Addressing Mental Health in the Workplace
Gone are the days when mental health issues are trivialized and not cause of a concern for an organization. No one is spared when it comes to mental health issues even your happiest and most productive employee. It is important for organizations to be proactive in responding to this issue because the poor mental health of employees can affect their job productivity, engagement, and relationship with coworkers. In the long run, poorly-addressed mental health in your workplace can negatively affect the bottom line of your organization.
1. Creation of information campaign that destigmatizes mental health issues
As a stepping stone in addressing mental health in your organization, you may want to start by educating your members on the basics of mental health and why it is important to our overall well-being.
You can start doing this by sharing flyers, pamphlets, or booklets that talk about mental health and why it matters to them personally. You can also host a seminar/webinar or a workshop from a mental health professional which will explain the proper way of addressing their own mental health issues and how they can, as coworkers, can address their colleague’s mental health problems.
Mental health information can empower employees to interact more positively with their coworkers. Giving them information is the first step in de-stigmatization which also allows employees to be more open-minded with sensitive topics which can create a community or an environment where one is not discriminated against or frowned upon due to their mental health issue.
2. Initiate informal conversations and interactions
Whether you are implementing a physical or remote work set-up, informal interactions alleviate the stress from doing work. For physical setup, you may implement a dedicated day for office lunch out or team merienda. By doing this, you are allowing employees to have something to look forward to with their week which can make work less stressful. Moreover, this can also be a space where they can rant and openly discuss life problems or issues.
Even if you are in a WFH setup, you can tap the affordances of your enterprise social media. Making a non-work-related channel in your enterprise social media can show your organization’s commitment to humanizing and making the workplace more bearable by incorporating spaces that allow employees to interact with. The non-work-related channel allows employees to have a breather and space where they can just chat random thoughts whether they are memes, jokes, or funny videos on the internet.
Moreover, having a dedicated channel for entertaining content also creates a sense of community that goes beyond the traditional work environment. This sense of community, in the long run, can translate into a more positive work culture and environment, increased loyalty, and a more productive workplace since it allows employees to be more comfortable with each other.
3. Creating and maintaining a relaxation area within the office
Most employees today are still coping with the sudden shift to office work from the dreadful work-from-home setup. It is important to set up a dedicated space where employees can chill and relax to recharge themselves.
Having a dedicated relaxation room or space can alleviate the stress and burnout caused by their daily work. Having a dedicated office space for relaxation also shows your employees that your organization values their well-being. Some ideas you may want to consider include gaming rooms, nap areas, coffee and snacks pantry, or even as simple as a lounge where employees can chit-chat and sit for a while.
4. Invest in your Human Resources’ capacity-building
As our world becomes more and more complicated due to numerous crises and disasters including the recent COVID-19 pandemic, it is important for your organization to stay updated with the latest trends and information regarding mental health.
It is important for organizations to be a facilitator of a positive environment where employees have a dedicated professional to talk with or converse regarding their problems. Having someone to talk with is a first step in addressing issues and can partially alleviate the burden from your employee. Investing in the capacity-building activities of your HR team can make them more aware of how to properly respond to different issues of employees, even just the words or phrases to use in conversations are crucial when it comes to mental health issues. Capacity building can also help them in the ideation of more programs and projects that can address the problem of mental health in your workplace.
5. A genuinely healthy work environment
Programs and projects addressing mental health issues should not just be done in compliance with government laws and policies in the workplace. An organization should adhere to mental health policies genuinely because it is the right thing to do for the well-being of its members.
It’s already 2021, mental health should not anymore be taboo in your office. You must now start initiating more intensified mental health programs to protect your employees and the organization.
Trends and Concepts (TAC) continuously emphasize the importance of employee well-being. This emphasis does not only include the space and environment, it also extends to the practices, human resource, and culture of the company. Through Trends and Concepts’ design and build services, your office can become a space that enhances the physical and mental health of employees.