the workplace and increased turnover.
Offer opportunities to attend conferences, workshops or training opportunities for skill-building, training, and career advancement, within your budget.
Encourage employees to set goals and provide feedback to help them achieve these goals. Managers should also provide regular performance evaluation and development plans to help employees better understand how to advance in their careers and gain knowledge.
4. Lead by example - and show
Leaders have a significant impact on promoting mental health in the workplace. Therefore, leaders are encouraged to focus on their own mental health and well-being, but also by being open about their mental health experiences to the broader team. It is a small step, but it helps reduce the stigma around mental health - everyone is going through tough times once in a while - and create a culture of support.
5. Create a positive, open work environment
Last but not least, the overall workplace environment has a significant impact on employees' mental health. A positive work environment can reduce stress and promote well-being. Open communication is a vital part of creating a positive work environment. When employees feel that they can speak up and share their concerns or ideas, they feel valued and supported.
In addition, a culture of respect and inclusion is essential to promoting workplace mental health. Ensure that all employees are treated with respect and are given equal opportunities to contribute and advance. Implement policies that promote diversity and inclusion, such as anti-bullying and harassment policies.
Employers can also offer opportunities for feedback and collaboration to foster a sense of community in the workplace. Hosting social events and team-building activities can help employees build relationships and feel more connected to their colleagues.
How can District help?
District can provide platforms for companies to host their unique corporate fitness challenges - either on a dedicated app or in an existing one.
Organizing fitness challenges can be a fun way to bring employees together and help them feel more connected to one another. These challenges promote a sense of community and shared goals among employees, regardless of their position within the company.
Learn more in our dedicated blog post: the importance of virtual challenges for employee engagement.
And if you are looking for a way to create a happier & productive workforce, reach out to our team today. With our customisable solutions, you will be able to create the best team bonding challenges for your employees & pave the way to better mental health.