Ways to Improve Mental Health at Workplace
Understanding mental health issues and how HR managers should address these at workplace
Mental health at workplace affects job satisfaction and employee productivity. HR leaders are increasingly looking at different mental health programs and initiatives to benefit the whole organization. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), every dollar spent on mental health returns $4 worth of benefits in terms of improved wellness and workplace productivity.
In this article, we will discuss how to improve mental health at workplace.
What is Mental Health?
The WHO defines mental health as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes their own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to their community. Similarly, mental health at work can be defined as the employee’s ability to work productively, fulfill personal goals by maintaining positive relationships, and simultaneously contribute to the organization’s objectives and future plans.
According to a survey, every one in six working individuals suffers from a mental health issue, and that is why WHO includes mental disorders in the list of work-related illnesses. A negative and overly stressful work environment may lead to mental health problems like stress, depression, anxiety, etc.
It is a general norm that ‘work is good’, as it provides financial prosperity and social admiration. But sadly, organizational stressors have been proven to have a negative effect on a person’s mental well-being.
The world-related stress often results in a lack of attention, a decline in productivity, and even early retirement.
A repeated negative experience at work, like chronic stress, bad leadership, etc., could have dire consequences for an employee’s health. A recent WHO-led study estimates that depression and anxiety disorders cost the global economy US$ 1 trillion each year in lost productivity.
All these challenges have taken organizations aback, and they are brainstorming ways to provide their employees with a positive and healthy working environment. They understand now that promoting mental health at work helps employees excel in their work. They adapt to changing responsibilities, face challenges in a positive manner, and manage stress better. So it won’t be wrong to state that a positive and healthy work environment not only helps the staff but also contributes to the company’s ability to yield a profit.
Three ways to promote mental health at work
A healthy and positive work environment can be defined as one where employees and leads actively contribute to the organization’s goals by promoting the health and well-being of all staff members. So it has become imperative for organizations to contribute to the total well-being of their employees, as it not only helps their staff but also benefits the employers.
Implementing the health and prevention program
The organization needs to start with a health and prevention program for both the physical and mental well-being of their employees. The employer can promote healthy mental well-being by using practices that can help with the identification of stress, the use of banned substances, etc. This program should also provide the employees with the assistance and resources to address and solve these issues. This program should not only assist the employees with work-related issues but also with the problems in their personal lives. The organization should also provide the employees with incentives for healthy actions, such as rewards for quitting smoking, going to therapy, etc, which could prove to be quite effective.
Encouraging positive habits
Interventions and good practices that protect and promote mental health in the workplace should be practiced. The organization should educate its employees to manage their stress and prioritize their well-being over work. Eating correctly and getting proper sleep, are some of the few ways to manage stress.
By encouraging the practice of meditation and filling the break room with healthy snacks, the business can help its staff. To further reduce performance-related stress and anxiety, managers can provide their staff with timely recognition and rewards. This type of culture is vital for not just increasing positivity but also boosting productivity at work. Proper task management helps employees to stay focused, avoid distractions, meet deadlines, and boost their confidence. Creating a positive work culture and incorporating all these practices can help reduce stress, boost morale and increase productivity.
Recommending separating from work
It is very easy for a workday to stretch from 8 hours to 12 hours.
But, the question arises, do longer hours mean more productivity?
It is vital to design a workday in such a way that the employees are more efficient and productive. Allowing employees the flexibility to construct their workday according to their working method could help to minimize stress. Micro-management is another triggering factor of stress and anxiety at work.
Ensuring that employees make good use of their vacation, lunch breaks, and leave on time aids in increasing productivity and well-being. Advocating work-life balance is always a sign of good organization.
Read More on Mental Health: Concept of Micro-Breaks and Their Influence on Employee Well-Being and Productivity
A healthy working environment is the foundation of mental well-being at the workplace.
The growing rate of work-related mental illnesses has revealed a direct negative impact on the economic world. Which makes it very important to address the mental health of employees. It is not only the corporate but also the social responsibility of an organization to promote mental well-being at work. It has been revealed that the workplace environment plays a very big role in contributing to declining mental health. It is also clear that fostering a positive corporate culture not only helps employees who are dealing with mental health issues but also motivates other employees to improve.
De-stigmatizing mental health issues by creating an open forum and understanding the role of toxic work culture are the first steps towards well-being.
Employees could flourish both personally and professionally when the organization focuses on solutions to tackle mental health-related issues. This can be done by providing them with support, resources, and easy access to health care, at the same time promoting work-life balance.
Effective mental health well-being policies can reduce the risk of costing organizations their good employees. Companies can provide their employees with a good mental health environment through understanding, support, and creativity. The ultimate results will prove beneficial to not only the organization and its employees but to the whole society.