The biggest health threat that impacts most workplaces is mental health. Millions are lost due to the adverse effects of deteriorating mental health. Poor mental health results in diminished productivity, absenteeism, and medical issues, especially in employees who have stressful workplaces.
It is frequently seen that many employers are uncomfortable dealing with employees’ mental issues, which leads them to neglect genuine mental health concerns. Most employees, at some point in their tenure, struggle with mental health issues. Now the important question is how employers deal with such issues and manage such conditions both legally and in a humane way.
Three main strategies can be followed to manage deteriorating mental health at work:
Read on to learn more about these three strategies and how you can apply them in your workplace.
As the old saying goes, “Prevention is better than cure.” A comprehensive strategy that enables the prevention of mental crises among employees is the best.
Preventative measures always take the least amount of work but create the most impact. Here’s what can be done;
- Analyse and eliminate environmental causes in the workplace that may cause excessive stress to the employees.
- Replace policies and unrealistic deadlines in the workplace that may be leading to burnout.
- Promoting a strong wellness culture in the workplace that enhances employees’ mental health through tools like nutrition, physical fitness, and bond-building activities.
- Ensuring that employees in a workplace have a good bond with each other, creates a sense of belonging among them, which helps them during hard times.
- Managers and employers with authority should be trained to recognize signs of stress and mental despair so that they can intervene when it is required. This brings us to our next strategy.
When prevention fails, intervention steps in. If an employee is already suffering from distress or mental despair in the workplace, the employer, manager, or supervisor needs to recognise that, intervene, and take necessary measures.
If a mentally distressed employee does not ask for help and goes overlooked, it can lead to consequences as fatal as suicide. Here are some signs one should look out for:
- If there is a sudden drop in the performance of an employee.
- If the employee has been overworking or underworking themselves.
- If the employee has gone through a crisis in their personal life, like divorce or loss of a loved one.
- Here's what you can do to improve the circumstances;
- Making a comfortable environment for the employees, so that they can ask for help.
- Providing them with resources for self-care or other forms of therapy.
- Health and welfare benefits for employees going through personal issues.
Accommodation is the last and final strategy that is required to see the proper functioning of employees who have gone through mental despair after prevention and intervention are complete.
- Strong and proper leadership support in the workplace is necessary to ensure that employees can balance working properly while managing their mental health challenges.
- This creates a safe workplace structure that enables employees to voice their needs for accommodation.
However, these strategies are general ways to improve mental health among employees in the workplace. These are not exclusive, nor do they apply to every circumstance. It is important to seek professional help if necessary.
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