When it comes to mental health issues in the workplace, there are a few facts that you simply have to be aware of as an employer. While work can be quite beneficial for mental health, if the very office environment is negative, it can certainly lead to various health issues, both mental and physical. Many people suffer from stress anxiety, be it because they are inclined to clinically or because of being unsatisfied with their working environment. As a result, the global economy loses a lot of money due to decreased productivity.
It is also very important to mention that bullying and harassment are common issues at workplaces. These are very serious matters that can significantly affect a worker’s psyche. Your company, as a business organization, can and should take active steps in terms of addressing and promoting mental health in the office, and boost business productivity as a result.
Raise awareness via training
Without proper guidance, it can be difficult for two parties to discuss a mental health issue and determine the best course of action. This is why training is extremely important. You need to make the most out of online classes that can introduce your stuff to what the sins of mental issues look like. This means both in themselves and in their co-workers. You should also have senior leaders hold webinars for everyone else. Alternatively you can organize a men’s group.
The steps that you take don’t necessarily have to be huge. Even the smallest changes that help people adapt, cooperate, and feel better, are significant. It is important that you create a culture where anyone can talk to someone about their tasks and attached difficulties. Once they get a supportive and emphatic reaction, they will feel better, and be more productive at what they do.
Involve workplace mediators
On one hand, not all conflicts that happen in an office are bad. People often need to let out some steam, argue about different approaches that they have to the same idea, and as a result, come up with a constructive solution where everyone is satisfied. However, when conflicts escalate into more serious issues, you need to step in.
The problem is that sometimes even all the training and the resulting awareness aren’t enough to resolve the conflict. There are issues that can build up to affecting your staff member on an emotional or personal level. This is when, according to experts who specialize in workplace mediation, you need the help of a professional who is going to step in between the conflicted parties and do their best to stop the entire team or workplace culture being affected. A mediator will help an employee feel recognized, understood, and self-empowered, so that they can feel like they have a say in the situation, and can more calmly discuss it with the other side.
Learn all you can about work-related health risks
Pretty much every working environment in the world today contains a variety of risk factors that can affect an employee’s mental health. A lot of them have to do with how competent and effective they are, how they react to the work that they are supposed to do, and what the organizational environment and the responsible managers are like. Good examples of work-related issues could be:
- When an employee is skilled enough to do their job but lacks the necessary resources
- When the organization and the managers don’t provide them with enough support in terms of their troubles
This leads us to the discussion about potential risks to employees’ mental health. If you don’t have proper health and safety policies, the communication is poor and improperly managed, the staff feels as if they aren’t supported in what they are doing, the working hours aren’t flexible at all, personal opinions and decisions matter little to how the tasks are done, or the objectives are simply unclear, then you are bound to have a workplace issue that is going to eventually affect your workforce’s mental health sooner or later.
It could also be the fact that an employee isn’t competent enough to do the job or is given way too much work to do for a limited amount of time. Also, if your team isn’t consistent (quite often due to inconsistent management behind it), and not everyone gets the social support that they need, then people are going to be prone to experience mental health issues.
It is your job as an employer to provide your workforce with the proper training on mental health issues and conflicts and encourage them to look for help whenever they feel like they are experiencing some of the symptoms.
There is very often a strong stigma around mental illness in an office, and it needs to be lessened as much as possible. You are the one that should encourage your employees to communicate and learn how to resolve conflicts.