What is Employee Mental Health?
Mental health includes emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.
What are the causes of mental ill health at work?
Mental illness is a condition that affects a person’s thinking, feeling or mood. Such conditions may affect someone’s ability to relate to others and function each day.
Many factors influence the mental health of employees. Organizational issues include poor communication and management practices, limited participation in decision-making, long or inflexible working hours and lack of team cohesion. Bullying and psychological harassment are well-known causes of work-related stress and related mental health problems.
How do mental illness impact workers?
Mental illnesses are health problems that affect the way we think about ourselves, relate to others, and interact with the people around us. It affects our thoughts, feelings, abilities and behaviors. Depression and anxiety are the most common mental illnesses. It’s important to understand that mental illnesses are real illnesses, like other illnesses.
People who experience a mental illness may doubt their abilities or appear less confident. A person may have a hard time concentrating, learning, and making decisions. Symptoms of a mental illness may feed much bigger thoughts. For example, someone who can’t concentrate may then also think that they can’t do their job well or worry about losing their job. It’s easy to see how these changes affect work performance. People who experience a mental illness may withdraw from others, act in unexpected ways, take a lot of time off, or appear less productive than usual. This can strain relationships with supervisors and co-workers.
Here are some ways to improve the mental health of employees:
- Offer time management to those who would benefit from it or encourage colleagues to share strategies amongst themselves, so they can all be capable of managing their time well.
- Implement morning briefing as to make them fresh and lively every day.
- Establish programmes for career development of employees such as on the job training and sponsorship for further studies to keep them motivated.
- Involve employees in more of the organization’s decision-making processes such that they have a strong feeling of validation, control and participation.
Support mental health at work
Work is a major part of our lives. It is where we spend much of our time, where we get our income and often where we make our friends. Having a fulfilling job can be good for your mental health and general wellbeing.
Companies should value the mental health of their employees as a top asset and fiercely protect it. Mental well-being impacts engagement, presenteeism, absenteeism and productivity all of which impact businesses bottom lines. More importantly, supporting and protecting the mental health of your employees is the right thing to do.
A good workplace mental health
Clearly, work is an important part of all our lives, it gives us a purpose, challenge, and occupation as well as necessary income.
For many people work is about providing a roof over their heads, the means to take care of their children and family, support their hobbies and interests. While it’s important for us to do something meaningful and satisfying with our time, it is also important that we nurture and safeguard the essential relationships and personal aspects of our lives too.
A good workplace mental health is where employees feel happy, motivated and are able to carry out their duties without undue stress and feel able to talk openly about any difficulties they encounter.
As employees, receiving reward and recognition when they perform well makes them feel acknowledged and appreciated. They are more likely to continue to perform well if their performance results has a positive outcome. This is because recognition and rewards are powerful motivators. They are associated with many of the positive emotions that we want to feel – satisfied, confident, and valuable.
Employees in unhealthy workplaces are less likely to receive supervisorial support as well as reward and recognition. It only takes one unhappy employee to negatively impact workplace culture.
Why mental health should be a part of your workplace strategy
As mentioned above, mental health is a significant issue for businesses, impacting productivity, morale and engagement. Poor mental health is a big contributor on how they are present at their work. They may be present but the way they perform their tasks are not productive at all. Managers should take steps to ensure that they aren’t isolated from the rest of the business.
Employers should be highly motivated to address mental health in the workplace, providing support for employees and building a strategy to improve mental well-being. Supporting good mental health at work is an investment in the business. It helps with staff retention, productivity and ultimately profit.
Organizations should be actively promoting positive mental health by becoming an advocate themselves. Set manageable work hours, train supervisors to lead in a successful manner, have mental health resources readily available, and promote healthy living.
When employees feel happy and healthy, they are able to work to the best of their ability. So take care of your staff and they will take care of you. Hope this article has given you a positive insight on how to protect the mental health of your employees.