New year, new goals, new resolutions. While many companies are working toward improving revenue, retaining talent, and following innovations, hardly all of them focus on mental health at work.
Meanwhile, paying sufficient attention to employee health and satisfaction is vital for the success of your business. With about three million Americans leaving their jobs each month, retention becomes a huge issue. Investing time and money in new employees should have a high ROI. However, such isn’t always the case due to insufficient awareness of mental health at work.
Why should the mental health of your employees be your top priority in 2020?
Generally, employers assume that mental health issues are something people develop when they are away from work. However, if you note that an average person spends about a third of his or her life at work, the picture becomes very different.
Numerous conditions and occurrences can affect the mental health of people whose well-being, status, and mood heavily depend on how well they do at work. Regardless of the type of work employees are involved in, it could cause significant stress, thus leading to developing a mental condition.
Increasing awareness of mental illness is an integral part of maintaining a healthy workplace environment. Each person should understand what the potential factors for developing a mental health issue are, and how to avoid them.
Meanwhile, coworkers should be watching each other to catch the signs of mental problems early. If the issue is discovered timely, it could be rectified quickly without keeping the employee away from the workplace for too long, thus not hurting the company’s output.
Some of the early signs of mental health problems could be:
· Frequent oversleeping or insomnia
· Not interacting with coworkers
· Frequent emotional outbursts that don’t seem fitting to the situation
· Increased use of alcohol, drugs or any medication.
· Worsening of performance at work
While it’s vital to act quickly in case such signs persist, it’s much better to avoid the issue altogether by creating a supportive environment in the workplace.
Focusing on Early Prevention and Intervention
Stress is a normal occurrence at work. Deadlines, workload, personality clashes, and many normal components of everyday company operations could lead to stress. However, ignoring these issues could lead to serious problems.
That’s why when the company makes it its business to care about employees’ mental health, it’s possible to prevent personal problems that hinder the workflow. While creating a healthy environment, it’s important to intervene if such issues start persisting.
In case mental health problems become a frequent occurrence, the entire approach to the way your workplace is arranged must be overhauled.
Improving Productivity and ROI
When mental health issues start occurring, productivity suffers immediately. It doesn’t just go down because the sufferer stops working properly. It affects the rest of the employees in a negative manner.
With the low retention rates being a major issue for many industries, losing employees because others have mental illnesses is highly inefficient. According to expert brokers at floridacertifiedbusinessbroker.com, mental health issues at work could also affect the cost of your business in case you decide to sell it.
When one of the workers shows signs of any mental health issues, it’s vital to help him or her find professional support. Professional assistance at the early stage of a mental health problem doesn’t just prevent serious consequences, it can make an employee more resilient to further stress at work and attentive to the condition of other workers.
Reducing Risks and Costs
Mentally healthy employees create an environment, which is less prone to risks. Failing to do the job properly or taking frequent sick leaves due to stress can be costly for the employer and dangerous for employee satisfaction rates.
When one employee is absent, others have to take his or her place, thus putting their own work on the backburner. To counter that, employers tend to hire new workers, thus increasing costs and putting pressure on those, who have to train new arrivals.
Even if employees with mental health issues don’t miss work, they usually fail to execute their duties diligently, thus dropping productivity rates, distracting others, and contributing to the poor workplace environment.
Creating a Positive Workplace Environment
Employees may want to avoid seeking professional assistance for mental health issues because of a certain stigma associated with that. They may be afraid to lose their job, thus increasing the stress, and worsening the condition.
Employers are responsible for raising awareness, providing proper education, and supporting their workers. Employees can also offer support to coworkers instead of isolating them due to their health problems.
The approach an employer takes to mental health issues at work reflects on how employees act toward their coworkers. That’s why creating a positive workplace environment is, above all, the employer’s responsibility.
Treating Mental Health Issues
If an employee is struggling with a mental health problem, it’s an employer’s responsibility to help. Waiting for the problem to happen is inefficient and downright wrong. HR should have a variety of treatment programs available in case an issue occurs.
You could consider hiring a wellness counselor, create benefit plans, invest in online awareness programs, and much more to ensure prevention and timely treatment.
Since prevention doesn’t always work, knowing what to do the moment a problem occurs is priceless.
Besides creating a less stressful work environment and ensuring proper prevention as well as a quick reaction, an employer can focus on strengthening workers’ mental health. This could involve partial payments for gym memberships, paying for healthy meals at work, supporting team-building events, monitoring timely vacations, and much more.
Well-rested and physically healthy employees are less likely to develop mental health issues at work, thus maintaining high productivity.