4 Surprising Ways You Can Support Employee Mental Health
For many business owners and managers, employee mental health and wellness has risen to the top of their priority list, and for good reason.
According to CDC statistics, poor mental health is shown to interfere with both physical and cognitive capabilities, and can even have a negative impact on your company culture.
Beyond that, happy employees tend to stick around longer, seek out promotions, exhibit better resilience when faced with setbacks, and lead more fulfilling and balanced lives outside of work. All of which feed into a healthier and more robust workforce.
Here are a few (often overlooked) tips to help you get started.
Ask Your Employees
Think about it. No one knows the daily ins-and-outs of your employees’ jobs better than your employees. This means that no one else will have more ideas on how to mitigate the pressures they face.
Encourage Open Communication
Closely related to asking for input is actively supporting open communication across all levels of your organization.
Encouraging bottom-up communication lets your team members know they can speak up when they need to. Equally important, however, is improving communication from the top-down. Employee wellness improves drastically when your team members feel included in major decisions and in overall company direction and goals.
For that reason, when it comes to finding ways of improving employee mental health and wellness, the best approach is often just to ask.
Of course, no company can implement all the feedback. But asking for input can give you valuable insight into problem areas, common trends, or places where a change (big or small) might be in order.
A great place to start is by asking about individual work styles and ideal work environments.
Do your employees thrive in a group? Or are they at their best when they have some alone time before reuniting with the team to present their ideas?
Or maybe you have some employees who do better with frequent communication and check-ins, and others who really shine when given a little more autonomy and breathing room.
Knowing how to bring out the best in your employees, and making adjustments where possible, will help your employees feel seen and cared for.
Communication helps people feel connected and creates a sense of community. Your employees will feel much better knowing they are a valued member of your team rather than another cog in a machine.
Make Self-Care Convenient
This one might sound simple, but the truth is, it’s hard for some of us to take a break.
We hit our stride and the next thing we know, we’ve been working for four solid hours without even stopping for a trip to the bathroom.
One way to address this as an employer is to make self-care as convenient as possible.
Simple things like encouraging your team members to set water break reminders, facilitating quick group walks, and reinforcing the importance of taking PTO can support employees in feeling rejuvenated.
The most essential thing to keep in mind, however, is to make sure you’re providing inclusive resources that everyone feels comfortable using. Asking for feedback on this can be invaluable, and including remote options for those who work from home shouldn’t be overlooked.
Finally, you can help your employees help themselves by providing education on mental wellness in the workplace. Our awareness of mental health as a society has improved drastically over the last few years, but many of us could still use some guidance on how to actually take care of ourselves.
For instance, you could host mental wellness meetings that focus on topics such as:
- How to identify and respect personal boundaries in the workplace
- Respecting weekends and after-work hours (yours and your co-workers)
- How to manage and/or avoid stress and burnout
- How to handle workplace disagreements and clashes in personality
If you have the inclination and the budget, you can even bring in coaches to host seminars and provide your team with actionable advice tailored to your workforce.
The most important thing, however, is to openly acknowledge the importance of your employees’ mental health and your commitment to support as much as possible.
Use Cura HR to Improve Employee Wellness
Employee wellness and mental health is a complex and ever-evolving subject that requires a willingness to respond to new feedback and data.
Cura HR can help you build an employee wellness strategy that is customized for your organization, with a focus on improving your business through a people-first approach.