June 16, 2024

Although workplace mental health issues have become more widespread, employees still often feel awkward discussing them with their manager or co-worker for fear of being unfairly judged.

Destigmatizing mental health and offering resources to employees who may need support are of utmost importance, so consider implementing the following strategies to do just that: 1. Include mental health coverage as part of the benefits package

1. Invest in Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs)

Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) provide invaluable support for employees with mental health issues. Offering confidential counseling sessions, EAPs can assist workers navigate personal matters that might interfere with their work performance.

Studies reveal that employees who feel supported by their employers when facing mental health challenges are less likely to underperform or leave their jobs altogether, thus emphasizing the necessity for employers to invest in EAPs and other resources for mental wellbeing.

EAPs offer various services that may assist employees, such as online and phone counseling, financial guidance and family support services. EAPs also help employees cope with specific problems like anxiety and depression by employing master’s-level counselors who offer assessments and treatments at no or reduced costs.

2. Invest in Mental Health First Aid Training

Workplaces that prioritize employee mental health will experience substantial rewards. Stressed, anxious, and depressed workers tend to be less productive and are more likely to miss work than employees without such issues, costing businesses money in lost productivity, recruitment costs and increased insurance premiums.

Attaining policies and practices that support employee psychological well-being requires understanding the myriad risks employees are exposed to while at work – including physical hazards, work structure and relationships, interpersonal interactions, workplace culture issues and safety considerations. By addressing such matters more efficiently, businesses may improve staff retention rates, work performance satisfaction levels and safety outcomes.

Establishing mental health first aid (MHFA) training among employees helps them recognize when one of their colleagues is experiencing a mental health crisis and how best to respond. Such training also reduces stigmatization of seeking assistance when necessary and encourages employees to do so when needed.

3. Encourage Employees to Talk About Mental Health

Workplace cultures that encourage employees to openly discuss mental health issues can make seeking treatment simpler for employees. When managers and leaders share their own experiences with mental illness, this can act as a role model and reduce stigma while building employee trust in their employer.

Employee distress has the power to negatively impact productivity, morale and teamwork – as well as lead to higher costs for your company in terms of lost productivity, absenteeism, turnover rates and health insurance premiums.

Companies can foster open discussions by organizing lunch-and-learn programs on how to recognize signs of distress. Managers may be trained on how to approach employees about this subject sensitively while reminding employees about resources such as EAP.

4. Encourage Employees to Take Time Off

Employees tend to find the workplace to be one of the most structured environments of their lives, creating pressure to perform at their peak at all times – leading them down an emotional road that often ends in exhaustion or stress that reduces productivity.

Employers need to develop an effective communication strategy that conveys that taking time off isn’t only acceptable but beneficial to employees’ well-being. Leaders can lead by example and promote physical, emotional and social wellness by prioritizing it themselves while encouraging their teams to do the same.

Destigmatizing mental health conditions is also key, and employees at remote tech company Buffer have set up a Slack channel dedicated to employees’ mental wellbeing; one team member posts updates about his therapy appointments while others share their own stories.

5. Encourage Employees to Seek Help

Fostering employee wellbeing is at the top of most company leaders’ agendas, as it plays an essential role in increasing productivity, decreasing turnover rates and maintaining customer retention rates.

Employees who feel valued and cared for perform better. Leaders should make an effort to check in with their team members regularly and listen, even if it doesn’t pertain directly to work; listening can go a long way toward building trust between an organization and its team members and showing they truly care about their wellbeing.

Mass layoffs can stir up strong negative emotions like fear, frustration and anxiety that over time can lead to stress, burnout and reduced morale. Leaders must encourage their teams if they feel overwhelmed and struggling by seeking assistance for themselves as well as each other. Furthermore, support should also be offered from each side within the team itself.

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