We can all remember a time where talking about mental health in the workplace was practically unheard of – almost taboo even. If 2022 has taught us anything, it’s that most traditional ways of working are dead. The demand for positive company culture and work-life balance are at an all time high. And while the pandemic reshaped the way we approach our jobs, it’s also been a catalyst for setting standards around employee mental health.
Organizations take a huge risk in failing to recognize this movement. Without the willingness to join the conversation their brand reputation, talent retention, and customer loyalty are on the line; which prompts a million dollar question:
How can company leaders answer the call to help employees access the mental health resources they need?
By leveling with employees, organizations in every industry can seize the opportunity to challenge outdated norms and become a progressive workplace that supports mental health.
The Evolution Of Mental Health At Work
In 2020, COVID-19 turned corporate America on its head. While quarantining and turning kitchen tables into makeshift workstations, people were also questioning what really matters in life. This led to much of the workforce speaking out about mental health and just how vital a sound mind is. As 2021 unfolded, the pandemic’s fallout continued to affect every inch of the way we live and work. Collectively our mental health suffered. For many, this resulted in increased anxiety, depression, and burnout – which (as you can imagine) directly impacted productivity levels.
The last few years have taken their toll on the way we work, but also created a space for employees and their employers to find common ground in practicing mental health in the workplace. Read on for actionable steps you can take to ensure your workplace empowers mental health in a way that resonates with your team.
5 Actions Brands Can Take To Practice Employee Wellbeing
Send a company-wide survey out to get real feedback.
Every business operates differently, and what works for a similar brand may not work for yours. Start by sending a company-wide email blast to get anonymous, yet honest feedback on what would help various departments manage stress better. In short, simply start the conversation and ask the team what they’d like to see in terms of mental health accessibility.
Sponsor one-time or recurring events to reduce stress.
Studies show that stress management programs like corporate massage or company-sponsored online fitness classes go a long way in building morale throughout the office (in-person and virtually). This is huge in showing gratitude and that you value your employees as so much more than means to an end. Finding a workplace stress management provider to partner with is ideal for practicing mental health because you’re giving employees options to approach wellness in a way that works for them.
Create designated spaces to connect with one another.
When employees have chemistry, magic happens. One way to cultivate healthy relationships between various departments and employees is to have designated spaces to connect socially. This could be anything from a cafe to a comfy lounge area or outdoor spaces where corporate formalities are left at the door.
Encourage mental breaks.
We all could use some dedicated “disconnect” time every now and them. Set an example for your workplace by encouraging mental health breaks be it a 5-minute coffee refill or taking a full hour lunch break. By setting this standard for employees, they’ll have a stronger sense of work-life balance and higher likelihood to leave work at work.
Upgrade your benefit coverage to include mental health services.
Corporate America is not known for having the best perks. Go against the grain and offer an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to bridge the gap between employees and qualified mental health professionals like counselors and licensed therapists. Implementing a program like this may not be feasible for some businesses – if this applies to you try creating a list of resources available to guide employees in the right direction.
Practicing Employee Mental Health Starts With Awareness
Not to be confused with brand awareness, but rather brands that are aware. The 2022 workplace looks and feels much differently than it did three years ago. Businesses are expected to be fluent in emotional intelligence and how it transpires into daily operations. Mental health accessibility is just one of the many boxes you must check in order to remain a desirable place to work. Instead of being reactive to a mental health crisis, be proactive and start the conversation about what would help sustain a healthy work-life balance for your employees. Their answers may surprise you and be more attainable than you originally thought.
King Business Interiors specializes in creating environments that support workplaces and the people within them. Talk to us today and share your goals to promote employee mental health in this new age of work.