Workplace wellness spans beyond physical health, it includes mental wellbeing of an employee. Poor mental health in the workplace can affect the employees and negatively impact their workplace productivity and even their personal lives. Hence, it becomes important for companies to understand the mental health of the employees to support and take care of them.
Why is workplace mental health important?
On an average a person spends around 90,000 hours working in their lifetime. And still, people are often reluctant to talk about mental health in the workplace. Unlike physical illness like fever and cold it is impossible to identify people going through mental health issues. Hence, it is necessary for the organizations to address the importance of mental health in the workplace. Is that all? A big no! There are other reasons why workplace mental health is important. They are
1. Mental health problems affect your organization
When an employee undergoes a mental health problem, it negatively affects the organization. As the employee undergoes a lot of stress during this period, the job performance goes down and decreases the productivity levels. The communication rate with a coworker decreases and the daily functioning capacity goes extremely down. All of these drastically decrease your employee engagement rate thereby affecting your businesses.
2. Mental health issues causes disability
According to Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mental health issues can cause disability as
- When people undergo mental health problems like depression, it can affect their performance. For example, depression can decrease the reasoning and problem solving ability of a human by 35%.
- It can further interfere with the ability to execute physical tasks 20% of the time.
Now let us address the elephant in the room.
What causes mental health issues in the workplace?
Source: Flick Learning
Mental health problem due to financial crisis
Money is a common source of stress among the working class. When employees undergo mental health problems, nearly 2 out of 10 point out financial crisis being the reason for the stress. Financial crises can even cause clinical depression and suicidal tendencies among people. An overdue statement or an unpaid bill can make the employees go sleepless and result in insomnia. Moreover, when employees are constantly worried about a financial concern like debt, it can lead to anxiety and stress. This will reduce the function of the immune system and result in illness which will cause absenteeism in the workplace. This will lead to a decrease in the productivity levels at the workplace.
How can you help?
As an employer you can help your employees with financial stress with a lot of care. Also, more practical steps can be taken to improvise their financial situation. A few are
- Most businesses pay their employees on time, and this should be a priority.
- Offer workplace benefits like employee assistance programs on finances to help them handle money better. Including financial management workshops and short courses on money management will be an added bonus
- Offer them with affordable loans which can be repaid every month. This can cut down financial stress on smaller things like travelling expenses to the office.
Poor mental health due to workload
Increasing workload is one of the common causes of poor mental health in the workplace. Also, working from home has added fuel to the fire as employees are working excessively for long hours of time. Workload can be a common cause for employees to burnout as all of them try to perform better at the job by completing all the work assigned to them. Hence, they may forget to strike a balance between work and wellbeing.
How can you help?
Your employees' mental wellness should be your top priority and you should help them in creating a work-life balance. Start offering time management sessions to your employees to make them more productive. Implement the task management applications in your workplace to effectively manage tasks according to the priority. Also, conduct short meetings every morning to set the priorities right in each department.You can also build a wellness program for employees to help them manage their mental wellness. In this way you can help your employees strike a work-life balance.
Ways to improve workplace mental health
Here are a few ways to improve workplace mental health.
- Talk openly about any mental health issues that you have had, to remove the stigma around this. Also, this helps your employees to overcome their fears around their mental health problems.
- Respond with empathy and help your employees. Offer peer support and encourage your employees to get the help they need.
- Encourage your employees to eat healthy, get 7 to 8 hours of sleep and drink plenty of water. Because, a balanced diet can help them to stay healthy both physically and mentally.
- Organize wellness programs for employees like yoga, meditation and therapy sessions. This can help them manage their mental stress and increase their productivity at work.
- Also, help your employees to manage their mental health from taking inspiration from pioneer institutions. For example, read about how Google, Amazon and Microsoft help their employees to manage mental health.
As an employer it is very essential for you to remove the stigma around mental health in the workplace and help your employees. There can be a combination of issues that cause mental health problems in the employees. However, offering the right assistance can help them deal with mental health problems and improve their mental health. The first step in creating a mentally healthy workplace is by talking about it and showing your employees that they are not alone. In this way, you can set an example for workplace culture and stand apart from the other organizations.Does your organization have a dedicated employee mental wellness program? Build an exclusive mental wellness program for your employees with Paz Care. Contact us for more.