October is Healthy Workplace Month and it’s a great time for employers to do a review of their mental health policies. Does the workplace encourage both physically and mentally healthy employees? Not only will staff be happier if they are in such an environment, companies can avoid major costs from disability leave as well.
Here are ten tips to support a mentally healthy workplace:
- Ensure that employees know they can speak to supervisors and management about their mental health concerns without judgement and stigma, and receive help and understanding from the company.
- If in-office discussion is encouraged about mental wellbeing and healthy behaviours, staff will understand that management views both mental and physical health with the same importance.
- Employee job tasks and responsibilities should be clearly defined. Having to guess what daily duties are can be a stressor.
- Create a plan for positive conflict resolution in the workplace.
- Acknowledging and rewarding employee efforts at work can have a monumentally positive effect on not only an individual’s happiness, but the overall wellbeing of the company.
- Provide a flexible work schedule so employees can get help if needed, without using vacation time.
- When employers have realistic workload expectations, employees are less likely to feel overwhelmed. Talk to your staff and make sure that if they do feel overwhelmed, they can have a conversation about it with supervisors or management.
- Keeping the lines of communication open and providing opportunities to voice concern, is necessary for building ongoing trust with team members.
- Encourage and participate in respectful behaviours in the workplace and have a zero-tolerance policy for bullying and harassment.
- When employers promote a healthy work-life balance, they are giving employees the chance to “switch off”. Asking people to check emails on vacation or praising them for working late will only reinforce behaviour that leads to burnout.