87% of employees think that actions taken by their employer would help their mental health, according to a 2021 study conducted by the American Psychological Association. Is your organization doing enough to address mental health in the workplace?
In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, we’re sharing strategies for employers to support and advocate for employee mental health.
Break the Stigma
Mental health is, unfortunately, still shrouded in stigma, especially in the workplace. To break free from that stigma, employers must be intentional about creating a positive company culture. By communicating the importance of mental health awareness, encouraging employees to practice self-care and connecting with employees to check in on a regular basis, you can start cultivating a culture of acceptance and support.
- Communicate — Breaking down the lines of communication between leadership and employees can help start a dialogue about mental health. Increased communication leads to increased comfort — something employees need to feel in order to ask for help.
- Encourage — Give employees the opportunity to take time away from work purely to recharge and rest. Encouraging employees to take mental health days demonstrates that you take their mental wellbeing seriously, and so should they.
- Connect — It’s essential to communicate with your workforce, whether through one-on-one meetings or surveys, to determine if employees truly feel supported and safe at work. By gathering this valuable feedback, you’ll be better equipped to make the changes necessary to ensure employee mental health is prioritized.
Want to find out if you’re doing enough to break the stigma and support employees’ mental health? Fill out this interactive scorecard.
Tackle Workplace Stress & Burnout
Extreme workplace stress can stem from a variety of factors, including job insecurity, long work hours, excessive travel and more. While stress is an inevitable part of any job, high stress levels can have a serious impact on employees’ mental health and lead to burnout.
When employees experience burnout, they’re more likely to be unproductive, miss days of work and even leave your company. Additionally, the effects of burnout extend outside the workplace, often affecting employees’ home and social lives.
It’s in the best interest of all parties involved for employers to take a proactive approach to burnout by ensuring employee responsibilities and roles are clearly defined and workloads are reasonable. Management should be adequately trained to recognize the signs of extreme stress and offer resources and assistance when necessary.
Evaluate Your Benefits Offerings
Do your current health plan designs cover mental health services? Do you offer an Employee Assistance Program (EAP)? Does your program include paid time off for mental health days and additional voluntary benefits that support employee wellbeing? If you answered “no” to any of these questions, you may want to re-evaluate your benefits offerings.
Expanding your benefits to include mental health-related resources and services is one of the most effective ways you can break the stigma and offer the support employees need.
Break the stigma, address workplace stress and evaluate your benefits offerings — these are three ways your organization can support employees and take action during Mental Health Awareness Month and beyond. If you’re seeking tailored strategies to boost employee mental health, connect with our engagement and wellbeing consultants today.