Mental health is a critical topic to focus on, and people are much more accepting of it now than in the past, when depression may not have been discussed at work or home. At Expanded Realities, we feel strongly about promoting mental well-being in the workplace. In light of this, we should institute several programs to provide our employees with the tools and resources they need to promote good mental health, whether in the form of first aid kits stocked with emergency medication or more comprehensive programs aimed at managing stress levels.
You must have a clear focus to make the most significant impact on your business and its culture. Your key initiative should be to create a company culture that supports mental health by encouraging workers to openly discuss any challenges they may face so that your entire organisation works together to solve them. Only then will you have created an effective workflow that includes the management and all other team members because happy employees are productive employees.
1. Understand how managers can influence employee well-being:
Most managers intend to support their employees but may not know how their management style affects mental health. Passive leadership predicts higher levels of role ambiguity, conflict, and overload, which create psychological exhaustion and adversely affect mental health.
Managers play a huge role in the mental well-being of their employees, but they also have an indirect role to play. Exemplifying good mental health may influence how likely employees are to seek mental health resources and initiatives.
2. Leading by example and supporting your employees:
According to Unmind's 2022 Mental Health Trends Report, leadership has a critical role in boosting workplace well-being. 76% of HR professionals believe senior leaders need to increase their well-being. The way to drive real, long-lasting change in workplaces is to ensure leaders are seen supporting the policies they seek to implement. This can be done by modelling healthy behaviours, opening communication channels, and continuing to learn.
3. Model Behaviours:
Modelling healthy behaviours can be one of the best ways to show your employees how committed you are to their mental health. However, only one in three employees believed that their organisation's leaders led by example regarding mental health. Those shared were stress, burnout, depression, and other mental health problems. Although it can be difficult to bring up personal mental health challenges, talking about them is one of the best ways employers can de-stigmatise mental health.
The modelling of healthy behaviours, such as those outlined above, and others, such as establishing breaks, encouraging time off, and separating home and work, can demonstrate an organisation's commitment to inclusivity and communication. But most importantly, this may give employees the courage to speak up about their concerns so that their managers can guide them toward resources that can help.
4. Channels of communication with employees should be established and maintained:
Managers must create and maintain open communication channels with their employees to encourage them to open up and solve their challenges. Supporting employees through discussions and openness is critical, but not everyone is comfortable or has had positive experiences.
Employees should feel confident that opening up about mental health will be met with support and care, knowing that management is an ally in combating stress rather than a factor of it. Additionally, employees who felt supported at work were twice as likely to discuss their mental health at work. Furthermore, they reported higher job satisfaction and were more likely to stay with their companies.
5. Keep Learning:
As workplace dynamics change, mental health at work will likely garner greater importance. However, most managers lack formal training on mental health issues, so even if employers are willing to support employees, they may not know-how.
It will be easier for employers to deal with employee mental health when formal training sessions are conducted, and mental health resources are easily accessible. Training and support will also tell employees that their concerns will be taken seriously.
Employers are taking on a more dynamic and effective role regarding the well-being of their employees by leading by example. Although this may be difficult, it is the most effective way to create a positive working environment that allows employees to thrive.