13 Ways to Care for Your Employees' Mental Health
A productive and positive working environment is often not possible if you do not consider your employees’ mental health.
Also, there isn’t one solution to this.
You need to make large-scale, proactive changes to the workplace to make a difference to your employees’ mental health.
Read on to discover some methods you can put into practice to care for employee mental health issues.
What are Some Methods for Caring for Employee Mental Health?
You have to make changes to impact your employees’ mental health in the workplace positively. It is not good enough to expect them to improve on their own. If you can do something to help your employees, you should.
Here are the things you need to consider to care for your employees’ mental health.
1. Openly Communicate with Your Employees
If you don’t communicate with your employees, they will think you don’t value or care for them. Therefore, you must encourage employees to communicate with you and share your mental health.
You need to take the first step on this. It is unlikely that employees will talk about their mental health problems unless you create an environment where they feel safe to do so.
Remember that employees do not have to share their mental health conditions if they don’t want to.
Source: NSW Government
2. Provide Multiple Resources for Mental Health
If employees are willing to talk about their mental health, you should have resources for them to use.
For example, you can use Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs). These can provide employees with assessments, counseling (short-term), referrals, and more. All of this remains entirely confidential for the employee.
According to an IBISWorld report, the EAP market grew by 3.7% between 2017 and 2022.
Additionally, you can help more personally by hosting workshops on relevant mental health subjects like stress management.
3. Create Flexible Working Arrangements for Employees
A 35-hour working week can harm mental health. If employees are struggling with their current working hours, you can suggest flexible ones. For example, they could work two hours less a day or have an extra day off.
You could also introduce the idea of remote working. Give employees the option to work entirely from home if they want or offer a hybrid arrangement; they work some days from home and some days in the office.
Doing this for an employee can help reduce the potential for burnout, improving their mental health.
4. Encourage Your Employees to Take a Vacation 🌅
Another way you can help employees avoid burning out during work is by suggesting they take a vacation.
A vacation is a surefire way to relax and destress before starting work; it’s like pressing a reset button.
Here are some alternative suggestions to taking a vacation.
5. Encourage Employees to Have a Work-life Balance 🍻
Aside from encouraging employees to take breaks, you should also discuss their work-life balance with them. If they are too work-focused, they may not get enough sleep or have time to spend with friends or family.
An OECD survey states that, on average, Australian employees devote 14.4 hours of their day to leisure and personal care (lower than the OECD average).
Encourage your employees to separate their working life from their home life. Help them by balancing their workload or telling them to take an extra day off.
6. Set Realistic Timelines for Tasks⏰
If you place unfair expectations on employees, it will stress them out and likely worsen their mental health.
Therefore, always ask employees how they find their current workload. If they suggest it may be too much, consider giving some of it to someone else.
You must treat all employees fairly. If one employee works faster than others, that doesn’t mean you should double their workload.
7. Make the Work Environment More Supportive
Making a more supportive work environment is a critical way to make the workplace more accepting of mental health.
You should build a culture in your team that values:
- Empathizing with each other’s problems.
- Understanding and helping each other.
Supporting employee mental health prevents them from feeling isolated or alone.
8. Train Other Managers on Mental Health
Just because you begin to understand why mental health is important and what you can do to help doesn’t mean that other managers will do the same.
Therefore, you should train them to notice if an employee struggles with their mental health and show support. Go into detail on the mental health resources you can offer to employees.
9. Remove Stress From the Working Environment
Stress is a critical aspect that negatively affects employees’ mental health.
Source: ADP Research Institute
To reduce stress in the workplace, focus on making it more calming, a place where employees want to go. You can do this by adding a relaxation area to the office, where employees can go if they feel stressed.
10. Create Programs for Wellness and Mindfulness 🧘
Taking a hands-off approach to dealing with your employees’ mental health is not the answer. They will appreciate it if you show them that you care and want to do what you can to help.
A few methods to help employees struggling with mental health include:
- Setting up meditation sessions to help them become more mindful.
- Hosting or organizing yoga sessions to destress employees and promote wellness.
- Creating wellness workshops for your employees.
11. Show Appreciation for Your Employees’ Effort
Larger gestures like setting up wellness workshops are not the only way you can help employees.
A smaller act that employees will love just as much is showing them appreciation. Showing employees tough love after completing a task is not good enough. Get across that you genuinely appreciate their efforts.
Doing this will raise your employees’ sense of worth and morale.
12. Monitor Employee Engagement and Satisfaction
It isn’t always easy to work out if employees are happy in the workplace; some will do well to hide it.
Therefore, monitoring their engagement and satisfaction can be the determining factor to see if they are happy.
You can get employee feedback through online surveys, or if you want to ask personalized questions, have a one-on-one conversation with them. If they aren’t happy, try to understand why that is and see what you can implement in the workplace to change it.
13. Demonstrate the Above Practices Yourself
Finally, once you introduce some of the above practices into the workplace, demonstrate them yourself. Doing this shows your employees that you genuinely care about improving the work environment and making it more supportive and accepting.
For example, if you prioritize your mental life by having a clear work-life balance, your employees will have the courage to do the same.
Learn What Else Can Create a Better Working Environment for Mental Health on Tommy
With the above practices, you can start to make a mentally healthy workplace; a place where employees are happy to talk about their mental health.
You can find other ways to create a more positive work environment with Tommy.