When it comes to the issue of health in the workplace, the majority of people immediately assume that this is something that’s concerning the hygiene, natural light influx or effects of workstations on one’s posture. What they often fail to realize is the fact that mental health is just as important. In fact, when it comes to the overall productivity in the workplace, stress, bullying, lack of trust and confidence can taint one’s feelings during their entire workday. What this means is that by promoting positive mental health at work, you’re making a huge difference in the overall productivity and talent retention. So, here are several things you can do in order to make a major leap forward in this field.
1. An Emphasis On A Work-Life Balance
The first major problem for one’s mental health at work is a disrupted work-life balance. As an employer, you may believe that an issue of work-life balance is the responsibility of each individual but sometimes you need to ask yourself if you’re making this incredibly difficult for your employees.
For instance, when setting deadlines, the majority of entrepreneurs are governed by Parkinson’s law which states that work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion. However, in order to help your employees, achieve a better work-life balance, you might be a bit more lenient when it comes to these deadlines. You also need to be less insistent on them working overtime and weekends, especially without announcing it weeks in advance. This will give them time to develop plans around it, without having to cancel on plans they looked forward to.
2. Promote Awareness And Engagement
The next thing worth keeping in mind is the fact that a lot of your employees are reluctant to talk about these issues, mostly out of stigma that this will make them feel weak. This is why you need to introduce them to a concept of psychological injury in the workplace. Just by showing them that this is not just a real thing from the standpoint of law but, unfortunately, a common occurrence in present-day offices, you’ll help them step forward with these issues. One of the most difficult things when it comes to helping one with their mental problems is making one ask for (and therefore accept) your help. Also, showing them that they’re also legally protected from these issues might be an additional reassurance.
3. Make Your Office A Safer Place
An imminent danger can be incredibly stressful and stress-inducing, which is why investing in physical safety might help promote positive mental health in the workplace, as well. For instance, you need to properly label and secure dangerous substances and materials, as well as describe a course of action if one is exposed to them. Show your employees that you care about their wellbeing and you’ll provide them with a no small amount of comfort.
4. Fight Bullying In Every Form
Sometimes, the major problem that your employees will encounter will be a human factor. There are some people who enjoy tormenting others and, in the workplace, this bullying is most often psychological. The first thing you need to do in order to defend your employees is to instruct them on what bullying is, to begin with.
Once they recognize it, they need to be introduced to the fact that this is something that they shouldn’t try to endure and provide them with an appropriate course of action in this scenario. The most important information that you need to provide them with is the person that they should turn to if they’re feeling bullied. More often than not, this is their HR representative. Also, they need to be told that if they notice that someone else is being bullied, they need to report it in order to protect their colleagues.
5. Recognize Emotional Vampires
Direct bullying is not always the cause of mental health problems and disorders when it comes to your employees. You see, there are some people who are commonly referred to as emotional vampires. What they do is make others feel uncomfortable either through their attitude or by raising stress levels in the workplace.
The problem with recognizing these individuals in your employ due to two major factors. First, no one is reporting them because there’s nothing to report (they aren’t actively bullying or sabotaging anyone). Second, they aren’t necessarily underperforming when it comes to their work tasks. They are, however, making your office an unpleasant place and making your other employees feeling uncomfortable. Letting these people go is usually the best course of action in these situations.
The very last thing you need to understand that by disregarding mental health of your employees you’ll increase the abandonment rate, ruin your productivity and be one of the caused for mental disorders that your employees might develop. In other words, doing all you can in order to make improvements in this field is not just your responsibility as an entrepreneur but also pivotal for you as a human being. Fortunately, with these several tips on your side, you now know exactly what to do.
Alexander Hunkin is an Australian based startup advisor with in-depth experience in growing business. His meaningful and strategic advices have helped in setting and growing many startup companies in Brisbane and Perth. Alexander is also a content creator for different niches. The top ones are business, career, finance and marketing. He aspires to share his experiences and is always on the lookout for the next opportunity to enhance his skills. When he isn’t busy working, you can find him cooking exotic meals, scuba diving and cycling.