As an employer, the health and happiness of your staff should be your number one priority. Of course, you want to ensure your business is profitable and growing, but this should not be at the detriment of anyone’s mental health.
A massive 14.7% of employees claim to experience mental health problems as a result of their working conditions, so you should aim to buck this trend, not contribute to it. There are so many things that can harm a worker’s mental wellbeing in a professional setting, from negative office environments to excessive workloads to a lack of healthy work-life balance.
If your staff’s mental health is not something you have thought much about in the past, you need to change your attitudes toward your employees. They are not just tools that work tirelessly to make money for you. They are human beings with their own private lives who require certain conditions to thrive and be happy.
Taking steps to prioritize mental health in your workplace will have so many benefits for everyone involved. Your employees will be happier and healthier, gaining more enjoyment from their work and personal lives as a result. You will benefit from a more productive workforce, happier clients, and easier talent acquisition and retention.
So how can you reduce stress levels in your office and ensure your team is mentally healthy? Here are a few tips to get you started.
Talk to them
Some people are very good at hiding any pain or distress they may be going through. Therefore it is not always easy to spot a member of staff who is experiencing mental health issues. And as a manager, you probably don’t have a clear view of everything that happens amongst your team. The best thing you can do to ensure a happy, healthy team is to talk to them. Show your staff that you are approachable and compassionate and ask them to come to you with any issues they may have. Talking to them both one-on-one and as a team will allow you to identify any areas for improvement. Perhaps you can help them manage their workloads or make significant changes in the office that benefit them.
Be more flexible
The modern workplace is a completely different beast compared with several decades ago. Most companies are moving away from the traditional nine-to-five office format in favor of something much more flexible and appealing. Rather than insisting your employees all work at the same time in the same way, give them a bit more flexibility to manage their workload as they see fit. Every single member of your team will have their own personal commitments and issues, and you should equip them with everything they need for the optimum work-life balance. Perhaps let people work from home occasionally or adjust their hours to allow them to pick up their kids or attend doctor’s appointments. Allow your staff to take mental health days off work to decompress and relax if they need it.
Keep them safe
No employee should ever have to feel at risk in the workplace, and with coronavirus still a looming threat, this is more important than ever. If your staff have real concerns for their physical health, they will feel stressed and anxious about coming in to work. Not only will this impact their mental health, but their productivity will suffer too. In the worst cases, one of your employees might start choosing a personal injury lawyer to take you to court. Do what you can to create a safe environment. Comply with health and safety standards and offer quality personal protective equipment when needed. Promote healthy working habits and enforce relevant social distancing guidelines at all times.
Create a happy atmosphere
Most people spend a third of their adult life at work, so your employees shouldn’t feel a sense of dread when they get up in the morning. Even though they have work to do, they can still have a fun, happy time in the office. Make an effort to create a pleasant environment by cultivating a social atmosphere. Organize work social events on weekends and evenings. and make stuffy meetings more fun by ordering in some tasty treats. Refrain from being a micromanaging boss and give them complete freedom to get their work done.
It only takes a few small actions to make significant changes to an employee’s working conditions. By offering them more flexibility and a happier work environment, you are showing them that their mental health is a priority for you.