Wellbeing is now more important than ever. Every year, people at workplaces suffer from many common work-related injuries, from backaches to tendonitis and, in worst cases, nerve damage. Human resource (HR) managers must keep an eye on several tasks to ensure a healthy and safe working environment.
Besides protecting employees from physical injuries, human resource managers should also be equally mindful of employees’ mental health and general wellbeing. They should take care of the communication of ongoing training to inform people of updated safety policies, maintaining a transparent network of communication with the management on safety standards.
Human resource managers should provide relevant sources to educate people who aren’t aware of it. Moreover, they can also help build a culture that prioritizes mental well-being to help employees feel safe, thereby encouraging everyone to work on their mental health.
Promoting Workplace Safety and Mental WellBeing
Awareness of mental health in the workplace is nothing new. That’s mainly because its impact can be unfavorable to the success of a business. A study by Westfield Health reported that the nation’s deteriorating mental health from Covid-19 Lockdowns cost UK Businesses £14 billion last year and in general poor mental health costs UK employers up to £45 billion a year according to Deloitte.
Many businesses already realize the value of supporting their employees’ mental health through employee benefits. However, according to Koa Health’s Wellbeing at work report stated that 43% of companies admitted that mental health was still not a cultural priority.
Raising awareness and initiating a conversation about mental wellbeing in the workplace are critical. But fostering dialogue isn’t always enough on its own and HR Managers agreed that it’s harder to know if an employee’s wellbeing is good when working remotely. Around 57% of people say that if their employer proactively supports employees’ mental wellbeing, it would help them feel safer, be more productive in the workplace, and take less time off work.
Below are some of the tips that companies can implement to promote mental well-being in the workplace. Thus, employees can conduct activities in this regard accordingly.
1. Keep the Conversation Around Mental Health Active and Ongoing
The initial step to crushing the stigma around mental health is to stop treating mental illnesses as taboo. Irrespective of having read an article, watching a show, or experiencing an illness, talking about it candidly and without shame will help others realize they are not alone.
Additionally, workplace culture must be nourished, implying that you have to keep mentioning the importance of mental health repeatedly. Look for different opportunities to incorporate the subject into your employees’ day, so it stays above all.
On the other hand, if you still ask your employees to submit a doctor’s note or other authentic reasons for missing work, it is high time you stop. Being an active part of preventative health means giving timely breaks to your mind and body and allowing your employees to stay home to recharge, thereby promoting a healthy mind.
2. Exercise Regularly
People who work out frequently are more likely to enjoy better health both mentally and physically. Regularly working out improves cognitive function, helps maintain a healthy weight, and improves sleep quality. Moreover, it also enhances the brain’s release of mood-enhancing endorphins, leading to higher self-esteem and boosts overall mental health.
Companies could thus offer an online platform for workouts or invite fitness instructors to the office for some team workouts. Employers could also introduce walking lunch, a running club or any other activities for employees to do during their breaks.
3. Eat Healthily
When we look at the food we eat as the fuel for our bodies, it becomes easier to make healthy choices. Elements from processed food can be harmful to the brain. Several studies have found a relationship between a diet concentrated with refined sugar and mood disorders, including anxiety and depression.
Nutritionists provide workshops for healthy eating or even cooking classes that employers could hire for those interested.
Organisations could also relook at what healthier food options in the staff kitchen, canteen or vending machines.
4. Provide In-Service Events
Provide employees and workers with in-service training on stress management, self-care, and resilience. Hiring a therapist and providing workshops and webinars a few times every year could go a long way towards preventing mental health issues. Moreover, it would focus more on the importance of building healthy strategies in your daily life.
These in-service seminars and webinars would save the business money over the long haul while also assisting employees in reaching their maximum potential.
5. Provide Free Screening Tools
The majority of mental health illnesses are left untreated because employees do not recognize the signs and symptoms. They may shrug it off as mere “stress”, or they may try to convince themselves their issues will disappear on their own.
Mental Health American offers free screening tools that can help employees examine their risk factors. Employees who identify they’re at risk for particular issues, such as depression or anxiety, are more likely to get proper treatment. I know we are based in the UK , but this toolkit is quite handy for all.
The Bottom Line
Similar to physical health, mental health takes considerable work. Trying to perfect everything all at once, undoubtedly, will lead to frustration. Instead, select one or two areas to practice until they become healthy habits. Once you master those habits, pick up another, and go from there.
Each individual has a unique personality, strengths, weaknesses, and situations that will profoundly impact what they need at any given time. Understanding this is vital for employers who try to empower their employees to be their best selves.
The human resources (HR) department has a great opportunity to impact employee mental health. It often begins with culture and narrows down to everything else, including hearty benefits packages with other healthcare coverage and offerings such as employee discounts that support mental health.
It will probably be a while before people begin to treat mental conditions similar to physical illnesses. But until then, employers can start promoting mental wellbeing one step at a time.