Supporting the Mental Health of Your Employees
As an employer, you have a responsibility to keep your staff safe, and this includes providing a workplace that supports good mental health. It should go without saying, but you shouldn’t expect your team to work under cramped conditions, nor should you expect them to regularly work long hours. Uncomfortable conditions and working long hours can affect the mental health of your employees. This, in turn, creates issues with productivity, customer service, morale, and more. It can also lead to employee burnout and higher turnover rates.
Your team needs to know that you, as the leader, recognize their hard work and appreciate what they do for your company. You should thank your staff when they go above and beyond and perform well. You should also stand up for them against bullying and other harmful behaviors.
Education is Key - Keep Them Informed
Hold regular meetings to educate the entire team about health, safety, and mental health policies and procedures within the company. Training your employees about the signs and symptoms of mental health issues allows them to better recognize when they or their co-workers may need to seek help or need some additional support from the team.
Part of this education is letting your employees know that you are approachable and reassure them that they can come to you for help if they are suffering from mental health issues. Make it clear that being open and honest with you will in no way reflect upon their employment or your view toward them.
By knowing what to look out for, you and your employees may be able to see the early signs of drug abuse or other mental health issues and step in to help. If you do spot differences in someone’s behavior, you need to approach them carefully and offer them support. For example, if someone is showing signs of a drug addiction, you can suggest treatment centers. Or, if they need time off work to address depression, anxiety, or an eating disorder you should be able to permit these sabbaticals.
Bullying - Operate A Zero Tolerance Policy
Under no circumstance should workplace bullying and intimidation be allowed or overlooked.
Such behavior should be stamped out as soon as it arises, and clear policies should be in place that let your employees know that you simply will not tolerate antisocial, intimidating, or bullying behavior of any kind.
Encourage an environment in which prejudices of any kind are kept well out of the workplace. Scheduling open office hours will make it easy for employees to approach you with concerns about any possible bullying they or others might be experiencing. Tell employees that if they are experiencing workplace bullying or see it happening to someone else, they are to report it to you immediately.
Improving Work Performance - Give Warnings
When the quality and level of work of any team member falls below what is required, then a clear verbal and or written warning is needed so that they’re aware that they need to improve. This should include specific steps they can take to make those improvements. If you suddenly let a member of your team go without warning, you can alienate them and cause unrest throughout their personal lives. That unrest and alienation can also extend to the remaining team members and can affect company morale.
It is important to show your staff that you will treat them fairly and considerately should, for whatever reason, you begin to question their place at your company. Knowing that they will have the opportunity to improve can reinforce their feeling of job security.
Don’t Overwork Them
Of course, you want the most out of your employees, but you must also bear in mind that they’re human. Therefore, you shouldn’t pile excessive amounts of work on them and expect it to be returned to you in an unreasonably short period of time. If you’re ever concerned about the well being of any of your staff due to their workload, take them aside to ask how they’re coping and if there’s anything you can do to alleviate their stress.
Understanding and supporting the mental health and overall well being of your employees takes a little more effort on your part but it can have a dramatic impact on productivity and other aspects of your business. This support will also create strong employee loyalty which adds value and stability to your company.
Sherri Elliott-Yeary, CEO of Generational Guru is an award-winning speaker, professional business consultant, and published author who energetically engages international audiences with her practical strategies for attracting, growing, and retaining top talent and loyal customers from every generation. Sherri brings over twenty years of hands-on experience to support you in designing generational solutions that address:
Cross-Generational Leadership Challenges
Generational Blind Spots in Sales
Effective Recruitment and Retention
Marketing to Millennials
For more information, please contact Sherri via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or text/call her at 469-971-3663.