Supporting employee mental health is essential for all companies. By doing so, you create a supportive, positive culture that actively strives to ensure all workers thrive, both in and out of the workplace. Plus, it reduces the odds of burnout, boosts morale, and increases productivity, making it a boon for employers, too.
While it may seem like employers can only do so much to support the mental health of their employees, they often have far more tools at their disposal than they expect.
Here’s a look at steps companies can take to make a meaningful difference.
Look for Signs of Mental Health Challenges
One of the first things managers need to learn to do is spot signs of mental health challenges as they’re developing. The impacts of stress often take time to manifest, but there can be early cues that signal an issue in the works.
For example, disengagement, falling productivity, or diminished work quality may be signs. The same goes for an increase in tardiness or unplanned absences, as well as withdrawing from colleagues. Some shifts in appearance could indicate trouble, too.
By remaining aware of potential signs, managers can potentially intervene earlier. This allows them to offer support before a situation becomes unnecessarily challenging, making it easier to resolve.
Check-In with Team Members Often
In a similar vein, checking in with team members regularly helps managers identify potential signs of mental health difficulties. By ensuring the focus is on how employees are doing overall and not purely on their work performance, it also creates opportunities to build a rapport. In turn, workers may be more inclined to mention struggles or ask for help.
However, managers may also be able to assess the situation indirectly. Shifts in an employee’s mood or tone could let a manager know that something is amiss, even if the worker doesn’t say so outright.
Handle Mental Health Conversations Correctly
Approaching an employee about their mental health needs to be done carefully. Ideally, managers need to maintain a judgment-free perspective, ensuring workers know that being open and honest is safe. Using active listening is similarly essential, allowing employees to feel heard and preventing managers from interjecting at inappropriate moments.
When it comes to solutions, it’s not about telling employees what to do. Instead, offering support and being generally available should be the primary goal. This prevents the manager from coming across as obtrusive.
Make Any Resources Highly Accessible
Many companies make a range of resources available to employees. Whether it’s Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), mental health benefits through health insurance, or access to coaches, employers need to make sure that tapping into these resources is simple and intuitive.
Along with ensuring employees are informed about what’s available, information about the benefits should be presented regularly, such as at the beginning of meetings or in newsletters. Having an intranet page (with a clear link on the homepage) dedicated to these benefits could also be beneficial, making it easier for employees in need to find critical information.
Ultimately, employee mental health should be a top concern of employers. By using the approaches above, it’s far easier to make a difference, ensuring your workforce feels supported and valued at all times.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can support employee mental health, the team at PrideStaff wants to hear from you. Contact us today.