Christian Counselor Seattle
The world of work has evolved over the years, but remains the one place we spent most of our productive hours in the day. The discussion around work in the past few years has been focusing on how companies can create a more conducive and healthier space for their employees. More companies are coming to realize how important it is to take care of their workforce by prioritizing employee satisfaction and well-being.
Mental wellness is a positive state of well-being that is a result of being emotionally, psychologically, and socially well. It affects our ability to function as human beings and influences our thoughts and behavior. It has long been seen that our environment can have a direct effect on our mental well-being.
Taking the workplace as an environment, conscious effort, therefore, needs to be put in place to ensure that mental wellness is prioritized. If employees are mentally well it means they are in a much better position to do their jobs, handle stress, make good decisions, and work better with others. They can think and act in ways that are constructive and for the good of the company.
Our workplace is any place of employment. This can be on the factory floor, in a department store, or in one’s home office. The healthier that environment is, the healthier the employees are. We have all seen that unhealthy and unhappy workplaces affect us and our productivity.
The emotional side of work is now taking center stage and it is about time. The days where employees were expected to clock in their hours regardless of whatever else they might be facing are slowly dying and this is good for us as a society. The whole person needs to be seen, heard and supported in order to thrive.
Why mental wellness in the workplace is important.
Employee satisfaction – When mental wellness is prioritized, companies have more satisfied and engaged employees. This is essential to allow creativity and innovation to flow.
Low Turn-Over – It costs companies a lot of money to have a high turnover rate. Staff retention is directly related to how well companies treat their employees. When an employee is appreciated, validated, and supported, they stay.
Productivity – If an employee is not mentally well it shows in their work. Mental health affects work performance, hence employers need to know that their employees’ mental wellness is important for the company’s profit.
Improved Team Work and Collaboration – The success of most industries depends on the strength of their teams. Most work must be done in collaboration. If a company has a healthy culture that supports mental wellness, employees work better together.
Company Loyalty – Loyalty to the company is very important. It protects the brand identity and protects it from high turnover. When people’s well-being is taken into consideration, they feel that their needs have been met. They will want to give back to this organization that takes care of its own.
Ability To Work Under Pressure – On any given day, pressure at work might arise. In such situations, being mentally well means the employee has a greater chance of attending to demanding and urgent tasks. They are level-headed enough not to get overwhelmed or stressed out.
What causes mental health issues in the workplace.
- Lack of support from management/employers.
- Poor communication.
- Discrimination and isolation of any kind.
- Undefined job expectations.
- Toxic work environment (bullying tactics, rude, unprofessional behavior).
- Sexual harassment.
- No adherence to boundaries by management/employers.
- Company being short-handed, causing over-working employees.
- Pay issues, lack of promotion opportunity.
- Lack of development track.
- Impossible deadlines.
- Personal and family issues.
How to promote mental wellness in the workplace.
Leading by example. Most people will attest that culture is built from the top. When company leadership takes mental health and mental wellness seriously, an emotionally healthy climate can exist. Leading by example in the area of mental wellness could mean that leaders are the first to take breaks when needed, create and respect boundaries and invest money into wellness programs.
Proper induction and training. When someone is new to a company, they need proper induction so they are properly prepared for their role. This is to eliminate any ambiguity that can breed anxiety. When they have settled into the company, the availability of training programs aimed at preparing them for higher positions in the company can show a clear career path.
Employee Assistance Programs (EAP). These are programs created by mental health professionals to service the needs of the workforce. Depending on the needs of a company, EAPs serve as the go-to provider for employee well-being and support.
They offer short-term counseling and or training in emotional wellness. This can be helpful for companies dealing with issues of violence at work, trauma, grief, or emergencies. They also offer individualized assistance to workers who need help navigating life and work.
Proper human resource guidelines. To safeguard against bullying, sexual harassment, and discrimination in the workplace, there should be properly communicated guidelines on how all employees should interact. Proper reporting protocols should be common knowledge for employees to use if they have workplace interaction issues to report.
Communication. At the heart of humanity is our desire and need to communicate openly and without fear. If companies have proper communication channels that make it easy for employees to open up about their struggles, have tough conversations, and have their voices heard, it helps eliminate a lot of mental health issues.
Empathetic leadership. Prospective employees are looking for leaders who are in touch with the needs of their employees. Empathetic leaders listen, validate experiences, and make necessary changes. They also give employees the opportunity to be involved in process improvement efforts. Leaders need to remember what it is like to work for someone else and have no voice. Also, employees can give impactful input in the decision-making process which can save a business money, time and effort.
Pay well and offer benefits. One of the main stressors that people have comes from not being financially secure. Offering competitive pay and benefits improves retention of quality employees. When an employee is paid well and feels they are valued, it lowers their stress level.
Give reasonable workload. Many people are overworked. Companies may need to revise their workload and expectations to be more in line with what employees can handle, if appropriate. A lot of people suffer from burn-out and that can be detrimental to their mental well-being and productivity.
Mental wellness in the workplace is a requirement. Just as we prioritize physical health and put measures in place to safeguard it, mental health needs to be prioritized as well. With a lot of us still recovering from the very disturbing events of the pandemic, caring about our individual and collective mental wellness is of paramount importance.
We can help.
Work can be a huge stressor. Trying to navigate the world of work and home can be tough. If you are in any way struggling with burn-out, depression, anxiety, or any mental health issue as a result of work, please know we are here to help.
The trained counselors at our office are here to offer the necessary support and tools you might need to regain your strength again. We are also here for companies that might need to partner with us to offer services to their employees in the form of counseling. Contact us today.
“Brainstorming”, Courtesy of Jason Goodman, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Stressed”, Courtesy of Elisa Ventur, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Meeting”, Courtesy of Christina @ wocintechchat.com, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Thumbs Up”, Courtesy of Robin HIggins, Pixabay.com, CC0 License
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