In modern and forward-thinking workplaces, positive mental wellbeing among employees is a priority set in stone. While many organisations still struggle to place employee happiness and health above business priorities, real leaders in the business environment know that employees are the engine of a company – if there’s too much strain on an engine and it doesn’t work well, you’re not going anywhere.
A study investigating mental health in corporate Australia in 2018 uncovered a startling range of statistics: Almost one in three workers from a range of industries were suffering from some form of mental illness. Among these employees, 36% suffered from depression, 33% from anxiety, and 31% from consistent workplace stress.
With burnout and strikeout rates increasing alongside these developments, mental wellbeing can no longer be considered a fanciful notion for the politically correct. It’s a real business need with an economic impact on the workplace.
While each organisation requires different interventions, here are a few strategies that can improve mental wellbeing in the workplace.
Meditation and mindfulness programmes have high rates of success
Over the past few years, the corporate world has gradually embraced the counterculture movement and absorbed several practices including meditation and mindfulness. Today, it’s believed that between 200 and 500 million people around the world meditate.
Meditation and mindfulness have a proven track record of improving stress management, reducing emotional exhaustion, and improving employee outlook on their lives and jobs. Numerous studies also demonstrate that both these techniques have a positive effect on mental health challenges like depression and anxiety.
For these reasons and more, businesses have begun introducing meditation and mindfulness to improve mental wellbeing in the workplace.
Workplace counsellors can provide some respite against daily stress
Counsellors in the workplace can be incredibly useful if employees are reporting high levels of stress and frustration. If you decide to provide this type of support in your company, ensure that whatever is discussed with the counsellor is kept confidential so that employees have complete confidence to go in and speak about what’s on their mind.
This is especially important since certain employees may lack the resources to get mental health support by themselves.
Help employees strike a greater balance between their personal and professional lives
Any progression towards improved mental wellbeing can easily be ruined if businesses blur the line between the personal and professional lives of employees, such as calling them after hours and asking them to work, sending them emails and forcing them to respond on their days off or any other action that forces workers to dedicate their personal time towards the company.
Make sure that your company enforces strict policies to ensure that employees are not disturbed during their time off.
Make wellness an organisation-wide priority, with leaders at the helm
Beyond speaking about the importance of mental wellbeing in the workplace, if you don’t put your money where your mouth is then you can’t expect too much change.
Leaders and managers must make it a point to demonstrate the importance of taking time off work, spending time with loved ones, eating well, getting exercise and the overall virtues of effective stress management.
By doing this, it’s much easier to convince employees that they need to make the effort to look after themselves if they’re to progress both professionally and personally. In these cases, remember that mere lip service won’t do; you need to lead by example and make your teams realise that you value their wellbeing over and above what they do for you at work.
This is the secret to unlocking greater job satisfaction and employee engagement.
Help employees enjoy optimum mental wellbeing with the right workplace policies
Neglecting the mental wellbeing of employees can prove to be a major pitfall in your career as a manager or the leader of a successful and thriving company.
By laying down meaningful and effective policies – those that are relevant and reflect real employee needs – you can help your workers become their best selves while ensuring that your business grows past its projected zenith.