Topics surrounding mental health have certainly gained attention in recent years. However, even with the progressing acceptance of mental health issues, talking about mental health is still taboo—especially in the workplace. However, with the ongoing pandemic and everyday life stressors, it has never been more important to talk about mental health support in the office.
Forbes states that nearly half of Gen Z and Millennial respondents in a survey reported feeling stressed all or most of the time, citing family welfare, long-term finances, and job prospects as primary causes. In a follow-up survey, the respondents had an 8% decrease in stress levels, showing that having a slow-down in life could help many of us. While slowing down has helped, it is still a better time than ever to implement mental health support. Here is how to become a workplace that supports mental health.
Increase Awareness Surrounding Mental Health
First and foremost, let your employees know what resources they have. Let them know what the company’s policies are regarding mental health and taking days off. Does your company allow for mental health days? Do you offer counseling for employees? Your employees need to know these things. Alongside knowing the resources, encourage a culture of reaching out. If you notice a co-worker has been feeling down at the office recently, do not be afraid to ask them if everything is okay. Be a leader by showing your employees that you care about their mental health. Taking this step can even increase workplace emotional intelligence, an important skill set to have as an employer and employee.
Promote a Work-Life Balance
Creating an effective work-life balance is often easier said than done. However, encouraging your employees to leave work at work is a great step. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance can reduce stress and the likeliness of burn out. If workers are pushing off their lives to complete tasks, they will miss out on important moments. Encourage them to work within the typical work hours, and remind them they always have tomorrow to finish.
Utilize Workers Skills
In the workplace, there are tasks we would prefer not to do. However, make sure your employees don’t repeatedly get the jobs they hate doing. If you know one employee loves to public speak, and another is terrified of it, invite the public speaking lover to give a presentation, and have the other do some research for it. As a leader, it might appear attractive to treat everyone the same, but that can create an isolating environment for people with differing abilities, leading to workplace stress.
Mental health in the workplace is often a topic no one talks about. But it does not have to be. Be proactive with your employees and show them you care about their mental health. If they know you care, their work attitude will be more positive, and they will accomplish more.