As we entered the month of October, along with spooky - Halloween decorations and advertisements, one will also be greeted with a lot of content around the topic of mental health. This is mainly because the 10th of October, of every year, has been declared World Mental Health Day, by the World Health Organization, first in 2013. Since then the main goals of World Mental Health Day are to organize support for mental health and increase awareness of global mental health challenges. The day offers an opportunity for all parties involved in mental health issues to discuss their work and what else needs to be done to ensure that mental health care is available to everyone in the world. For the year 2022, the theme for world mental health day was “Make mental health & well-being for all a global priority”.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a collective global crisis and propagated to every nook and corner of the world, leaving no person unaffected. This left the world struggling to keep its mental health afloat, fueled an avalanche of short- and long-term stresses, and undermined the mental health of millions. According to estimates, during the first year of the epidemic, both anxiety and depression disorders increased by more than 25%. The gap in treatment for mental health disorders has expanded at the same time that mental health services have been severely interrupted.
Growing social and economic disparities, protracted conflicts, violence, and public health catastrophes that affect entire communities have threatened our ability to make progress toward improving well-being this past year. An astounding 84 million people were forcefully displaced throughout the world in 2021.
This, along with the pandemic, has pushed many firms to realize how important mental health is to an employee's overall well-being. Companies now feel the responsibility to prioritize assisting employees in adapting to and thriving in disruptive environments, one in which mental resilience and self-care will take center stage, as these demands change and redefine the future of work.
We have shortlisted 6 ways corporations can make their work environments more mindful of the needs of every employee so that the pressure of their regular jobs doesn’t take a toll on their mental health.
8 Ways To Ensure Good Mental Health Of Employees This World Mental Health Day
- Cater not just to the employee but to the person
Employees, today expect their employers to provide them with possibilities for both personal and professional advancement. Organizations have to recognize the significance of training, education, and upskilling required by employees. But as the lines between work and home become hazier, it is imperative that organizations invest in the person, not just the employee. Growth prospects must now go beyond professional advancement; businesses must put their employees' overall well-being first. Employee behavior at work, absenteeism rates, and productivity are all strongly impacted by their health and fitness. Employee happiness and a company's financial performance are economically related. Happy workers translate into happy clients, who in turn lead to happy stockholders.
- Prioritize results rather than measuring production.
With a remote workforce, organizations can instead concentrate on tracking results, such as outcomes, rather than tracking production, such as login hours and breaks taken. Managers of people must prioritize data over perceptions, results over output, and empowerment over supervision. Because, when there is less friction regarding performance reviews, your workforce will be happier.
- Normalize time off
Our brain has the capacity to stay focused for a maximum of 45 minutes at a stretch. Mental rest and leisure promote productivity while also enhancing focus. Despite this, firms continue to promote a culture of overworking, reward employees who put in long hours, and discourage people from taking time off. This necessitates adjustment on the part of both businesses and employees. Employees should abide by the limitations that leaders have established, even if they should set the tone, set an example, and lead by example.
- Be mindful of the language used in the workplace
Words have power, and some of them—regardless of their intended meaning—can help perpetuate the stigma associated with mental illness. The good news is that language shifts can really assist mainstream mental health, which has historically been stigmatized, medicalized, and generally misunderstood. However, there has been a progressive shift in how our culture views and discusses mental health, and language has been a key factor in eradicating long-held misconceptions. Thus, that may result in workplaces that are truly inclusive. Leaders in HR and industry must therefore make sure that inclusive language and a focus on people are ingrained in companies.
- Provide Employees with a safe space to be vulnerable
Employees with mental health concerns typically resort to remaining silent out of concern for how their coworkers and management may react. They frequently work hard and make extra efforts to finish their work while under pressure. Their productivity, performance, and general health are all negatively impacted. Businesses should encourage and develop a culture where workers may be vulnerable and true to themselves. Employees' tension and mental load will be greatly reduced by creating an atmosphere where they feel comfortable being themselves and talking about their problems with their coworkers and management.
- Encourage amusement during working hours
The adage "All work and no play makes Jack a dull lad" comes to mind. As we get used to the new ways of working, it is unquestionably true in the modern world. Returning to the actual office can be unpleasant because of the pandemic's toll on the mind and distant work. Companies must include some type of amusement during working hours. It will help workers communicate more effectively and socialize more—factors that were lacking due to the pandemic. In turn, it will aid in de-stressing and promote improved mental wellness at work.
- Promote mental health conversation
The psychological well-being of an employee must be given the same priority as their physical well-being. Mental health needs the same care and encouragement as physical illness, which is why we urge people to talk about it. Managers must receive training on how to have these discussions and how to support their workers who are dealing with mental illness. Sometimes the biggest comfort and greatest relief for someone can come from simply listening without speaking. Senior leaders discussing their struggles with mental health in open venues and sharing their stories is another method to achieve this. Others will find solace in the knowledge that they are not alone in this, and they may feel more confident talking about their mental health at work.
- A compassionate C-Suit
Leadership in the modern day must provide significant support for mental health and can do this by being sympathetic and empathic. This style of leadership will be prevalent, emphasizing listening, understanding, and empathy as methods of assisting others. It fosters a stronger sense of worth, concern, and respect. It aids in the development of stronger ties and raises both the level of loyalty and trust.
Anxiety and depression are said to cost the world 12 billion working days annually. Building a supportive work environment and giving employees a meaningful, adaptable, empowered, collaborative, and inspiring experience are more crucial than ever. According to the happy worker-productive worker hypothesis, employees who are happy and feel good about themselves perform better.
We must promote the shift from the wellness of business to wellness prior to business in order to advance our shared vision of a happy workplace where discussions about mental health are not stigmatized, overall wellbeing is valued, diversity of thought and discrepancies based on any social factors that can be dividing such as gender, race or age and where everyone has equal access to health care.
Chezuba aims to provide organizations with the best Corporate Social Responsibility platform in the form of Corporate Volunteering. With options for your employees to either donate money or their skills to nonprofit organizations from across the globe, your employees can experience all the benefits of corporate volunteering. Book a demo with Chezuba to learn more about how your organization can incorporate corporate volunteering into your employees' routines.