Prioritizing Employees’ Mental Health

Nov 30, 2021

Prioritizing Employees’ Mental Health

By Emme Ratcliffe

Saying your organization supports their employee’s mental health and showing you support their mental health and well-being are two very different things. Many people view work as a place to go and get their tasks done and then leave, but they don’t realize how this pattern can impact their overall well-being in the long run. Your employees must know that they are encouraged to take care of themselves and will remain an asset to the team. The pandemic has impacted mental health in more ways than one, and your employees may be returning to the workplace with more well-being struggles than when they were initially hired.

“40% of global employees said that no one at their company had asked them if they were doing OK” – Harvard Business Review

What is mental health?
Mental health is the state of well-being in which the individual realizes their abilities, can cope with the everyday stresses of life, work productively, and contribute to their community or workplace. Mental well-being affects how we think, feel, and act.

Building a Team with Vulnerability

“The fear of being vulnerable prevents team members from building trust with each other.” The first step in prioritizing employees’ well-being is opening up and creating that trust with them, allowing yourself to be just as vulnerable as they are with you. Investing in proactive workplace mental health training for the entire leadership team is a big step in giving them the resources necessary to build an inclusive team. If you are a manager who has dealt with mental health in some capacity, let your team know about it, and more times than not, they have experienced some of the same battles as you. Being an authentic, transparent, and organic leader allows you to cultivate trust and improve your employee’s engagement leading to a higher performance rate.

If your employees feel they need to step away and get some air while struggling, let them. Being a manager does not mean you always have to be “perfect” by explaining to your team that you are struggling too or reaching out for help when needed; this shows them that they can have an honest relationship with you and their team members. An honest and open relationship in the workplace guarantees a stronger working team.

Checking in on your colleagues regularly proves that they are not just employees but valued as human beings. With so many organizations still working from home, it is very easy to be blind to their struggles when you don’t see them every day. Typically, when asked “How are you?” the obvious answer is “I’m fine,” and you move on from the conversation. By going above that question and creating a space for them to be heard without being too overbearing, you can understand one another more attuned.

Recognize their needs and look for ways to help eliminate stressors for your team.

Steps to reduce stress include:

  • Encourage exercise
  • Take breaks
  • Listen to calming music
  • Create quiet time
  • Allow for flexible hours
  • Encourage social activities
  • Solving discomfort

PeopleSpace is here to help create spaces that promote well-being and share knowledge on enhancing your employee’s well-being.

An excellent book for building team health is The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

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