Here are some effective steps that will help you protect your employees’ mental health:
Create a healthy and positive workplace environment
One of the biggest factors that influence employee motivation and happiness is their working environment. A healthy and positive environment at the workplace breeds productivity and efficiency. Just consider it, if the working environment of your office is good, your employees will fit well into the organisation’s culture. When they are on good terms with their superiors and peers, they will naturally feel comfortable working there. A healthy work environment will help you in many ways – you will be able to attract the best talent to work for you, retain your good performing employees, lower absenteeism, and increase profitability. In addition, make the office a more bright and cheerful place to work in for everyone.
Understand the needs and opportunities of your employees
Just as you do, your employees also have needs, objectives, dreams and goals that they want to fulfill. As an empathetic employer, it is essential to understand what it is that your employees need and focus on their desires as much as your own. It is one of the most genuine steps towards invigorating their mental health. When employees’ needs are met, they feel aligned with the mission, vision and goals of the organisation, and hence respond with high levels of engagement and commitment. Provide them opportunities to learn and grow professionally with frequent support, feedback and coaching. Finally, provide them opportunities to leverage their contribution by collaborating with others and encouraging them to become each other’s support system.
Employee assistance programs
Employee assistance programs (EAPs) are specially designed strategies that help companies in addressing productivity issues and employees in identifying and resolving personal concerns. Under EAP sessions, you can incorporate regular checkups and screening of your staff by expert medical professionals. Mental illness is entirely and effectively treatable just as other illnesses, so you should support and look after such employees who immediately need treatment. You can provide free life skills workshops to your employees by allowing them weekly therapy appointments during working hours if needed. Many EAPs are actively helping various organizations prevent and cope with workplace violence, trauma, and other emergency response situations, thereby effectively reducing the possibility of mental health risks among employees.
Work-life balance and accommodations
Unless your employees are completely stress-free, they are not going to perform up to the expectations. So a work life balance becomes very necessary for them to maintain a healthy balance between their roles, their personal responsibilities and family life. Employee stress can increase to the level of burnout, resulting in lower productivity at work. In addition to this, employees may also experience poor personal and co-worker relationships and reduced job satisfaction. You need to provide your staff enough time and opportunity to relax and have fun at times. You can throw occasional office parties for them so they can enjoy life as well, rather than going through a constant cycle of stress and work pressure. You can give them gifts like hot cocoaparty favours so that they can stay motivated, happy and mentally strong.
Communication is the key
Misunderstandings, ambiguities and communication gap are the most prominent reasons behind workplace strife and interpersonal difficulties. This creates conflicts, stress and finally poor mental health. So you need to incorporate a culture where people listen to one another’s points of view, share their knowledge and skills, and respect each other’s opinions. Just consider the kind of impact you will have on your employees when you are willing to help them improve their personal situations by communicating with them. As a matter of fact, when people are heard and feel understood, they experience at least some relief from their stressors and anxieties.