Our workplaces contribute a great deal to our mental health, hence providing achievement and fulfillment. However, work can additionally contribute to unhappiness, stress, and mental ill-health. There is no doubt that the covid-19 pandemic has impacted our emotional wellbeing and mental state.
Feelings of anxiety, loneliness, and stress can usually make their way within our workplaces. Employees seem to be reluctant to go back to the office culture and have surfaced up mixed emotions. This article is guided to help organizations achieve workplace resilience, thereby supporting employees’ emotional well-being at work.
Understanding Mental Health: An Area of Concern
Mental health problems within the workplace have remained an area of concern for quite some time. And, with the covid-19 pandemic crisis, the employees’ emotional challenges have spiked.
Simply providing employees with access to emotional well-being solutions does not happen to be a great strategy for inspiring them to put their emotional well-being first. Miscommunications, flaws, and barriers in implementation notably reduce efficacy and might even halt adoption procedures altogether.
The covid-19 pandemic has made emotional well-being a top priority for employers as various professionals are feeling and going through a sense of uncertainty. Employees happen to be feeling stressed out and are going through significant changes in their emotional wellbeing. They may:
- Have been requested to continue working from home.
- Be worried about their job stability.
- Be juggling eldercare responsibilities and child issues.
Mental Health Challenges
Mental health problems affect companies along with their employees. Stress and poor mental health can negatively lead to affecting employees:
- Communication with colleagues
- Engagement with employee’s work
- Productivity and job performance
- Daily functioning and physical capability
Illnesses related to emotional well-being like depression are linked with greater rates of unemployment and disability.
- Depression is a disease that interferes with the employee procedures ability to carry out physical work approximately 20% of the time. It leads to a reduced in cognitive performance approximately 35% of the time.
- Among all, 57% of the employees report moderate depression, and among all 40% of employees report severe depression. They look forward to receiving treatment for controlling the symptoms of depression.
Even after considering other health risks like obesity and smoking, employees remain at and high risk of depression. In this case, employers can help promote awareness regarding the essential factors of mental health along with stress management.
How Employers Can Support the Mental Health of Employees?
Workplace health programs are proven to be flourishing particularly when they combine physical and mental health interventions. Before strategizing to support the emotional well-being of employees, company executives are required to check business cases for new initiatives. It is recommended to lead with the information including:
- Acknowledging the sentiment of employees and measuring engagement
- Understanding changes in productivity
- Analyzing the utilization of employee assistance programs
- Examining attrition from health reasons or burnout
- Checking out for case count concerning mental health support requests
With that being stated, maximum employers possess the above-mentioned data, however, only a few of them aggregate it to develop the viewpoint of employee’s emotional well-being along with emotional well-being. Therefore, the goal is to develop a research project for analyzing accessing, and reporting on the information available. Once employers have the data, they need to start exploring services and programs they can offer for meeting the specific needs of their workforce.
The workplace happens to be an optimal setting for creating a culture of mental health because:
- Policies and programs arrived from a particular team.
- The communication structure already remains in place.
- Network related to social support happens to be available.
- Employees can utilize data for tracking progress and measuring the effects.
- Employees can provide incentives for reinforcing healthy behaviors.
What Are The Action Steps Employers Can Take?
With mental health being a priority in workplaces with the covid-19 pandemic crisis, employers can take some of the action steps.
- Provide subsidized clinical screenings concerning depression from an experienced mental health professional.
- Make self-assessment tools related to mental health accessible to all employees.
- Offer subsidized or free counseling, self-management programs, and lifestyle coaching.
- Distribute flyers, videos, and brochures to all the employees about the symptoms and signs of treatment opportunities and poor mental health.
- Host workshops and seminars addressing stress management and depression management techniques. It can include meditation, mindfulness, breathing exercises for helping employees reduce stress and anxiety, thereby improving motivation and focus.
- Provide employees with opportunities to participate in decisional issues affecting job stress.
- Maintain and create quiet and dedicated spaces concerning relaxation activities.
With the following action steps, workplaces can be healthier and employers can uplift employees’ emotional health.
Organizational leaders possess an innovative opportunity to start supporting mental health within the work premises. This problem isn’t new, however, by layering in the effects of the pandemic, racial tensions, and unrest, the need enhances exponentially.
When employees remain engaged and healthy, they are more productive and satisfied at work. Supporting and focusing on the mental health of the employees is not just the moral and right thing to do, it is a business imperative.