Supporting mental health in the workplace is more of a necessity now than ever before. Although awareness of issues like anxiety and depression is on the rise, it can still be a challenge for employees to develop an open, honest line of communication with their employer regarding their wellbeing.
If you’re looking to improve your company’s approach to mental health, a good first step is aiming to create a workplace culture where people can be themselves. This, in turn, makes it easier for people to speak about their concerns without fear and ensures it’s easier for them to reach out for help when they need it. With this in mind, we’ve put together some tips on how best to cultivate an environment where your employees feel confident about speaking about their wellbeing needs.
Normalise mental health
There’s still a stigma around mental illness which means employees are more likely to suffer in silence than to share how they’re feeling with their manager or boss. Talking more openly about mental health and encouraging conversations around these issues will encourage those who are struggling to reach out.
Being able to be honest with your colleagues and teams can boost cooperation and even productivity! Let your staff know it’s okay to have a bad day.
The old saying is that a problem shared is a problem halved. Even a simple “I feel overwhelmed” or “I’m having a rough day” can be reassuring! Communication is key when it comes to tackling the issues facing employees, and preventing further stress. When communication is clear, open, effective, and responsive, staff will be able to access all the information they need to do their job while avoiding overload.
One way to actively encourage communication is by scheduling regular one-to-ones. This has significant benefits for both employers and employees, by boosting employee engagement and building mutual trust, as well as identifying issues early so employees can get the support they need.
Social connection is vital to our wellbeing. Help make work interesting, social, and fun, so stressed-out employees aren’t working in isolation: you can plan social events, team-building activities or even just a walk with one another. Giving your employees the opportunity to build meaningful relationships at work will provide them with a source of support, as well as a moral boost or advice when it’s needed most. A healthy work-life balance can improve physical, emotional and mental wellbeing.
A supportive environment is just one aspect of a healthy and productive workforce.
An open approach to mental wellbeing benefits both your employees and your business, making it more than worthy of your time and investment. Why not use some of the above ideas to kick-start the conversation around mental health in your workplace?
For more information on mental health awareness week, check this out.