October 10, 2022 | Barb Carr

Mental Health in the Workplace: 3 Ideas

improve mental health in the workplace

World Mental Health Day 2022 is focused on making mental health & well-being a global priority for everyone. World Health Organization’s mission is to strengthen mental care, ensuring resources are accessible and affordable so everyone can enjoy good mental health.

According to WHO, before the pandemic even began, an estimated 1 in 8 people globally lived with a mental disorder. During the first year of the pandemic, it’s estimated that there was a 25% rise in anxiety and depressive disorders. Adding to that, 84 million people globally were forcibly displaced in 2021.

Why Put Energy into Improving Mental Health in the Workplace?

According to the American Institute of Stress, 83% of employees suffer from work stress in the US. Workers make more mistakes when they suffer from anxiety or depression. Globally, stress causes employees to miss work every day. Absenteeism from mental health issues costs companies billions of dollars each year.

Other impacts of poor mental health in the workplace are:

  • low productivity
  • poor worker engagement
  • decreased physical capability and cognitive functioning

The short answer is, when employees suffer, so does the business.

improve mental health in the workplace 1

3 Ideas to Improve Mental Health in the Workplace

It is worthwhile to implement strategies to help workers reduce stress and feel higher levels of happiness. Companies that are run by emotionally intelligent employers not only have happier employees but they get more work done.

Here are three ideas to implement.

1. Group Volunteer Effort

Did you know that altruism is proven to raise a person’s level of happiness? Active concern for the well-being of others can be more gratifying than concern for self. Organizing a group in the workplace to do volunteer work in the community will not only create better teams but also develop important character traits in your people like gratefulness and humility. Not only that, it will show your customers that your company is credible and trustworthy better than any fancy marketing campaign will.

2. Company Athletic Event

Physical health has a direct connection to emotional and mental health. Organize an event where employees can have fun, even those who are not “athletic.” That could be organizing an easy hike or a walk along an interesting greenway. Bowling, Top Golf, beginning yoga, and frisbee are other ideas that don’t take a lot of experience or athletic skill.

3. Check-In with your Employees

When was the last time you asked an employee if they were doing okay? Go beyond a quick passing, “How are you doing?” Pay attention to body language because people don’t often say with words how they are feeling but they will show it in their nonverbal communication. You don’t have to be a good communicator to check in with your employees effectively, you just need to be a good listener. Let your employees talk – then listen, encourage and show concern. Sometimes employees won’t share a lot of information and that is okay. The important thing is to let them know they can share if they want to.

Don’t Make this a “Maybe Later” – Choose Something Today

It is the role of management to support their workers. That includes supporting mental health in the workplace. Start with implementing one idea and improve health, productivity, and positive engagement in your workplace.

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Operational Excellence
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