Improving your employees' mental health

Improving your employees' mental health: a photo of a person holding blue paper cut happy smile face in front of their face.

"Prioritizing employee mental health isn't just good ethics; it's smart business." | Photo Credit: ©Got Pink? / Adobe Stock

Improving your employees' mental health

Imagine, if you will, a bustling, vibrant workplace - the hum of conversations, the clatter of keyboards, and the steady rhythm of work. But beneath this symphony of productivity, there's a silent tune playing: the mental health of your employees. It's a delicate melody, sometimes harmonious, sometimes discordant. For some of your staff, this melody might be an easy one to hold. But for others, it's a complex symphony that can spiral into cacophony with the slightest trigger.

Check-in with your employees regularly

Picture this: it's Monday morning, you're sipping your coffee, and you're getting ready to dive into your day. But wait, don't forget to check in with your employees. Not just about their tasks or deadlines, but about them - their well-being, their headspace, their mental health. Why, you ask? Well, because these check-ins, my friend, are the secret sauce to a thriving work environment. They keep us connected, make us feel valued, and help us address issues that might otherwise slip under the radar. It's like having a radar detector in your car - it's better to know about the speed trap ahead than to whizz by, obliviously, until - oops - flashing lights in the rearview mirror. So, let's all - from senior management to supervisors - make a concerted effort to check in regularly. Keep a record, make it a routine, whether it's a quick daily huddle or a more detailed monthly meeting. These chats aren't just about work progress, they're also about ensuring our team's mental health is in good shape. After all, a happy team is a productive one. Trust me, I've been there.

Create a harmonious environment

Let's talk about the magic of the work environment. It's kinda like the secret sauce in your grandma's famous spaghetti—crucial and impactful. It shapes the productivity of the place, dictates how peers mingle and interact, and above all, it's the puppeteer controlling the happiness strings of your workforce. 

Imagine this: your employees, your work-family, are clocking in most of their waking hours within the office walls. It's like their second home, a home they didn't choose but have to live in. So, it's only fair, don't you think, to make it a place they'd love to step into every day?  

Ask yourself, do you really know how harmonious your office is currently? Like really know? It's time to play detective, my friend. Start probing—ask your employees how they feel about their workspace. You'd be surprised at the goldmine of insights they could offer, pointing out the invisible elephants in the room that need addressing.  

Crafting the finest environment for your employees isn't just about the warm fuzzies—it's also a smart business move. It's like a two-for-one deal, you not only nurture their mental well-being but also boost efficiency within the workplace. Now, isn't that a win-win?

Make a space that allows others to talk about their feelings

Picture this: you're running a marathon with a backpack filled with bricks. The weight is unbearable, and yet, you're expected to keep pace with everyone else. That's what it feels like when we're battling internal struggles, yet forced to put on a brave face in our professional lives. In this fast-paced, high-stakes world, we often sideline our mental health for the sake of keeping up with the Joneses (or in our case, the Johnsons in the cubicle next door). 

The water cooler chat has become a thing of the past, yet the need to express our feelings is more pertinent than ever. But sadly, not all work environments are rolling out the red carpet for these crucial conversations. Imagine an employee, let's call him Bob, battling mental health issues. Now, if Bob's relationship with his manager is as shaky as a house of cards, he might as well be whispering his concerns into the wind rather than confiding in his superior.

This scenario is all too common, and it's about as useful as a chocolate teapot for businesses. It's high time we encouraged an open-door policy, where employees like Bob feel empowered to express their feelings without fear of reprisal. This isn't just about being kind; it's about efficiency. When our minds are free from the weight of unspoken struggles, we can perform at our best, much like shedding that backpack full of bricks mid-marathon. 

So, let's start a conversation with our managers. The goal? To transform them from intimidating authority figures into approachable allies. Because at the end of the day, we're all in this marathon together, and it's a whole lot easier when we lighten the load.

A close up of an Asian woman wearing an Equity Shirt.
Original Equity Shirt by URevolution

Offer flexibility for working environments

The workplace, as we know it, has evolved from a static, singular location to a dynamic, fluid space that transcends physical boundaries. Remember the times when we all had to scramble to set up home offices during the pandemic? Well, surprise, surprise, we discovered that business could tick along quite nicely without the water cooler gossip and the aroma of burnt office coffee. 

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying every business turned into a digital nomad overnight. But a good many have found merit in a hybrid model—a little bit of this, a little bit of that—balancing between office and home. 

Here's a thought: Want to give your employees' mental health a turbo boost? Offer them the freedom to choose their working environment. Let's face it, not everyone dreams of working from home in their PJs, and likewise, not everyone thrives in the nine-to-five office grind.

So, consider tailoring opportunities to your staff on an individual basis. Be flexible. Be understanding. When John from accounting needs to work remotely because his dog ate his car keys (true story!), let him. A happy employee is a productive one, after all.

Ensure they’re comfortable when out on the road

Picture this, you're a business owner with employees scattered across the country, delivering goods or providing services. Maybe you're in the midst of purchasing a fleet vehicle, a move that will further expand your reach. Your workforce, quite literally, is on the move. 

These road warriors might be out of the office, but they are never out of your sphere of responsibility. Here's where the rubber meets the road: managing the expectations and well-being of these folks, whose work hours tend to stretch beyond the conventional 9-5. It's about ensuring they're comfortable, well-rested, and justly compensated for their tireless efforts. 

Ignore this, and you're cruising for a bruising. These hard-working employees may grow disillusioned, their commitment to your company hitting the skids. Remember, out of sight should never equate to out of mind. 

Keep the lines of communication humming. Ensure management is reaching out, checking in, and offering mental health support when needed. Because, at the end of the day, it's not just about the destination, it's about the journey and the people who make it possible.

Offer company benefits to help with mental health support

While every business will offer its own unique set of perks and benefits within the employee’s company package, can you imagine a company package that really goes beyond the typical perks and benefits? Picture a package that truly understands and caters to the holistic needs of your employees. Intriguing, isn't it?

Now, let's dive into one of the most valuable perks you can offer - mental health support. Have you ever considered providing your employees with access to mental health tools or even a direct line to a therapist when the need arises? Trust me, this is a benefit that won't be overlooked. 

Remember, the benefits you offer are not just extras – they are integral to shaping your employees' experiences within the company. Do you feel a sense of responsibility? Good! It's time to revisit your current package. Assess it. Could you add more, particularly in terms of mental health benefits? Is there a gap that needs to be filled? Consider these questions carefully. After all, a mentally healthy workforce is a productive one, wouldn't you agree?

Address employees who are causing problems

Ever noticed that there's often that one individual in the workplace who seems to stir the pot, creating problems that unsettle their colleagues? It's not always the case, but when it happens, it can be a real challenge. 

Let's be honest, in a vibrant workplace buzzing with diverse personalities, it's unlikely that everyone will see eye-to-eye all the time. Yet, that's no reason for someone to feel uncomfortable or out of place, is it? 

So, what happens when the comfort of your workplace takes a hit? Simply put, it must be addressed - and promptly. Sweeping it under the rug for months will only worsen the mental strain on those affected, and let's not forget the negative light it casts on your company. Is that the image you want to portray? 

Take action. Identify the individuals causing the issues, and ensure they're made aware of their disruptive behavior. Involve HR in these conversations to keep things professional and fair. After all, a harmonious workplace is a productive one, right?

Keep up with employee performance and assess workloads

Imagine yourself in your employee's shoes. Mental health can be a delicate balancing act, profoundly influencing their performance. How would you feel if the workload tipped the scales? It's crucial to remember that not everyone can carry the same amount of weight. What might be a breeze for one could be a storm for another. 

Consider this: if we were all cut from the same cloth, wouldn't life be a dull tapestry? That said, the mental well-being of your workforce is not a one-size-fits-all situation. Take a moment to examine each individual's performance. Has there been a recent slump? If so, why? 

Stay aware of the load each employee shoulders, and be mindful not to overload any one person. Remember, a team works best when the load is evenly distributed.

Look at employee insurance

Imagine this: you're a ship's captain navigating the tumultuous seas of business. Your crew, your employees, are the heart and soul of your vessel. Wouldn't you want to ensure their safety and well-being? Employee insurance is your lifeboat in these choppy waters, especially when it comes to safeguarding your company and your crew's mental health. 

Have you ever wondered if your insurance covers mental health issues? Is it relevant to your crew? These are questions worth pondering. It's time to dive deep and explore what your insurance options are and how they cater to mental health needs.

Take a look at equity, diversity, and inclusion policies

Now, let's get to the heart of the matter, one of the most pivotal aspects of improving your employees' mental health - your workplace and business policies. These are the ones that deal with justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Isn't it the ultimate goal of every company to foster an environment that is inclusive and accommodating to people regardless of their backgrounds, sexuality, or race?  

Truth be told, not every business policy has evolved to reflect this. So why not take a moment, and scrutinize your policies with a discerning eye? Make the necessary adjustments. Involve your employees in this process, collaborate with them to craft policies that are inclusive and beneficial to everyone on your team, as well as those who might join in the future.

Boosting your employees' mental health is not just a good-to-do, it's a must-do. So why not use these insights as a compass to steer your business toward creating an environment that nourishes the mental well-being of your workforce not just this year, but for many years to come?