Mental health is a significant factor in a person’s well-being. What’s challenging about it, however, is that it can be difficult to know which employees need help unless they tell you directly.
This World Mental Health Day, we’re here to help you tackle the challenges in the workplace that can affect your employees’ mental well-being. We will also discuss strategies and practical tips to guide you in creating and maintaining effective mental health initiatives at work.
Employee Engagement is Key: The Pillars to Improving Mental Health in the Workplace
Employee well-being is important as it can affect how your team members collaborate with each other and perform their responsibilities. A global survey by McKinsey Health Institute, involving nearly 15,000 employees across 15 countries, found that 59 percent of employees are affected by at least one mental health challenge.¹
Prioritizing workplace well-being is crucial, especially today. The good news, as per Gallup, is that the key to positively impacting your employees’ mental health lies in their engagement. Currently, 32 percent of the U.S. workforce is engaged in their work.
In tracking 10,000 U.S. workers over the course of six months, Gallup found that engaged workers were five times more likely to say their job extremely positively impacted their mental health compared to other participating employees.
Gallup also identified the most critical pillars for enhancing employee mental health among the 50 metrics they analyzed. If you want to boost your workforce’s mental well-being or contribute positively to it, take note of these factors and assess if your organization embodies them
- Fostering strengths. You demonstrate a commitment to building your employees’ strengths and helping them do what they are best at daily.
- Motivating excellence. Your management motivates them to work outstandingly.
- Genuine care. Your employees believe that you genuinely care about their well-being.
- Trustworthy leadership. Your employees trust your leadership.
- Cultural connection. Your employees feel connected to the culture of your organization.²
World Mental Health Day Initiatives to Implement for Your Team
With the 5 pillars in mind, here are six initiatives you can carry out at work to improve the well-being of your employees and show them that they matter to you and the other leaders in your company.
1. Provide mental health-related training programs.
Mental health challenges can affect anyone, but sometimes the signs are overlooked. That’s why it’s essential to provide mental health training for your employees. This training helps them recognize and manage these conditions.
According to a study on Males and Mental Health Stigma posted on the National Library of Medicine, mental health concerns often go untreated among men as they are less likely to seek help or treatment than women.
It was also found that suicide and depression are the leading causes of death among the male population. In fact, 6 million men in the United States go through depression yearly and 79 percent die by suicide four times more than women.³
When your employees are trained to recognize the signs and feel supported, they’re more likely to seek help when needed. Additionally, they can provide support to colleagues facing similar challenges.
Here are some mental health-related topics you can discuss through training programs:
- Mental Health Awareness and Stigma
- Prejudices, Stereotypes, and Discrimination
- Mental Health Support and Interventions
- Burnout and Stress
- Stress Management
- Leisurely Physical Activities
Partner with mental health experts who can train your employees in person or online to make sure that they will learn accurately. Organize the programs during their work hours to show them how important attending these are.
2. Provide free mental health consultations.
Providing mental health consultations for your employees is the best way to support them and keep their minds well.
Partnering with mental health professionals who offer 24/7 counseling services or regular in-person visits to your office can be incredibly beneficial. Prioritize a consultation setup that allows your employees to attend comfortably and privately.
The key is to encourage your team to seek expert help promptly, preventing the development or exacerbation of any mental health conditions. Your employees’ mental health matters, and these consultations can help make a significant change in their lives.
3. Curate wellness spaces in the office.
Wellness spaces offer your employees serene retreats to unwind and manage work-related stress. Transform underutilized rooms in your workplace into these havens of tranquility. Equip them with self-help books, yoga mats, cozy bunk beds, and other items designed to promote relaxation and well-being.
Additionally, consider providing your employees with personal drawers or lockers within these spaces. It allows them to store their wellness essentials and medications securely. These wellness sanctuaries can be a source of solace and rejuvenation, fostering a healthier and more balanced work environment.
4. Encourage creative activities at work.
The American Psychiatric Association’s Healthy Minds Monthly Poll for July 2023, found that 71 percent of Americans who rate their mental health positively, meaning very good or excellent, tend to take part in creative activities more frequently than 46 percent of respondents who rated their mental health poorly.
65 percent of respondents engage in creative hobbies in their free time while 46 percent use said activities to help relieve their anxiety and stress. Among the Americans who participate in creative activities to reduce their stress, 77 percent said they listen to music, 39 percent solve puzzles, and 25 percent sing or dance.⁴
Invest in your employees’ creativity to help them feel good. This shows them you want them to be happy and well.
But remember, the key is to let your employees choose the creative activities they enjoy the most. By investing in their creativity, you’re not only supporting their happiness but also nurturing a workplace culture that values their holistic well-being.
Related Reading: 4 Ways for Tech Experts to Achieve Work-Life Balance
5. Show employees the growth opportunities they can access within the company.
Employees aspire to advance and grow within their workplace, as it offers not only personal development but also job stability. A study by the Pew Research Center highlights this, revealing that 63 percent of U.S. workers cite the lack of advancement opportunities as a top reason for leaving their jobs.⁵
If you want your employees to work with you for longer without feeling stuck in their current position, show them the growth opportunities you can offer them within the company through mentorship and career coaching.
Mentors can help employees add to their skill sets and challenge new trends and ideas in preparation for the next level in their current career path. On the other hand, career coaches can help them decide if they want to switch careers entirely and help them develop plans to achieve their goals within the company.
Engage your company’s leaders to serve as mentors or collaborate with career coaches to support those considering career shifts. In doing so, you ensure that each member of your team is operating at their best, equipped to deliver exceptional results, and contributing to your organization’s success.
Related Reading: The Employee Experience Advantage: Driving Engagement and Retention
6. Foster a supportive culture by encouraging teamwork and collaboration.
Proper teamwork and collaboration can help your employees feel that they belong and that they won’t be alone during tough times at work.
You can cultivate this supportive culture by assigning collaborative tasks, or can at least be done in pairs. Working in this setup can teach your employees to trust each other while they also learn from one another’s expertise.
Related Reading: Employees on What Defines a Great Company Culture
Show your employees they’re not alone.
This World Mental Health Day, focus on employee wellbeing glad by providing them with initiatives that aid their workplace mental health. Make the effort to educate them so that they can help themselves and the people around them in times of need.
FIND MORE PEOPLE TO EMPOWER WITH RASO360
Your next best employee is out there, waiting to find a company that can provide them with a healthy workplace they can thrive in. Raso360 help you make that connection. Let us help you find highly qualified candidates in various industries including technology, accounting and finance, and creatives.
Get in touch with us today to learn more about our personalized and flexible staffing solutions while prioritizing workplace mental health.
1 “Present Company Included: Prioritizing Mental Health and Well-being for All.” McKinsey & Company, 10 Oct. 2022, www.mckinsey.com/mhi/our-insights/present-company-included-prioritizing-mental-health-and-well-being-for-all.
2 Witters, Dan, and Sangeeta Agrawal. “The Best Management Secrets for Impacting Employee Mental Health.” Gallup, 16 Dec. 2022, www.gallup.com/workplace/406811/best-management-secrets-impacting-employee-mental-health.aspx.
3 Chatmon, Benita N. “Males and Mental Health Stigma.” National Library of Medicine, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7444121/. Accessed 7 Sept. 2023.
4 “New APA Poll: Americans Who Engage in Creative Activities at Least Weekly Report Better Mental Health.” American Psychiatric Association, 6 Jul. 2023, www.psychiatry.org/News-room/News-Releases/New-APA-Poll-Americans-Who-Engage-in-Creative-Acti.
5 Parker, Kim, and Juliana M. Horowitz. “Majority of Workers Who Quit a Job in 2021 Cite Low Pay, No Opportunities for Advancement, Feeling Disrespected.” Pew Research Center, 9 Mar. 2022, www.pewresearch.org/short-reads/2022/03/09/majority-of-workers-who-quit-a-job-in-2021-cite-low-pay-no-opportunities-for-advancement-feeling-disrespected/.