Mental health and mental illness are often used synonymously, however, they are not the same thing.
The term “mental health” refers to a condition of well-being, much like the term “physical health”.
With mental health being at the forefront of well-being, corporations can play a significant role in supporting employees' mental health.
However, many do not know which strategies are most effective.
The right mental health initiatives at work will not only improve employee well-being but can also increase productivity.
According to a recent Gallup survey, only 24% of employees strongly think that their employers care about their well-being.
These workers are 69% less likely to look for alternative employment.
Another report by Robert Walters, a London-based global recruitment firm, indicated that 33% of Gen Z are looking for an office culture founded on purpose with strong social values, and 42% for mental health and wellness.
In light of their knowledge of global culture and society, the millennial generation and Gen Z have been vocal in their opposition to harmful workplace conditions.
As a result, we have been able to eliminate the workaholic mentality and achieve an excellent work-life balance.
“The overall well-being of employees has been shown to have a direct impact on productivity in a variety of ways.
“As such, leaders should be proactive in improving the mental and physical health of their employees to maintain a thriving and engaged workforce,” says Michelle Austin.
Austin adds that fostering a work environment where employees can build supportive relationships with their co-workers can be a key tactic for improving their well-being.
However, there are several aspects that leaders should also take into account when attempting to show concern for their employees’ well-being.
Here are some other ways that you can show you care about your employees’ well-being:
Create an environment that encourages communication and relaxation
The first step in demonstrating your concern for your employee's well-being is to create an environment at work that promotes communication and mutual respect. Leaders should encourage staff to voice their concerns.
"Be wary of a toxic workplace culture that fosters interpersonal conflict and fails to prioritise its employees."
Ask for anonymous feedback, pay attention to employee criticism and take appropriate action, show your appreciation for your staff, and promote two-way communication.
Motivate your employees constantly
Leaders must foster a culture of motivation and appreciation. For example, give a genuine compliment or a simple 'thank you for a job well done.
Your staff will be pleased to see that you care about them as a consequence.
"It’s a win-win situation."
Reward and show appreciation to your employees
Leaders should think about developing an employee appreciation programme where they recognise achievements and reward outstanding work. They should commemorate achievements, award incentives, and even encourage peer-to-peer recognition as a way to show their appreciation for loyal workers.
By conveying the idea that the work they do is valuable, their confidence will increase, which is important to their mental well-being.
Allow employees some time off from work
To prevent stress, anxiety, and even depression, it is essential to establish a healthy work-life balance. Putting all of your energy into work will lead to burnout!
Therefore, leaders should ensure that their employees take time away from work to focus on other activities.
“The well-being of employees should be a leader's top priority, to encourage their growth and development. Leaders should take into account not only their employees’ physical health but also their mental health too,” said Austin.
Read the latest issue of IOL Health digital magazine here.