It’s possible that at some time in your life as a business owner that you’ll come across an employee with mental health issues, whether you’re aware of it or not. Most employees can manage their mental health issues without them affecting their work. Some might need support for a short time, while others might need ongoing support at work.
In most cases, it’s presumed that an employee’s mental problems develop outside the office. But an unhealthy and toxic work environment or incident could result in significant stress and contribute to, or aggravate, an employee’s mental health issues.
Additionally, research has found that stress in the workplace and associated workplace psychosocial hazards are leading contributors to a host of occupational injuries and diseases.
How You Can Help Your Employees
Although dealing with mental health issues could be challenging, you’re in a perfect position, along with your managers and HR, to help your employees and give them a solid support system in the workplace. Below are tangible ways to support your employees:
Make Sure That Your Employees Experience Their Roles in Purposeful and Meaning Ways
You can do this by providing them with proper resources and independence. If your employees experience autonomy and the right supports and feel your confidence in them, they’ll be more satisfied at work, which might help decrease the risk of developing mental health issues.
At the same time, people need direction and guidance from their leader, so make sure to connect with them from time to time. The most stressful and worst leaders are always absent and don’t give their people feedback or direction. Over time, this can harm well-being and morale.
Teach Your People How to Handle Stress
Addressing and managing stress through a stress education program is vital to fostering a stable and supportive workplace. Leverage this program to teach your people effective techniques for managing stress in and out of the workplace. Consider seeking help from a psychologist that offers clinical psychology services to guide your employees.
Encourage Time Off Work
This is extremely important for your people’s wellbeing and mental health. Encourage them to take sufficient breaks, especially when they feel stressed out. This includes letting them take breaks even in the office (within reason, of course), promoting time off for mental health checks, and encouraging employees to use their vacations and paid leaves.
Always Check in with Your People
Keep communication open with your employees. See if they’re stressed or have concerns about work, and then offer help whenever you can. Sometimes, simply listening to them is all they need. Keep an open dialogue on realistic expectations, deadlines, and workloads. Strive to be receptive and open-minded to the feedback of your people.
Now, in the time of COVID-19, and more than ever, it’s crucial to educate your people about mental health risks to avoid mental breakdowns and burnout. Investing in your employees’ mental health and promoting and normalising discussions about their struggles will help you create a more mentally healthy and positive workplace.