Supporting and improving employees’ mental health fosters a sense of community in the workplace and leads to the formation of better professional relationships. The mental health of the employees should be one of the foremost concerns of an employer.
Work-life balance has always been a critical issue for most employees. At times, the constant pressure of achieving targets and meeting deadlines takes a toll on their mental condition.
In such a situation, the question that arises is – how can the employer help?
Create a positive environment:
The basic responsibility of employers is to maintain a supportive environment in the workplace. They need to educate their employees about mental health issues and create an accessible, comfortable workplace to ensure that employees feel safe and secured.
Promote awareness and impart education:
Companies should promote an inclusive and happy work culture where all employees are treated equally. Managers and HR professionals should be trained to identify warning signs of deteriorating mental health.
Employ supportive mental health policies:
Organizations should look into proper policy creation and its implementation. The involvement of the senior leaders in the formulation of policies is necessary to combat mental health issues.
Encourage clear communication:
Open communication about mental health issues eradicates the stigmatization of workers who suffer from mental illness. Managers can talk about their mental health challenges so that employees can speak about their struggles comfortably.
Improve productivity and engagement:
Due to improved mental health, employees experience enhanced thinking abilities, better decision-making skills, and establish conducive relationships in the workplace. These lead to better productivity.
Provide helpful resources:
Companies can arrange for mental health awareness sessions, design online programs etc. to help workers suffering from anxiety, depression, or work-related stress.
Walt Rakowich, the author of ‘Transfluence: How to Lead with Transformative in Today’s Climates of Change’ believes that the role of a leader is crucial for reducing the mental health issues of his team members. Team leaders can organize mentoring and peer support programs to initiate conversations with employees.
Monitor and enhance employees’ mental health condition:
Regular surveys need to be conducted to gather data about employees’ mental health conditions. Team managers can schedule meetings with each member to have a clear understanding of their mental health issues.
Due to the pandemic, work from home has become the ‘new normal’. Company heads should put in extra efforts to fulfill the mental health needs of their remote employees. This may be done by creating virtual task-breaks when members can interact amongst themselves.
In her blog on the SHRM website, Swati Thakur (Associate- Advisory Services, SHRM India), refers to Krishna Raghavan, the Chief People Officer at Flipkart. According to him, Flipkart offers digital tea-break sessions to promote informal virtual interactions among its employees.
Offering mental health support is significant for the well-being of the employees and the overall success of the business. Though relationships at workplace develop around business transactions, supporting each another during critical times showcases one’s humane qualities.
Article by Radhika Ghosh for benefigo