Self-Motivation
David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
Career Development
Bryan Cranston
Actor
Critical Thinking
Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
Emotional Intelligence
Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
Management
Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
Learn
from the world's big
thinkers
Start Learning

5 things employers can do to take mental health in the workplace more seriously

Taking preventive measures and investing in positive mental health can impact productivity, company culture, and staff turnover.

Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash
  • The mental health crisis will have a cumulative global impact of almost $16.3 trillion between 2011 and 2030.
  • Despite the previously held stigma, organizations of today are inclining towards advocation for better mental health among the workforce.
  • Businesses can take several actionable steps to promote mental well-being in the workplace.

    Despite the mental health awareness prevalent today, addressing it at the workplace still remains a taboo for many.

    A recent WHO-led study estimates that mental health disorders cost the global economy US$1 trillion each year in lost productivity. Rather alarming, isn't it?

    Workplace budgets for mental well-being usually concentrate on helping those who are going through an emotional crisis. However, it is just as important to focus on precautionary measures and building a mentally healthy workplace.

    Taking preventive measures and investing in positive mental health can impact productivity, company culture, and staff turnover. Here's how you can do so.

    1. Promoting awareness from the top down

    Changing previously held perceptions about mental health is a top-down process. It starts with the top management becoming advocates for improving mental health in the company.

    • Have the top executives share their experiences (or from their close ones) in meetings or staff interactions.
    • CEOs of organizations should advocate for mental wellness and promote a culture of acceptance and support. They should seek to normalize the mental health issues and address the stigma surrounding it.
    • The organization should be transparent about their support regarding such issues and work towards projecting vulnerability as a strength.

    2. Create an accepting culture

    Research suggests that workplace stressors which lead to burnout are a major reason for the declining mental health among employees. While work seems to be a contributing factor to mental illness, implementing the awareness for it would transform the company culture into a supportive one. Here's what you can do:

    • Set firm boundaries around availability. It might be a simple rule such as not answering work emails on weekends or while on holiday no work is to be done.
    • Encourage mindful breaks. Not only does it provide a reprieve from grueling work hours but it also allows employees to bond together.
    • Start conversations around mental health. It can be some simple steps such as conducting seminars around emotional well-being or simply providing counselors to talk to.

    3. Proper support

    Almost seven out of ten (69.1%) employees surveyed in a study said that they'd use a confidential mental health helpline provided by their employer while facing any mental health issues.

    This shows that employees are now more open to having discussions regarding their mental state. It is now in the hands of the employer to provide the appropriate support and assistance to the workforce in regard to their emotional well-being.

    • One way to do so is to implement an employee assistance program or mental health scheme that will help workers to actively monitor and manage their state of emotional health.
    • Similarly, encourage workers to participate in mental health screening tests. These free and anonymous tests are a great resource to evaluate where your emotional well-being is at.
    • Offer options through which your employees can prioritize their mental health like flexible working hours, work from home, or paid mental well-being days off.
    • Invest in employee engagement software. Causes of disengagement such as burnout, stress or alienation can be indicative of emotional turmoil in employees.

    4. Clearer information about support

    Once you have established a support system, you have to make it accessible to your workforce. That means that any employee who needs help concerning their mental state should know who to approach for it. Subsequently, the mental health scheme in your organization should be easy to use and easily understood by any employee in the company.

    5. Train the managers

    Managers are in the perfect position to assist—they have direct day-to-day contact with their team and also have direct contact with top management. Even the most basic of mental health training will equip managers to look out for signs of mental crisis and stress and also to create a supportive and inclusive environment.

    A study by The Lancet Psychiatry showed that after six months of providing mental health training, the managers' direct reports had an 18% reduction in work-related sick time off.

    Mental health training for managers should largely focus on:

    • An overview of the mental health disorders that employees are most likely to suffer from.
    • Recognizing the signs of poor mental health in employees.
    • The ability to actively listen and have conversations about mental health with their team.
    • A clear understanding of how mental health impacts performance.
    • Having clarity about the role they play in addressing the team's emotional well-being.
    • Managers must feel supported when it comes to their own mental health, in order to offer the required support to their team members.

    Live on Tuesday | Personal finance in the COVID-19 era

    Sallie Krawcheck and Bob Kulhan will be talking money, jobs, and how the pandemic will disproportionally affect women's finances.

    4 ways to promote neurogenesis in your brain

    How can we promote the creation of new neurons - and why is it so important?

    We can promote the development of new neurons well into adulthood - and here's why we should.

    Image by vrx on Shutterstock
    Mind & Brain
    • Neurogenesis, the birth of neurons from stem cells, happens mostly before we are born - as we are formed in the womb, we are generating most of what we need after birth.
    • After birth, neurogenesis is still possible in two parts of the brain: the olfactory bulb (which is responsible for our sense of smell) and the hippocampus (which is responsible for memory, spatial navigation, and emotional processing).
    • Research from the 1960s proves creating new neurons as adults is possible, and modern-day research explains how (and why) we should promote new neuron growth.
    Keep reading Show less

    Why is everyone so selfish? Science explains

    The coronavirus pandemic has brought out the perception of selfishness among many.

    Credit: Adobe Stock, Olivier Le Moal.
    Personal Growth
    • Selfish behavior has been analyzed by philosophers and psychologists for centuries.
    • New research shows people may be wired for altruistic behavior and get more benefits from it.
    • Crisis times tend to increase self-centered acts.
    Keep reading Show less

    How Hemingway felt about fatherhood

    Parenting could be a distraction from what mattered most to him: his writing.

    Ernest Hemingway Holding His Son 1927 (Wikimedia Commons)
    Culture & Religion

    Ernest Hemingway was affectionately called “Papa," but what kind of dad was he?

    Keep reading Show less
    Videos

    The biology of aliens: How much do we know?

    Hollywood has created an idea of aliens that doesn't match the science.

    Scroll down to load more…
    Quantcast