Even though research conducted by Mind found that at least one in six employees experience anxiety or depression at some point, mental health is still the elephant in the office. Any number of situations can trigger these negative emotions, from stress at work caused by toxic relationships, angry clients or tight deadlines to problems at home, like financial worries and addictions. Unfortunately, without good management, these feelings can have a massive impact on your employees’ thoughts, performance, communication and even their ability to maintain a safe work environment.
Businesses that address these issues head on and go out of their way to ensure every team member feels valued and supported benefit from happier staff, better morale, lower turnover rates, and ultimately, an upturn in profits. So here are three key points every manager needs to keep in mind to promote mental health in the workplace.
1. Foster a Culture of Support and Openness
Employees take their cues from how their leaders behave, so to break the stigma of mental health in the workplace, you must be willing to open up and discuss your own personal struggles. By building a safe environment where people feel comfortable enough to reach out to the higher-ups and ask for support, you’re already well on track to developing a healthier workplace.
Another way you can foster openness in your company is to educate your managers by training them to spot the signs of a potential mental health problem and how to respond appropriately. Also, encourage them to hold regular one-to-one meetings with their team to discuss both work-related obstacles and any other challenges they might be struggling with outside of the job. Helping someone find a solution to their concerns early on prevents them from snowballing later down the line.
2. Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance
The boundaries between home life and work are becoming ever more blurred, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic caused a significant shift in the number of people working remotely. Below are a few ideas on how to prevent your employees from burning out:
Ensure all managers are realistic in their demands and aren’t overstretching their team, as this might make them think they need to work extra hours, during lunch breaks or on weekends.
Productivity can’t run on an empty tank, so remind your staff to take their annual leave — this is valuable time for them to relax and recharge.
Use performance management software to set clear goals and deliverables. This helps your employees understand your expectations and enables your managers to track progress and keep an eye out for problems.
3. Encourage Personal and Professional Growth
As depression and low self-worth often derive from boredom and a lack of progression, offer your team personal and professional development opportunities as often as possible. There are hundreds of cost-effective ways businesses can encourage learning, including organising talks from a specialist, skill-swapping sessions, job-shadowing, or simply scheduling time in the day where staff can complete online courses or explore new ideas.
Creating a culture of collaboration, teamwork and information-sharing across different departments is not only a brilliant way to help your employees gain confidence and discover hidden talents, but you’re also strengthening your workforce and securing the longevity of your business.
Build a company culture based on open and transparent communication using Clear Review’s continuous performance management software. Our scientifically backed employee engagement tool enables you to measure wellbeing in seconds and offers advice on what improvements to make. To see it in action for free, fill out our book a demo form, and a member of our expert team will be in touch.