Mental health in the workplace is critical for business success. More people talk about mental health in the workplace today than ever before. Companies are responding by offering resources and programs to help their employees maintain a healthy well-being. But with all these changes in place, one thing remains true: it takes a lot of work to create a culture where employees feel supported. More often than not, workplaces still provide an unsupportive environment for those who struggle with mental illness or injuries. These tips can get you started on your journey to creating a supportive and inclusive culture.
Encourage healthy behaviors
Encourage healthy behaviors in your workplace by offering resources to help employees maintain a healthy lifestyle. Offer items like fitness classes, plant-based snacks, or even an on-site gym to encourage employees to take care of themselves.
Remove mental health stigma.
Start by removing mental health stigma from the workplace. The most important thing you need to do is create a culture where employees feel comfortable talking about mental health. If one of your employees has a panic attack, don’t ask them if they have been drinking or need to take a break. Listen and offer support when someone needs it most. It may be difficult at first, but remember that the small changes you make will significantly impact your company culture in the long run.
Offer support where required.
Creating a workplace culture that supports well-being starts with providing support where required. If someone is injured, talk to them and offer assistance. Similarly, if someone needs counseling, refer them to relevant services such as alcohol counseling and provide the time off necessary for their recovery.
Support should also include physical accommodations that employees may need for mental health issues or injuries. For example, people with anxiety and panic disorders may need a quiet space for breaks and calming exercises. In contrast, those recovering from sports injuries might need closed-door meeting rooms for privacy.
Offering these supports will make your employees feel at ease and more inclined to share their struggles.
Create a culture of checking in on employees
An easy way to create a culture of wellness is checking in on your employees. This can be as simple as asking, “How are you doing today?” and then listening. When we ask how someone is doing, we’re not waiting for a response; we’re seeking assurance that they’re doing well. It doesn’t take much time to show someone you care about them and what they’re going through.
Be flexible where possible.
One of the best ways to create a culture supportive of mental health is by being flexible. If an employee needs to take time off for mental health reasons, you should be flexible with their work hours and deadlines. You should also make sure they feel supported while on leave.
You can also show your employees that you care about their mental health by having resources available in the office. Things like pamphlets with resources, “mental wellness days,” or programs that promote self-care are excellent resources that can help your employees maintain a healthy well-being. You should be willing to provide these resources without judgement or criticism – it’s just another way to show your employees you care.