In accordance with the Center for Prevention and Health Services, mental illness as well as substance abuse issues cost employers around $79 and $105 billion annually in indirect costs. Mental health issues including, depression, and anxiety are just some of the problems that employers have to deal with; as I have already mentioned, this also translates into significant amounts of money they need to pay. Mostemployers know that an unhealthy workers’ environment is certainly linked to an increased loss of productivity, absenteeism and is also associated with higher medical costs.
However oftentimes it is easy to forget noticing the way employees think, feel and behave at their workplace, thus they lack of communication as well as productivity in the company. There is not complex formula to achieve it, a workforce which is mentally healthy is the best guarantee for a successful business, reasons for encouraging good mental health levels in the company abound, and the go from less money spent on healthcare expenses to supporting policies that contribute with employees’ best performance in working matters; but how does an organization can change an unhealthy working environment to a nourishing one? Where should they begin? Well, the following are a great selection of strategies that can help you and any other employer boosting your employees’ mental health at work.
Provide Your Employees with a Good Work Environment
When it comes to mental health, there is no doubt that biological factors play an important role in the development of certain mental problems. However, the environment goes a long way in making people struggle with mental issues therefore, it would be needed for employers to take a look at the working style they promote among their employees. if you as an employer are expecting your staff to work 80 hours a week and asking them to reply emails related to work from home, then you must know that this will totally interfere with your employees’ ability to build a natural shield against workplace stress. Instead of this, you should promote good health through physical activities, breaks where your work team can socialize or organizing stress reduction workshops for them; after all, if they are going to spend one- third of their time at work, they deserve your creative ways to bolster mental health.
Incorporate Good Mental Health Help Policies in your Employees’ Health Insurance
In addition to pharmacy, disability, disease management and Employee Assistant Programs (EAPs); including optimal mental health policies in your employees’ health insurance, provide them with better coordination of care as well as good mental health treatment. Strive to assist your staff with mental health screenings that allow an early identification of mental illness, you can opt for doing them in an anonymous way so workers are not ashamed, afraid or deny to accept it. Remember that the sooner your employee’s health improves; the sooner he/ she will go back to work to perform at his/her best. This is an investment that may seem unnecessary or even ignored by many employers, however companies save a good deal of time, effort and dollars when implementing accurate mental health policies at their companies.
Set Solid Anti- Bullying Rules
We all know that being bullied has serious consequences in the long term, this is a fair reason to protect your employees’ mental health. There are some issues regarding bullying that you as an employer can control, to offer your workers a free- bullying workplace environment. As a matter of fact, 49% of people who have been bullied at their workplace reported a depression diagnosis. Moreover, when bullying impacts on mental health and is ignored, workplaces notoriously experiment high turnover, low productivity levels and a lack of innovation. It would be responsibility of the HR department to investigate any reports of employees being bullied and address them quickly; this department has to interview the victim who is reporting the incident, get evidence and once all the information is collected take action. In case any disciplinary action is required, then it is crucial to move the affected employee to a different location where he/she won’t have the opportunity to interact with the person who was alleged of bullying him/her.
Stress Relief Techniques for your Employees
Obviously it is not possible to eliminate stress levels at a 100% in any job, but considering the idea of having HR or an outside agency teach employees some stress relief strategies could help. It would only take moments your staff to be equipped on how to handle stress, and techniques should be applied every once in a while and of course be supervised by management to prove they are actually increasing employees’ productivity.
Even though there are plenty of benefits when companies promote mental health, the truth is that most workplaces do very little in order to address employees’ emotional problems. Employers need to adopt a proactive approach that positively influences the development of their employees’ full potential, taking into consideration that accomplishing this means that workers need to be in good health conditions, they have to be smart because people who make great choices in their personal lives, make also better choices on their job.