•  

rss
Wellbeing Blog



May 24, 2017

Celebrating Mental Wellbeing at Work

One of my clients recently asked for some new ways to promote mental health awareness this May, yet also keep the topic front and center throughout the year. I have been in the wellness/wellbeing field for quite some time now, but landed here by way of work at an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). With a master’s degree in counseling, mental wellbeing is a subject that is near and dear to my heart. Of course, it’s also a well-documented concern of employers, who genuinely care about the impact of poor mental health on their employees’ lives and their businesses.

In a national public opinion poll conducted by the American Psychological Association, “two-thirds of both men and women say work has a significant impact on their stress level, and one in four has called in sick or taken a “mental health day” as a result of work stress.” So, what’s an employer to do? The following is some advice that I gave to my client.

Some “old ways” of addressing mental health continue to be effective, and it never hurts to remind employees of the resources available to them. Your company can play its part in reducing the stigma of accessing the benefits:

  • Remind employees of the services, from counseling to work-life resources to webinars, available through your company’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP).
  • Share resources on specific topics such as distracted driving, financial stress, addiction, etc., as offered by the national Mental Health Awareness Month Campaign. Download the 2017 toolkit.
  • One of the posters I recommend is 31 Ways to Work on Your Wellness Consider hosting a “Fit Mind” challenge by asking employees to pick five items from the list, circle what they complete and enter their name in a raffle for a prize!
  • Offer mindfulness or meditation class onsite or a voucher/subsidy to a program offered in your local community.

As for some fresh ideas to promote mental and emotional wellbeing, consider these activities:

  • Promote Meditation Apps, such as Whil or Headspace. Whil has a formal program called Search Inside Yourself that our CBIZ wellbeing team recently piloted and found very useful. 
  • Set up a Relaxation Room. One of our clients created a Relaxation Room on-site for their employees to take 10-15 min breaks. They designed it with comfortable furniture, calming décor, and tools such as reading material, yoga mats, radio, etc., and used their carrier wellness funds to fund the space.
  • Encourage art therapy! Pass out adult coloring books. Or, host a “paint night” onsite or set up an off-site field trip to a local paint bar, which is so fun!
  • Offer an additional PTO day with an emphasis on taking care of self rather than recovery from illness. Perhaps call it a Wellness Day Off or Mindful Day Off.
  • Dedicate a day or week to Depression Screenings. While these are supposed to be included in annual well visits, not all employees are taking advantage of preventive care, and some doctor’s skim over the matter too quickly.  As there may be a stigma associated with this type of screening, ask a senior leader in your organization to encourage it, and support efforts by letting employees know that they have been screened (just like “I voted” or “I got my flu shot’). Check with your EAP to see if they could arrange for a counselor to come on site for the day.

Be sure to empower your managers with tools as well. Bringing your EAP on-site to do training specific to managers is key. I recommend hosting a training at least twice a year. In my experience, EAP usage spikes when managers understand its value and gain a comfort level themselves with the EAP.

Review your workplace policies and practices. Check out the guidance from the APA’s Center for Organizational Excellence for employers on creating a psychologically healthy workplace through a variety of program and practices. There are some other ideas for managers to demonstrate and show empathy in my latest post https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/emojis-rescue-emily-noll-1.


blog comments powered by Disqus



Live Blog Widget

Recent Posts

  • CBIZ Engagement & Wellbeing Consultants Earn Thriving Workplace Culture Certificate Posted 3 months ago
    CBIZ, Inc. is proud to announce that all consulting professionals in its CBIZ Engagement and Wellbeing Consulting practice have earned the Thriving Workplace Culture Certificate (TWCC) from Salveo Partners. The certification will further CBIZ’s mission of helping clients create healthy and happy workplace cultures that support their people and produce positive organizational outcomes.“Our firm's wellbeing consultants are equipped with a diverse and unique set of skills,” said Emily Noll, National Director of CBIZ Engagement and Wellbeing Consulting, a benefits consulting agency. “We’ve cultivated a strong, multifaceted team with direct experience in a number of wellness disciplines, including mental health, public health, nutrition, mindfulness, leadership coaching and more. The TWCC training, with an emphasis on employee experience, ethical wellness practice, and workplace culture, adds another layer of specialization and a wider range of tools to serve our clients.”CBIZ Engagement and Wellbeing Consulting is a component to the company’s robust employee benefits offerings and provides customized strategies that help employers design a thriving culture with healthy and engaged employees. Beginning in 2019, the group pursued the TWCC designation as a complement ...
  • Optimize Your Wellbeing Dollars to Take Care of Employees Posted 6 months ago
    In partnership with their clients, medical carriers often allocate funds or credits specifically for wellbeing initiatives and health communications that employers spend over the course of each year. Rules vary from carrier to carrier, but normally there is a pre-approval process for use of the money and a requirement to spend down the funds before the end of the plan year. Due to the pandemic, employers may need to rethink how and when to utilize their wellbeing dollars in 2020, as well as inquire about potential contingency plans in the event you cannot spend the money before the offer expires. Employers typically utilize their wellbeing funds for activities such as onsite classes, wellbeing challenges, screenings and health fairs. Another common use of such funds is to provide employees with incentives for participating in wellbeing program activities; rewards range from fitness tracking devices to gift cards to premium discounts. During this unique time, however, seize the opportunity to think outside the box in order to optimize wellbeing dollars to support employees’ wellbeing and reduce stress. This may include adjusting or eliminating the ...
  • Next Practices in Workplace Wellbeing Consulting Posted last year
      We are excited to announce the next evolution of our wellbeing practice!  We have re-branded CBIZ Wellbeing Solutions to CBIZ Engagement & Wellbeing Consulting. This change reflects the importance of the broader impact of workplace culture on employee health. We believe our knowledge and expanded services in this area will help clients’ assess and improve both organizational health and employee wellbeing. A thriving workplace culture is essential to employee health and positive organizational outcomes.  National Practice Director, Emily Noll, shares that “research affirms that no wellbeing program, however well-designed, will work in a fragile or resistant workplace culture with low employee engagement.”   The link between employee engagement and wellbeing is clear.  For example:  Employees with strong overall wellbeing are 6 times more likely to be more engaged compared to those with low wellbeing, and 32% more likely to stay with a company (Gallup). Teams who score in the top 20% in engagement realize a 41% reduction in absenteeism and 59% less turnover (Gallup), while disengaged employees costs U.S. Business up to $550 billion a year (The Engagement Institute). In organizations where employees ...
  • Health Fair Planning 101: Host an event employees will love Posted last year
    Health fairs have been a staple of many benefits and wellbeing programs for years. They offer employees the opportunity to gain a greater knowledge and understanding of the resources available to them through their employer and community. However, coordinating a fair can be labor intensive and planners are often surprised and understandably disappointed with low employee turnout. To make your efforts worthwhile and host an event your employees will show up to and truly enjoy attending, we’ve put together a list of our favorite strategies: Stay on Target As with any event, it’s important to have a goal or objective when organizing a health fair. What is it that you want to achieve and, most importantly, what type of experience do you want to create? Having a clear vision for what you want the experience to be will allow you to filter and prioritize your ideas as you begin planning. Here are some examples: To create a forum where employees get excited and have fun while engaging with their co-workers and community partners. To launch a new program/initiative/strategic design in a ...
  • 8 Ways to Celebrate International Week of Happiness at Work Posted last year
    There are countless benefits to building a culture at work that focuses on workplace happiness.  Research shows that being happier at work is tied to better health, more creative and effective problem solving, employees who are more willing to contribute beyond their job description, lower absenteeism, less turnover, fewer mistakes, and higher customer loyalty and retention.  It was these proven benefits that inspired Dutch company, Happy Office to create and launch International Week of Happiness at Work.    Their goal is to inspire people as well as entire organizations to bring happiness into the work place as the norm, not the exception.  Their manifesto states “happiness at work is about meaningful work, healthy relationships, development and having fun. Let’s create a workplace to stimulate fun, appreciation, positive feedback, awesome challenges, trust, meaningful results and own responsibilities. Let us, as employees, employers, entrepreneurs, organizations and especially as human beings work together to make happiness at work the norm and not the exception.” International Week of Happiness at Work is September 23 – 27 and is currently celebrated in more than 30 countries ...
Read More »