More people than ever before are struggling with their mental health, particularly after the pandemic. This can negatively impact people’s lives in several ways, from their physical health to their energy and concentration levels and this can come back to affect work. Keeping your staff happy and healthy should be a main priority of every employer, but how can you support your employees with their mental health? There are lots of things an employer can do to improve the working environment and help employees make their jobs work for them. Read on to find out what you can do to support your employees when it comes to their mental health.
Include Mental Health in Employee Benefits
Offering employee benefits should be a part of any good manager’s strategy from the get-go. A good set of employee benefits is more important than ever and is becoming a key factor in attracting the best talent available and staying a step ahead of other companies. Within this, there are several benefits you could offer your staff that are specifically aimed at supporting their mental health. This could be discounted or free therapy sessions either to all employees or just those who wish to take them, or it could be that you pay for subscriptions to mindfulness apps. Maybe you will offer a space in the office designed for your staff to take regular breaks and wind down a little or a space for employees to meditate during the working day. All of these steps could be small to you but make a huge impact on the daily lives of your staff. It will also encourage them to pick up habits like mindfulness or going to therapy which they may not otherwise have considered or been able to access financially but will have an extremely positive impact on their lives.
If you are unsure where your employees stand in terms of mental health, prepare and have all employees fill out an anonymous survey concerning mental health. This can include everything from how much they know about different mental health disorders and how to identify them, as well as asking them questions about how they are doing mentally, both at work and at home. This could be a great way to gain an insight about the kind of support you will need to provide, and what kinds of mental health training your employees may need.
Provide Mental Health Training
Offering mental health training to all of your staff, but particularly management is a surefire way of ensuring that all of your employees know the correct protocols and steps to take if they feel their mental health is deteriorating. This includes seminars on how to identify when your own mental health is slipping as well as in-depth training sessions for anyone in a management position to ensure they are able to identify the warning signs from members of their team. Make sure that the workplace is somewhere with open lines of communication and that staff know that they are able to tlak about anything that may be going on and receive the appropriate support.
This support could be anything from a safe space to talk at work, a reduced workload or even a leave of absence. Offering employees some time off to recover from mental health struggles can be extremely beneficial, allowing the employee time to regroup and recover, whether they are dealing with burnout, depression, anxiety or even the loss of a loved one, sometimes time is the best medicine. If you are offering employees a substantial period of time off, it is important that you set up a reliable return to work program. This will allow you to help your staff integrate back into full-time work in a way that is natural and will not overwhelm them and make them unwell all over again.
Offer Your Employees Flexibility
Offer your employees a flexible working pattern to help them maintain a good work-life balance. Whether this means flexible starting and finishing times, a hybrid working pattern or even completely remote working, offering your employees more flexibility in their work schedule can be instrumental to improving their mental health. Employees will have more time to fit around their children, families or friends, or even have less stress financially when they no longer need to spend a fortune on childcare each month when they are at the office.
In addition to this, offering your employees the option to take paid mental health days off whenever they need it is a great way to increase productivity and support your staff. Not having to worry about taking up limited sick days when they are struggling with mental health problems is important, and making sure that these days are paid is a great way to reduce financial stress that may be associated with taking time off.