Empowering Employee Mental Health: A Practical Guide for Employers to Cultivate a Supportive Workplace

Mental health is an increasingly crucial issue in the workplace, and for good reason.

Studies have shown that mental health issues can have a significant impact on employee productivity, engagement, and retention, as well as overall workplace culture and wellbeing.

As such, it's important for both employers and employees to prioritize mental health in the workplace.

In this article, we'll explore some tips and strategies for promoting mental health in the workplace, from creating a supportive and inclusive work environment to providing resources and support for employees who may be struggling with mental health issues.

Why Is Supporting Mental Health In The Workplace So Important?

The mental health of employees is a crucial factor that impacts not only personal happiness, engagement, and performance but also the overall productivity and performance of the company.

When employees are happier, feel supported, are mentally healthy and have a good level of wellbeing, they are more likely to be engaged with their work and therefore, more productive.

In fact, studies have shown that productivity increases by nearly 20% when employees are happier at work.

Furthermore, when a company genuinely supports and cares for the wellbeing and mental health of their team, retention rates increase, top talent becomes more accessible, and brand awareness is even promoted via employees.

It’s not only essential to support your employee’s mental health because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s crucial to support employee wellbeing for the sake of your company’s productivity and success.

For Employers: ‍6 Ways To Support The Mental Health of Your Employees

Whilst there are so many ways you can support your team, we thought we’d compile 6 of the most effective ways you can look after the mental health of your employees and ultimately, improve your workplace culture.

1. Address workplace stressors

Addressing workplace stressors is an essential step in promoting mental health and wellbeing in the workplace, as it allows employers to identify and mitigate factors that may be contributing to employee stress, anxiety, and burnout, and create a supportive and positive work environment that fosters employee engagement, productivity, and satisfaction.

Here are some ways that companies can address workplace stressors:

  • Conduct surveys or focus groups to identify common sources of workplace stress among employees.
  • Implement policies or procedures to address these stressors, such as flexible work schedules or workload adjustments.
  • Train managers and supervisors to recognize and respond to signs of stress in their employees, and provide them with resources to support employees' mental health.
  • Encourage open communication and feedback between employees and management to identify and address stressors in real-time.

2. Promote a work-life balance: encourage Your employees to take time away from work

Work-life balance is a topic that is often discussed, but it's crucial to take it seriously and take actionable steps to support employees in achieving a healthy balance between their professional and personal lives. As an employer, it's your responsibility to establish and communicate work-life boundaries and ensure that your employees don't bring their work home with them at the end of the day.

How to promote a work-life balance for your employees:

  • Clearly communicate the expectations you have of your employees outside of work.
  • Limit the usage of work-related apps, such as Slack, after work hours.
  • Don’t ask employees to work outside of their set hours or days.
  • Promote breaks during work hours.
  • If you notice an employee working overtime, make sure you check in with them about their workload so that it doesn’t interfere with their time outside of work.

3. Actively create a mental health conscious workplace

Building a mental health-conscious workplace is not an easy feat, as it requires significant effort and a proactive approach. Merely verbalising or implying that mental health is valued is not enough. Employers must demonstrate to their employees that they genuinely care about their mental wellbeing through concrete actions and policies.

How to create a mental health conscious workplace:

  • Promote discussion about mental health regularly.
  • Providing mental health resources such as a third-party therapy.
  • Have an open-door policy (virtual or physical).
  • Allow and promote your team to take mental health days.
  • Don’t just ask your employees how they are, but build a relationship with each and every one of them and check in with them regularly.

4. Use personalised employee benefits to let employees support themselves

To cater to the unique mental health needs of employees, personalised employee benefits are a valuable tool. By offering a benefits platform or program tailored to individual needs, employees can access the resources and support they require without having to request them directly. This approach recognizes the diversity of employees and empowers them to take ownership of their mental health and wellbeing.

How to provide these mental health benefits to employees, with Juno:

  • Book a demo to explore what Juno can do for your team today.
  • Allocate your wellbeing budget and onboard your team (in less than 90 seconds!)
  • Let your team browse the thousands of wellbeing products, services, and experiences available on Juno, helping them reach their wellbeing goals.
  • Discover what it means to be an employer that supports the mental health and wellbeing of employees in the most impactful, personalised way.

5. Show recognition to your employees

Work takes up a significant portion of our lives, and it's natural for employees to want recognition and appreciation for their efforts. Without it, employees may start feeling undervalued and disconnected from their work, leading to negative feelings such as stress, hopelessness, anxiety, and even depression. As an employer, it's crucial to show your employees recognition and appreciation to maintain their motivation and mental wellbeing.

How to show recognition to your employees:

  • Create an impactful employee recognition programme.
  • Give your team members time off.
  • Express authentic and unique gratitude regularly.
  • Show appreciation for your team member publicly (if appropriate).
  • Provide flexible, personalised employee benefits.

6. Promote flexible working

Flexible working arrangements not only provide employees with the freedom to work when and where they prefer, but it also plays a vital role in enhancing their work-life balance, thereby supporting their mental health. This approach allows them to access mental health resources and practices that are beneficial to them, irrespective of their location and time constraints. As a result, offering flexible working options is an effective way to support your employees' mental health and wellbeing.

How to support flexible working for your employees effectively:

  • Get together with your team and ask your employees what they need.
  • Create a flexible or hybrid working programme depending on your team’s needs.
  • Communicate clear expectations that you have of your team.
  • Regularly check in with your team whilst running this new work policy and make sure the team continues to be connected and social via optional chats and meet-ups.

Final Thoughts

Maintaining good mental health in the workplace is essential for both employees and employers.

Employers play a crucial role in promoting good mental health by offering resources and support, providing a positive work environment, and being open to discussions about mental health concerns.

At Juno, we understand the importance of mental health in the workplace. That's why we offer flexible benefits that cater to employees' individual needs and preferences, including mental health support and counselling services.

By providing employees with the tools they need to maintain good mental health, employers can create a happier, healthier, and more productive workforce.

Speak to one of our Employee Wellbeing Experts today to see how Juno can support your team’s mental health and wellbeing.

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