During this pandemic era, many businesses have realized how mental health issues influence their employees, and they are looking for solutions to improve mental health. Organizational leaders play a critical role in supporting mental health and psychological safety in the workplace. Also, we need to get past the notion that it is inappropriate for managers to discuss mental health with their employees in the workplace.
How can HRs, managers, and team leaders effectively deal with mental health fatigue in their teams?
Here are the effective strategies you can implement to foster a culture that values mental health. Don’t forget to check out the last point which is the most sustainable approach to improving mental health in the workplace.
1. Identify the source of stress
We need to identify the triggering events that lead to poor employee mental health inside and outside work to develop effective solutions for it. You can understand the root cause of such stress factors by conducting anonymous wellness surveys, a genuine and open feedback system, and 1:1 wellness check-ins once in a while with your team members.
By embracing their vulnerability, making them feel safe enough to discuss their mental health challenges at work, and proactively working on the feedback they provide, you will be able to strengthen relationships with your employees and increase trust.
2. Creating a positive work culture
An organization’s culture has a great impact on its employees' mental health. That’s also a key differentiator for many professionals to choose their employers in this highly competitive world. By making sure you build a culture where people feel belonged, valued, and respected.
You can not expect people from diverse backgrounds to follow the culture that you want to build just by adding things on paper and sharing it during onboarding. Rather build structures and processes that make people adapt to a positive culture.
For example, if you want to foster a culture of open and genuine feedback, make it a routine to conduct a 360-degree feedback mechanism once a quarter. You can also share guidelines and train people in terms of how to share and receive feedback.
3. Setting clear boundaries
Establishing clear boundaries between work and personal life is another important step to foster mental health. Satya Nadella warns that late-night emails and a lack of boundaries in remote work may have an impact on employee well-being.
You may ensure that work does not interfere with their personal lives by making sure they are not getting emails or work calls after work hours or while on vacation. Creating process-driven workflows instead of people-driven ones can help your team take breaks when needed without affecting the team outcomes.
4. Making your organization inclusive and safe
Bullying and workplace conflict lead to psychological exhaustion, depression, violence, and anxiety. Over half (51.1%) in the Monster.com survey said they were bullied by a boss or manager. The ways the respondents said they were bullied were aggressive email tones (23.3%), coworkers’ negative gossip (20.2%), and someone yelling at them (17.8%).
Most often such bullying happens as a casual joke or sudden subtle snaps from a manager or co-worker. This might not look obvious to employers like someone yelling at their co-worker. But it is necessary for them to set clear expectations and train people in such a way they can make the organization inclusive and safe for all sorts of people.
Conducting sessions on workplace behavior, inclusivity, and professional communication right from onboarding can prevent such problems.
5. Support mental health
Paying close attention to your team members’ mental health regularly can help prevent burnout, attrition, toxic culture, and many more. It is highly recommended to provide professional support when you see someone struggling.
As a leader, you can help break the stigma around mental health by taking therapy or talking about your own mental health and encouraging people to do the same. Foster a culture where talking and sharing about mental health challenges are normalized.
6. Mental health skill-building
Even after listening to your team empathetically, creating a positive culture, work-life balance, getting professional support, etc., you may still notice some mental health challenges and breakdowns in your team. Equipping them to handle such situations with better tools and professional guidance is what you need to make the impact sustainable.
Training your employees to build skills like stress & anxiety management, Managing their mental health while thriving at work, improving their Emotional Quotient, etc. can result in higher productivity, improved work performance, and a deeper sense of corporate loyalty.
Mindfuel360 provides an experiential workshop on “Managing your mental health while thriving at work” that can equip your employees to improve their mental health while giving their fullest potential at work. Book a call with us now to know more!
Simply allotting a budget for your team's mental health and buying fancy app subscriptions and tools that are not even used by the maximum crowd may not be the right way to improve employee well-being. Start paying attention to what they really need and provide them with sustainable solutions that can create a lasting impact on their mental health.