There are many steps organizations can take to support mental health and productivity in the workplace.
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), just depression leads to 200 million fewer workdays per year.
Companies need to create a solid game plan to help employees nurture their minds in the office.
In order to support worker well-being, Google adapts an interesting practice of detachment (from work). To promote their well-being culture, Google advises its employees to disengage from work as a routine for around 20 minutes to two hours each day.
Unilever has a global health initiative through which the company lets managers arrange workshops to identify signs of mental health problems.
Some other ways to promote a healthy workplace are:
One of the policies could include routine interventions to call out distress and drug use amongst workers.
Enforcing strict policies against sexual and racial harassment is important.
Regularly conduct career supporting programs like on the job training and other motivational initiatives.
Give employees a role in decision making processes so they feel a sense of belonging and validation.
Creating a supportive environment of collaboration and bonding is important.
A culture that breeds competition and one-upmanship will fall through eventually.
Management matters! Ultimately supportive, encouraging and listening managers are the difference between a healthy and a toxic work culture.
Work-life-balance and flexi-time are other ways to improve employee well-being.
Appreciation matters! Recognizing good performance in employees goes a long way in improving morale and overall employee sentiment.
Off late, organizations are adopting apps that support mental health in the workplace. These mental health apps are reasonably priced or free in many cases.
Finally, it’s important to recognize employees more as human beings and less as resources.
Referring to people by name rather than as resources or workers is a good first step.
If time permits, it helps to develop a system to allow workers air grievances and share opinions in a trusted environment.
Whether it is a public health crisis or a financial crisis, coping with and recovering from stress is important.
Hiring well-being professionals to conduct workshops that equip employees with tools that can help them cope with acute and chronic stress is a good start.
Encouraging healthy habits like exercise, yoga, meditation and healthy eating are also ways to create a healthy workplace.
Investing in employee well-being is worth it in the long run, as well-adjusted employees are 12% more productive than unwell ones.