Invest in your employees: how best to manage and support mental health at work

Maintaining great employee morale and holding onto your hard-working staff requires a bit of investment. In today’s dog-eat-dog business world work can get stressful and the last thing you need is depressed and demotivated employees who strain under the fatigue of a hectic workplace and the strains of managing their personal life at the same time.

So what can you, as a Manager or employer do to make things easier on your staff? Paying attention to what your employees are telling you about their mental health and helping them ease their burden is imperative if you are to continue with a healthy workforce.

Firstly, you need to acknowledge that poor mental health is a real issue and learn enough about it to recognize the signs of it within your team. The next step is to engage a good counselor for the workplace (even a visiting counselor can be helpful) who will be available for your employees to discuss stress-related issues if the need arises.

Such a person can also advise you on the issues that can cause undue stress in the workplace and help mitigate them so that your staff is happy and willing to work. You can also look out for signs of poor mental health such as continued absences from work, or conversely, employees not taking their entitled holidays, in addition to continually working long hours, struggling to complete tasks, and so forth.

In doing all this, you need to set a good example as the Management as well, in setting the bar for best practices. Avoid continually working late, take your entitled holidays, invest in family time and speak out and ask for help with tasks you cannot manage on your own. When your staff sees you being open about such issues, they too will follow suit.

Furthermore, create an environment where you prioritize mental health. Ensure that your counselor speaks to all staff on a regular basis about the importance of mental health. Conduct workshops that allow for open discussions on the subject. Don’t ever belittle people who struggle with stress and other issues. If you see someone grappling with poor mental health, be discreet about it and allow them the time and support to heal before returning to work. When employees see you treating them with care they will have more loyalty towards you and work better and support their colleagues in turn. All this will be an investment in a better business.

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