4 Tips for Addressing Mental Health in the Workplace

As the owner or manager of a business, you have a lot of responsibilities. These responsibilities may vary depending on your line of work. However, a common task entrusted to managers everywhere is to overlook and guide a team of qualified workers.

Managing a team is a massive juggling act. You may have to do everything from organizing work schedules, direction projects, and settling workplace disputes. There will be days where you feel like the captain of a powerful battleship, and other days where you feel more like a glorified babysitter.

There is one factor that often gets overlooked by team managers and business owners alike, and that’s mental health. The struggles of mental health do not manifest themselves very clearly to those on the outside. You may have no idea that one of your employees is struggling until it’s too much for them to take. It is in everyone’s best interest that you properly address mental health in the workplace, such as in these examples:

1. Make Resources Accessible

The sad truth is that a lot of people place their mental health on the back burner. There are so many things in life to worry about that it commands all of their time and energy. Work is one of those demanding activities they must commit to. As an employer, there are ways to help your employees prioritize their mental health even while putting in full-time hours.

Take a look at the benefits package that you offer your team. Most companies default to retirement contributions, health insurance, and sufficient break room space. While these are good, there’s nothing stopping you from adding a mental health focus to the benefits you provide.

You can look at including counseling and therapy as part of the health insurance package you offer to employees. By making this more readily available, you enable your team members to address their mental health more easily. Being an included perk can incentivize them to set up a preliminary meeting, hopefully receiving some helpful guidance and advice from it. You can even find anxiety treatment online, making solutions more readily available for your workforce.

2. Cultivate a Positive Workplace

Employees spend a lot of time in the workplace. With that being said, the business they work for has a significant impact on their overall mental health. With up to 40 hours or more spent at work in a single week, there are numerous opportunities for one’s mental health to be affected, for better or for worse.

Stress is one of the biggest factors in the workplace leading to deteriorated mental health. Employees who feel overworked, underappreciated, overwhelmed, or undervalued may experience higher levels of stress. Try thinking of some ways you can reduce stress levels for your team, especially on the mental side. (The workload part of a positive workplace will be addressed in just a moment.)

Company culture is a huge part of workplace mental health. Numerous employees have left high paying jobs to join a different organization that treats them better. Establish and enforce a zero tolerance policy for abuse of any kind, even down to unwanted teasing.

3. Work Smarter, Not Harder

No, this doesn’t mean you and your team shouldn’t continue to work hard. Rather, it means you should look for ways to work more efficiently rather than just aiming to complete more work. The main benefits of working more efficiently are improved productivity, reduced burnout, enhanced collaboration, and the potential for a better work-life balance.

Working smarter, not necessarily harder, can happen through a variety of approaches. Embracing automation and technology can help you streamline repetitive tasks. Implementing effective project management strategies and setting clear priorities and goals can help employees use their time in the best way. Encouraging cross-functional collaboration and investing in employee training and skill development ensure workers have the resources they need.

This improved efficiency can do a lot to reduce stress in the workplace. Some of the methods you use can also improve communication among team members and even improve work-life balance. Get an efficient enough system going, and you could even potentially move to a four day workweek. Your team will be sure to love the idea of a prolonged weekend.

4. Promote Unity

Mental health is always a larger challenge when you try to tackle it on your own. This isn’t to say you’re not strong enough to overcome your mental health struggles. Rather, it highlights how beneficial it can be to have a support group assisting you every step of the way.

Some people don’t have friends and family to turn to when they’re outside of work. In a sense, their coworkers are the next closest thing. This doesn’t mean your fellow employees should become part-time therapists. Instead, you should focus on bringing your team together so they feel unified and more like friends than mere coworkers.

Plan some periodic activities that are built to promote team unity. Schedule team luncheons, group walks as a quick break, or even weekend gatherings with their families. Embrace water cooler conversations and the right dosage of jokes and storytelling. The closer your team members get to each other, the better they will be able to collaborate and support each other.

Mental health is never really something you can address bluntly. The best thing you can do is create a work atmosphere that helps people feel comfortable and safe. When opportunities present themselves, do what is in your power to lift up your team members to greater heights. The consistent effort you put in will help everyone in need.

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