Work isn’t just about meeting deadlines and doing the job right; it’s also about meeting people. It’s important to treat other people with respect and consideration, no matter what their personal lives are like or what struggles they may be going through outside of the workplace.
This is because it’s impossible to know what goes on in their lives, that is, unless you ask them about it. If you’ve been noticing that one employee is taking a lot of sick days or not producing up to their usual standards, it might be because of what’s going on in their personal lives; maybe they are suffering from mental illness.
In some cases, it can be difficult to know if an employee needs help. If someone seems withdrawn, distant, or depressed, chances are they may need support from their fellow employees and employers. Other times, they may need access to professional help.
Employees should not feel that their struggles are holding them back from being the best worker they can be. If anything, employers should be there to help provide support and guidance. So, here are some ways you can support your employees when they are suffering from a mental illness:
Give Your Employees the Benefit of the Doubt
If you notice any changes in an employee’s behavior or mood, ask them about it — don’t assume they’re just being lazy or rude. Give all of your employees the benefit of the doubt and extend a helping hand instead of shutting them out.
They might not be comfortable asking for help, but you can still pay attention to their moods and allow them to talk if they are willing. This is especially important if their performance at work suffered a dramatic change because this might be indicative that the employee is experiencing something serious.
When this happens, it’s best to be proactive about their mental health. You should not allow the guilt of talking about their condition to prevent you from doing what’s right. Plus, it can help make the workplace more inclusive, which is something employers should always encourage.
Provide Avenues Where Employees Can Seek Professional Help
Sometimes, an employee might not be willing to talk about their struggles with mental illness, but that doesn’t mean they won’t seek help on their own. Through your office’s human resources department or health benefits plan, you should be able to find a representative who can guide the employee into getting the help they need.
Provide financial assistance if anyone needs to see a mental health specialist. For instance, if an employee has to enter a drug rehabilitation program for faster recovery, you can come up with a budget for it from your company’s drug insurance coverage.
Another way is to include mental health as part of your health benefits plan. This money could be used for treatment and consulting or even to pay for their prescriptions. The point is that you need to show that you are there to support them when they are in need.
Learn How to Handle Conflicts Between Your Employees
Even if an employee’s mental illness isn’t severe enough to affect their work performance, it can still affect their relationships with co-workers. That’s why you should know how to handle conflicts properly so that no one gets hurt or feels like they can’t talk about their mental illness at work.
Plus, it’s also essential to make sure that your employees’ co-workers don’t make their lives harder. Don’t tolerate any kind of discrimination or harassment, as mental health issues are often misunderstood and not as visible as physical ones.
By doing so, you show your support for the employees who have to deal with these issues. You are also helping to promote an inclusive work environment, which is something every company should value so that all of your employees feel included and cared for.
Remember to Make the Effort to Reach Out
It’s going to be a lot more helpful for you to ask about your employee’s feelings if they know that you’re making an effort to know them. Try spending more time with or checking up on your employees so you can tell if they’re feeling down or not performing at their best.
Show your compassion and understanding for those who suffer from mental illnesses because doing so can help push through the societal stigma. And it can help promote empathy for those who need it.
Mental disorders and mental health issues continue to be taboo, even more so in the workplace. As an employer, you should know how to advocate for people suffering from mental illness while at work.
It’s your responsibility to make sure that you provide a safe and supportive work environment for all of your employees. Remembering these tips will help ensure that everyone stays productive while also being mentally healthy at work.