Gone are the days where the concept of employee mental health was considered oblivious or needless. Today, companies are more about the ‘we care for you’ culture and take up full responsibility for their employees’ well-being. Right from promoting a positive work environment to coming up with some mental wellness programs or support groups, enterprises do everything they can.
This makes the work a better place with reduced stressful days. Employees now actually enjoy going to work because they feel their employers value them, which is a good sign of change in the market. Many companies take employee wellness seriously and are moving towards a happy environment instead of being the typical money making, emotionless organizations. Slowly but surely, the companies are changing and understanding to take care of their employees health by organising mental health programs.
Why Should Organizations Have a Mental Health Policy?
- It strengthens the bond between the employee & employer
- Makes the employee valued and understood
- Promotes good mental health at work
The whole concept is based on the idea of being there for your people. You need to understand them if you want any kind of retention in the long run.
As is always said, employees can make or break your organization. And it is crucial that companies provide their staff with adequate support systems to mitigate work pressures and dangling job security.
What should be there in an employee mental health policy?
Each employer has a different way of looking at their employees. Their goals and company morals are also different. From being people-centric to profit-centric, each organization tells a different story.
We’ll talk about an ideal situation over here as to what you can implement at your company. These ideas might have crossed your mind, or you might have these rules already in your company, or better yet, you could pick up the ones you like to implement.
1. No discrimination among employees
This is an important reason why an employee mental health might go off the tracks. Comparison, favouritism and office politics could be damage the positive environment at work. Make sure you do have a policy against such things, and strict actions are also undertaken instead of nurturing such activities.
2. Support groups or therapy sessions
Employees are human, after all. They, too, can have some emergencies, face some mental issues at work and fall apart on an emotional level. Sometimes, people need someone to talk to or maybe someone to understand what they are going through. You, as an employer, could be extra supportive by having employee health and wellness initiatives like support groups or therapies for them. This would help them recover better and make them feel human at work.
3. Awareness programs on mental health
Doing just a bit could be enough. Promoting mental health days at work and encouraging people to open up about their feelings and issues is a big step. It would help if you tapped into such special days that create mindfulness amongst your employees. The HR can conduct awareness programs, getting two birds with the same stone – promote mental health amongst employees while giving them something new to learn about.
4. Unloading the work stress with fun activities
Conducting off-work activities lightens up the workplace for sure, and one can never have too many co-curricular to do. You can organize some weekend or mid-week projects, to begin with. (Remember, the non-work kind) This might help your employees to blow off some steam at work and refill their emotional levels. If you don’t have a policy for any in-house office events, you should definitely take some initiatives.
5. Workplace appreciations
This one might seem not needed or doesn’t fall in the mental health category, but to be honest, it does. You see, mental health begins by being loved, cared and appreciated even though it is at work. Your employees do need a pat on the back when they put in their daily hours of work. Their fruits of labour should give them happiness first. Hence, there should be some healthy way to appreciate your employees. It could be as simple as a gift voucher.
6. Sabbatical leaves
Let’s be professional about it. Every big organization almost has this policy; I’m sure you might have it too. If you don’t, then it isn’t late to implement one. Understanding your employee and giving them much needed time off seems like the best way to support them. It’s irrelevant if you are just starting up; the deeds that matter, not the size!
7. Flexible working hours
Apart from fulfilling various employee wellness programs, try implementing a flexible working hour. You’d be surprised to see how positively it affects your employee’s mental health. Another plus point of flexible working hours is your employees tend to work better, which is beneficial for you as it spikes your productivity to the sky.
What Can You Do?
Your employee mental health policy need not boring and typical at all. It’s your organization, you set the rules, and you decide how do you want to project your image. The critical point here is having a mental health policy in the first place.
If it’s not entirely clear by now, here are some fantastic benefits –
And what else,
In today’s world, it’s imperative to understand the employees and put thoughts into actions. All multinational giants are supportive of their employees’ well-being. I think it’s time you should be too.
Your company runs on your rules, and it is you who has the luxury to define your own policies and structures. You might find this to be a new concept and are being reluctant about it. Show them you care; show them you are better at implementing employee wellness programs. Remember to be interesting, supportive and courageous to try new ideas.
Even small gestures go a long way with the right people.