Are you an employer at wits with your employee’s productivity?. Is your employee’s sickness rate too high that it’s impacting your companies profit?. Have you considered checking in with your employee about their mental health in your workplace?.Yes, poor mental health in workplace may be the barriers to your companies unproductivity and stagnation.
Employee’s mental health is probably the last priority of most business; forgetting their employee’s well-being greatly impacts their performance.
With this in mind, supporting employees in the workplace by improving their mental health can make a difference. This will reduce the high sickness rate, improve productivity and staff retention.
I will share how my supervisor has supported me and have gotten the best out of me. As a result of the pandemic, I didn’t have any choice but to homeschool my children. It was a very challenging task to work and homeschool. I spoke to my supervisor about my concerns, anxieties and the complexity of my unique situation. She listened, acknowledged my unique situation and reassured me. Together with my input, we made few adjustments to support me at home whilst homeschooling and working. To know how to cope effectively with homeschooling and working from home, look at this post.https://jayceepassionblog.com/how-to-cope-better-with-homeschooling-and-working-from-home/
To start with, I felt my feelings were considered when I aired my anxieties about the challenges. Secondly, the acknowledgement of my unique situation made me feel that my individuality was respected.
Remember every family situation is unique; no two families are the same.
Thirdly, my supervisor’s reassurance made me feel valued as an employee of the organisation, not like a piece of furniture that can be replaced if I’m unable to meet demand or provide services.
Finally, being part of the adjustment process made me happier because I’m the one who knows how I like to be supported.
This gave me the confidence to manage to homeschool and working effectively. I must say my productivity improved, and my mental well-being didn’t suffer due to the support I received from my supervisor.
Understandably, not everyone will be opportune to have a supportive employer like I do have now. There were times when I found myself in a job where I didn’t have a helpful employer. My decision was to work hard to find a job supporting my work-life balance because I value my mental health, family and work.
So, if you are in a hostile work environment and have done everything without compromising your mental health and what is important to you, you can’t seem to make it work. Get out of the environment if you can by planning your exit plan.
Acquaint yourself with employers policies about the support available to you. Join the union should in case things get worse whilst you are working to exit the hostile environment. I say this because I have seen how people have developed mental health problems due to work stressors.
Believe me, it’s not worth it !!.
Though this article is mainly about employers supporting employees to support their mental health in the workplace. I thought it’s nice to share my experience as an employee to encourage employees to know their rights and remind them that mental health is their responsibility.
In the next paragraph, l will discuss how you can promote mental health and well-being in the workplace. Keep reading!
How To Promote Mental Health And Well-being In The Workplace.
There is a correlation between staff productivity and the mental health of employees. So, a healthy working environment must be maintained.
Bear in mind that employees spend the majority of their time at work. Long working hours, a competitive environment, poor support from management, high-stress threshold, and health issues can impacts ones mental health.
Therefore, prioritising the well-being of your employees is very crucial. As we know that when employees feel happier and feel well supported, then there is a likelihood that their work productivity will increase.
I will share in the next paragraph a few ways employers can improve the mental health and wellbeing of their employees in the workplace.
Treat your employees as an individuals
Individuality needs to be applied when employers are dealing with their employees. We have unique life experiences and reacts differently to a situation that applies to everyone. Don’t tell your employee, so and so are in the same situation as you, so deal with it. Listen to their particular situation and validate their anxieties and experience as an individual, and you will get the best out of them as an employee.
Promote a good work/life balance
When your employees have spoken to their challenges, they are having. Acknowledged it and ask how you can help to support them in their present situation. Involve them in the adjustments, just like I mentioned in my experience above. They are the expert in their situation and may know-how things can be tweaked to achieve a good work-life balance.
Raise Awareness Using Mental Health First Aid(Mental Health Training)
In recent times, mental health first aid course in the workplace has helped employees and employers to create a more positive work environment. Raising awareness of mental health in workplaces starts with being knowledgeable on spotting mental ill-health signs, having a positive attitude towards others experiencing mental health challenges, providing support for the employees during a crisis, and supporting them to access services available.
Promote Positive Work Relationships
Information sharing and encouraging collaboration culture help in promoting positive workplace relationships. Employees feel they are part of the organisation. So, make them feel heard and valued. For example, asking your employees what and how they feel things can be improved and their challenges. I appreciate my supervisor because she encourages my team and often recognises each person effort openly. She also makes it easier for staff to discuss their concerns with her, whether in the team meeting or in one to one supervision meeting without scheduling appointment all the time.
Improve Work Environment
Whether you are working remotely or working from a physical workplace. The work environment needs an appropriate environment and conducive to the employee’s wellbeing.
In my situation, where I was working from home. My employer asked the team to complete a questionnaire asking us about our environment and equipment you need to work from home. Thereafter, completing the questionnaire, our needs were identified. A provision for the pieces of equipment we needed to work from home were delivered to our home address, such as make-shift work table, laptops, work chair etc. This really made working from home a bit comfortable for me. I also heard from a friend who works in a different industry that they were asked to purchase work equipment needed with their money, and they were reimbursed. So, speak to your employees and find out what could help them in the environment they are working from.
Regular Supervision With Employee
Having regular one to one supervision with your employees also helps identify the areas they may be struggling with. This is an opportunity to set goals with appropriate support in place and review it accordingly. For example, during supervision with an employee, their poor timekeeping resulted from child care issues. Then, necessary adjustments need to made by their employers, if possible, to support them with a suitable work pattern. Hence, they are not late, and their morale and productivity aren’t impacted.
How To Talk About Mental Health In The Workplace
Normalising mental health in the workplace and creating a non-judgemental space for mental health discussion is very important. As for me, I work in the health environment, precisely a mental health environment, but I still find people not open about their mental health difficulties. I guess its to do with people feeling judged about how they feel to honestly bear it out. I understand there are space and place for this, but if we cannot express our challenges, we can not encourage others to do the same.
Providing external or in-house support for employees and supervisors can encourage them to talk about their mental health. A safe space where they can communicate their mental health needs and access services if needs be. The employees and supervisors can use the staff support system to explore other ways they improve their mental health wellbeing in the workplace.
Create An Environment For Mentoring, Learning And Development
To improve productivity in the workplace. Employers need to create an environment that will encourage learning, mentoring and development. Then this makes the employees advance in their skills and ability to carry out their work effectively. Using an in-house trainer to do this can save some money for the organisation. Again, it is cost-effective to encourage employees interested in the training and development to participate so they can train others afterwards.
Also, when employees know there are opportunities to grow within their organisation. It helps them to improve their drive to be more productive because there is a reward. Additionally, create a mentoring scheme for new employees to support them in their settling period.
Mental Health Policies In The Workplace
Incorporate mental health into the workplace policy. The policies should support your employee mental health wellbeing. Let the employee know the pathway of accessing support if they are struggling with their mental health. Be clear about your mental health strategy in your policies.
Mental health and employees wellbeing should be at the centre of your Policies and procedures. As we know, the mental health well-being of an employee has a direct relationship with their productivity. It is imperative workplace and organisations act to ensure appropriate support is available to their employees.
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Disclaimer: The post’s content is my views and opinions solely and may not be associated with professional capacity.
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