The Importance of
Mental Health in Workplace
Mental health in the workplace is a hot debate these days with the consistent rise of mental illnesses. Job insecurity, work stresses, toxic workplace environments and burnout are some of the key reasons many people suffer from poor mental health or even develop a mental illness.
This is why, it’s so important for employers to offer mental health plans and solutions to help their workers thrive and feel good. We will outline the things that can negatively influence mental health in the workplace, how poor mental health take a hit on an employee’s performance, and what employers and employees can do to promote workplace mental wellness. But first, let’s discuss some basics:
What is Mental Health?
It is a state of mind in which a person may deal with daily nuances, work effectively, make use of their full capacity and take part in community activities.
In addition to physical and social wellness, mental health is a pivotal element of overall health. It is also essential to highlight that mental wellness is not just the absence of mental disorders. Someone’s mental health may deteriorate without having a mental condition and similarly, someone’s mental health may be good with an illness.
A study in 2019 revealed that an estimated 15% of people of working age have a mental disorder. (Source: WHO)
In a nutshell, the gist of mental health can be divided into these five points:
- If an individual doesn’t suffer from a mental health condition that doesn’t mean they must have good mental health
- Mental health is critical for good physical health
- Mental health helps in dealing with stress
- Our productivity and mental wellness are parts of the same equation
- We should place workplace mental health as our prime concern
Importance of Talking About Mental Health in Workplace
There was a time when people would not talk about mental health in common settings as they thought someone with poor mental health was probably psychotic.
The times are changing and good mental well-being is crucial to let people deal with issues even positive ones and hitches in their lives both at home and at work.
Good mental health at work aids teams in staying sharp when shifting to new duties and roles. It lets people cope with gruelling issues and grow in their responsibilities, handle burdens, and amplifies resilience. Eventually, it helps each employee enjoy their full potential.
Factors That Can Lead To Employee Mental Health Deterioration
Here are some of the job-related risk factors that play a role in harming mental health:
Meagre Wellness and Security Regulations
Workplace health policies are there to safeguard the wellness of workers, consumers and visitors as well as employers. For example, a general scheme can involve talking to workers about daily well-being problems or showing a dedication to secure working conditions.
Offices with insufficient health and safety rules could take a toll on workers’ mental wellness, lose employees, endanger lawsuits and diminish revenue generation.
Below Par Communication and Management Traditions
Compassionate and interactive talk and leadership practices demonstrate a nice employer-worker bond.
On the contrary, inadequate communication and practices produce pressure on the connection, foster bad mental well-being and heighten workplace tension.
Poor Support for Workers
Leaders who don’t support workers in eliminating hurdles, or offer help may make them feel apathetic and crushed. For example, instead of hoping that your juniors will understand projects they are confused about, administrators should show how to go about those jobs and be open to questions.
When managers expect their team members to consistently give their best shot, it places extra strain on them. It causes a rise in workload and hours, additional tension and emotional exhaustion.
Fear of Being Fired Out
Many people lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic, which took a toll on workers’ comfort and peace levels. They were stressed over paying bills on time or caring for their dependents. Job insecurity can make people feel depressed and overwhelmed, which can deteriorate their mental health in the long haul.
Is Poor Employee Mental Health a Big Deal?
Think about the link between your mental wellbeing and your productivity. Emotional and mental health is vital for you to perform your job with a good mental state.
You can change strategies, face challenges and shift to roles. Such a person becomes a driving force for their department and they flourish in their careers and personal lives.
Let’s discuss five things that negatively influence employees’ mental health:
- Employees feeling depressed or stressed may be demotivated and unfocused. They may zone out or keep thinking about their issues which makes it hard to manage their feelings and ideas.
- Workers suffering from mental health issues can perform badly at their jobs as it makes polishing the behavioural skills that develop inventiveness and strength all the more difficult.
- A slump in cognitive functioning short-term memory, and social anxiety can make your physical ability and daily performance dip.
- Poor mental health can make it hard to communicate well and the individual may get upset over nothing or misunderstand their co-workers.
- Individuals with poor mental health can lack impulse control, have negative thoughts and fail to make quick and right decisions. It can mean showing up late, missing meetings, not following the organization’s rules or breaking commitments.
How to Improve Mental Health in Workplace
As an Employer
- Employee Assistance Program is a work-based plan to help workers with personal or job-related issues that can impede their productivity or health. An EAP is given to workers for free and could aid with concerns such as relationship issues, legal challenges, traumatic incidents (i.e., workplace harassment), health affairs and a wide array of other matters.
- Designated areas for relaxation supply the chance for mid-work breaks to de-stress and unwind. Work culture should normalize using quiet spaces, and managers can set the trend.
- Self-analysis tools involve questionnaires to evaluate mental health issues, which should be available to all workers. They help discover if further analysis or support could help the worker.
These tools may include a mood assessment checklist, mental health meter quiz, online drug and alcohol help centre, work-life balance questionnaire, etc.
- Companies should offer funding for professional assessments for depression to recommend solutions and refer to doctors when needed.
- Coaching services for free or on sponsorship can aid employees in coping with mental health issues and bolster their mental fitness.
- Mental health perks in insurance can provide free or cheap coverage for therapy and medicines.
As An Employee
- Workers should benefit from company-funded plans to pick up skills and get the help they require.
- To shatter mental health stigma, employees should share experiences with their colleagues when required. The idea is to understand that we all have our vulnerabilities rather than telling people sensitive details of our personal lives. Colleagues aren’t alternatives for psychiatrists or psychologists.
- To manage daily stresses, employees should hone coping skills to boost their well-being. These may involve constructive communication, deep breathing, engaging in positive self-talk, preference and concentrating on one job at a time to prevent being stressed.
- Work on self-care during lunch breaks, such as listening to motivational podcasts, deep breathing, meditating, walking in nature etc.
- Looking after your physical wellness can amplify mental health which can involve regular physical movement, consuming a balanced diet and getting enough rest.
- Cultivating social connections at work is essential to avoid social isolation in the office.
Importance of Mental Health in Workplace
Distressed mental well-being and stress issues in the workplace create problems for organizations for multiple reasons. Inadequate mental health at work may lead to:
- Poor communication
- Dissociated workers
- Increased rate of replacement
- Low productivity
- Bad performance
- Security liabilities
- Reduced revenue
- Poor decision making
Wrapping It Up
Understanding the different mental health experiences of employees is at the forefront of bolstering decent mental well-being in the workplace. All workers get an advantage when organizations encourage and nurture emotional wellness for patients and individuals who are simply not well.
Firms may take the first step by breaking the stigma around mental health and also broadly looking at their organization’s role in doing that. They can concentrate on solutions that assist workers in growing personally and professionally along with offering consolation and medical help for people who badly need it.