7 Unique Strategies to Improve Employee Mental Health in the Workplace

You can promote the mental health of your staff members by making use of a few practical wellness tips.

Mental health isn’t the most pleasant topic for people to talk about. As an organizational leader, you must create an environment where others feel comfortable talking about their troubles.  Many organizations are trying to increase awareness about mental illness and encourage employees to seek assistance when needed. Accordingly, most companies are striving for some level of openness in this regard. This is becoming increasingly important as stress, depression and suicide incidents are increasing across the country and a growing number of people are turning to opioids to escape reality.

The following are seven unique strategies that you can leverage to improve employee mental health in the workplace.

1. Have you implemented employee incentives?

Incentive plans reward employees who reach specific objectives. They give them a purpose. Typically, these incentives are tied to revenue, so the more that employees meet goals, the more your company makes.  Businesses that provide incentives to employees have the advantage of seeing an improved profit. Also, employees who achieve goals can boost their earning potential and will become more loyal to the company once they receive rewards.

2. Make a connection between physical and mental health

Individuals with poor mental health often assume problematic behavior. For instance, they may form habits such as smoking, poor diet or physical inactivity and poor self-care. These poor habits can lead to cardiovascular disease, respiratory problems and musculoskeletal disorders. So, it’s essential to reinforce the fact that poor mental health can also affect workers’ physical health.

 3. Understand the impact of a poor work environment

A significant percentage of Americans report having severe problems at work and home. Employees who are unsatisfied with their work environment may turn to alcohol or other mind-altering drugs. This action can lead to deteriorated physical and mental health, lost productivity and absenteeism. In time, continued abuse can lead to chronic conditions such as asthma, arthritis and diabetes.

4. How’s Your EAP? Employee assistance programme

An employee assistance programme is an intervention that helps workers identify and fix problems. EAPs may help workers with a range of issues, including marital, financial, substance abuse and mental health problems. Companies typically administer EAP programmes to a third-party provider at no cost to employees.

5. Promote cultural diversity at work

Today, cultural diversity defines a company. It’s an essential element of the modern workplace. For some organizations, cultural diversity is a top priority. To promote a work environment where everyone feels comfortable and valued, you must invest your company’s time and money toward authentic diversity and inclusion.

6. Promote the use of a 24/7 hotline

People need a support network, especially ones who are experiencing emotional health problems. With a 24/7 hotline, you can ensure that employees know that someone is always available to help them in a time of dire need.  For this type of service, confidentiality is essential. Privacy will ensure that employees do not feel intimidated by calling into the hotline when they need help.

7. A simple shift in employee attitude can change the workplace

If you want to promote emotional health among your employees, it’s time to think about a change in corporate culture. This begins right in the workplace. For example, you can build a Zen den, where employees can go to relax and recharge. By providing a space with comfortable furniture and soft lighting, you can give workers the buffer that they need to fend off the triggers that can lead to stress.   When you launch your emotional health initiative, you must develop a campaign that speaks to the unique needs of your workers. If you overlook this step, your wellness initiative may trend poorly with staff members, having the opposite effect of what you intend.

When it comes to mental health, people are exceptionally resistant to changing their attitudes about the topic. It’s a sensitive issue and must be handled appropriately.

By keeping the conversation going about mental health, you can create an environment where employees are somewhat more comfortable discussing their emotional needs. In time, you can promote a change in culture. Once your corporate culture evolves, you’ll find that workers aren’t ashamed to talk about their mental health problems.

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