The mental health of workers has been a much-discussed topic since the onset of the pandemic. As healthcare recruiters, we’ve worked with many organizations and individuals dealing with burnout and many other mental health concerns.
It’s a serious issue that requires careful consideration and actions from organizational leadership. The global economy loses approximately $1 trillion in productivity every year due to depression and anxiety, according to the World Health Organization. These mental health conditions also account for an estimated 12 billion working days lost annually.
Companies need to be doing more than the basics to support workers. There are some fundamental steps you need to take. “The workplace could and should support mental health by providing a means of sustenance, a sense of purpose and a community where people can share ideas and work towards a common goal,” says Ibi Montesino on Entrepreneur.com.
Among these fundamental steps that leaders need to take, Ibi suggests you prioritize the following:
Lead with compassion
Having compassion for your people is a must. There are many ways you can show compassion. First, you can encourage social interactions among employees through team-building activities, social events, or virtual hangouts. Create opportunities for employees to connect with one another and build supportive relationships.
You can also implement regular check-ins with employees to discuss their well-being, workload, and any challenges they may be facing. Actively listen to their concerns and provide support or guidance where necessary.
Promote the importance of maintaining a healthy balance between work and personal life. Encourage employees to take breaks, use vacation time, and avoid excessive overtime. Ensure that workloads and deadlines are reasonable and manageable. Avoid overloading employees with excessive tasks and provide support or adjustments when needed.
Finally, provide flexible work arrangements such as remote work options, flexible hours, or compressed workweeks to help employees manage their personal and professional responsibilities effectively.
Transparency is essential. Demonstrate leadership support for mental health by openly discussing it, prioritizing self-care, and taking advantage of available mental health resources. When leaders model healthy behaviours, it encourages employees to do the same.
Foster a culture where mental health discussions are destigmatized. Encourage open dialogue about mental health, provide resources on mental health topics, and promote awareness campaigns.
Treat people with dignity
Be kind to your people. Foster a supportive and inclusive workplace culture that promotes open communication, respect, and collaboration. Understand their perspective and do what you can to support them if they are struggling.
By doing these three things, you can create an environment where people feel supported and know they can get mental health support when and if they need it.
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