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Why Employers Should Focus on Mental Health in the Workplace

Updated: Dec 14, 2022

In honor of World Mental Health Day, we wanted to share some tips that employers can use to foster a healthy and empowering workspace for their employees. Employers who commit to their employee’s mental well-being report an increase in retention by reducing burnout, lowering stress, and helping their staff feel supported when necessary. According to the Mind Share Partner’s 2021 Mental Health at Work Report, 91% of respondents believe companies should more effectively support mental health efforts. An additional 84% reported that their workplace had negatively affected their mental health resulting in employees leaving their jobs.

Employers must prepare resources and promote policies that positively affect their staff’s mental health at the office and enable them to feel empowered in their productivity. Here are three tips to help you kickstart a safer and more successful environment for employees to thrive:

Validating the Importance of Mental Health

Start by making mental health an organizational focus and not an individual effort, by ensuring that your staff (senior to intern) understand the importance of maintaining a safe environment for everyone in the office. For this to work, organizational heads must formulate policies that enable a supportive culture in the workplace, with managers ensuring that these policies are enforced.

Promote a Healthy Work + Life Balance

Managers that promote time out of the office will see higher productivity and increased retention compared to those who watch the desk clock. Giving employees the flexibility to take care of their professional and personal responsibilities during the workday, provides a sense of job security which reduces stress exponentially. Additionally, organizations should normalize providing more than 2 weeks of paid vacation time and not harass staff after work hours, on weekends, or while they are on vacation.

Deal with Toxic Employees Immediately

Organizations should have a zero-tolerance policy towards harassment, bullying, and hazing of any kind. Colleagues that consistently make snide remarks about others’ work, act jealous towards another’s successes, or simply have a negative mindset will bring the entire office down. If you are made aware of this type of situation going on, deal with it swiftly, but with care. The person may not realize what they are doing, or that their behaviors can hurt the office (and essentially the company). In those cases, a private conversation between the manager and the guilty party can make a world of difference.

In the case of a responsible employee becoming hostile when addressed; employers may initiate one-on-one conversations to fully diagnose the behavior. If their behavior does not improve, further actions (taking EQ courses, or even including termination) may need to take place, as keeping this person around will only increase turnover, decrease productivity, and eventually rupture the culture of care.

Ultimately promoting a healthy workspace can reduce stress, make colleagues more comfortable in the office, and increase the mental well-being of the staff whole.

We hope these tips help bring some positive change to your organization and work culture.

If you have any additional tips, feel free to add them in the comments and together we can build a better the workplace for all!

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