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Improve Mental Health At Workplace | Best Strategies and Practices In 2023

Improve Mental Health At Workplace | Best Strategies and Practices In 2023


Jane Ng 28 Feb 2023 7 min read

Nowadays, prioritizing mental health at workplace has become a pressing matter for businesses rather than a mere choice. When a company takes care of its employees’ mental well-being, it becomes a more attractive place for potential job candidates. 

So, have you ever wondered how mental health can impact work performance and what can be done to improve it? Today’s article is all about exploring the effects of mental health at workplace and tips on how to enhance it. 

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Mental Health At Workplace. Image: freepik

#1 – Why Is Mental Health Important In The Workplace

Promoting mental health at workplace can have a positive impact on both employees and the company as a whole. Here are a few key points to consider when creating a culture of support and prioritizing mental health: 

Maintain employee well-being:

When employees are mentally and emotionally healthy, they are better able to cope with stress, manage their emotions, and maintain a positive outlook, which can lead to improved job satisfaction, productivity, and overall (including physical health).

For example, people with good mental health tend to be calmer and make better decisions when facing problems or crises.

Reduce absenteeism and presenteeism:

Lower levels of wellbeing were linked to both presenteeism and absenteeism.

Employees with mental health problems may need to take time off work to care for themselves or attend therapy sessions. Sometimes, they may also need time off to manage a mental health crisis. This affects quite a bit how long they can be at work. 

So when companies prioritize mental health, employees can seek help and get the respite they need to take care of themselves, which can improve attendance rates and reduce the burden on other employees.

Mental Health At Workplace. Photo: freepik

In contrast, seeing employees in the office isn’t always a good sign. Presenteeism is when employees come to work but are not productive due to mental health issues. Therefore, it can lead to reduced productivity and quality of work, which can affect the company’s overall performance. 

When companies put mental health foremost, they can reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues which can encourage employees to speak about their problems. Furthermore, it may result in less presenteeism and a more engaged and productive workforce.

Save costs

Taking care of mental health at work can also reduce healthcare costs. Employees who receive mental health support may be less likely to need expensive medical treatment, hospitalization, or urgent care. It can lead to lower healthcare costs for both employees and employers.

In addition, a company with good health care can also improve employee retention. Because when employees feel supported and appreciated, they are more likely to stay with the company for the long term. This helps reduce recruitment costs while having a more stable and efficient workforce.

Attract talents

When companies prioritize mental health, it means that the well-being of all employees is equal, valued, and supported. This can be a major draw for top talent, especially among the younger generation, who prioritize work-life balance.

#2 – How Does Mental Health Affect Work Performance?

When employees struggle with mental health issues, their ability to focus, make decisions, and engage in work tasks can be impacted. So, mental health can have the following effect on work performance:

Reduce productivity

Mental health issues can affect an employee’s ability to focus and make decisions. This can lead to late deadlines, incomplete work, lower quality work, or making more mistakes.

Reduce engagement

Unstable mental health can affect an employee’s motivation and engagement in work tasks, so they do not have enough job satisfaction and low morale, and motivation at work.

Increase absenteeism and presenteeism.

As mentioned above, mental health problems can lead to increased absenteeism and presenteeism, affecting performance and work productivity.

Interpersonal problems

Mental health issues can affect an employee’s ability to communicate and work with colleagues, leading to conflict, reduced teamwork, and less healthy work environment.

Mental Health At Workplace. When employees struggle with mental health issues, their ability to focus on work tasks can be impacted

#3 – How To Improve Mental Health In The Workplace

For Employers – Improving mental health at workplace requires a multifaceted approach, but here are some key strategies for companies: 

Workplace mental health awareness 

The first thing employers need to do to start their journey to improving mental health at workplace is to be aware of it. A business needs recognition and understanding of mental health issues and their impact on employees in the work environment, including:

  • Understand the signs and symptoms of a mental health condition.
  • Understand potential risk factors and stressors in the workplace.
  • Recognize the importance of addressing mental health concerns to promote employee health and productivity.

Create a supportive work culture.

Companies should prioritize creating a supportive and inclusive work culture that promotes open communication, respect, and cooperation. This can help employees feel more connected and appreciated, which can help them feel happy and less anxious.

Provide mental health benefits.

Companies should offer mental health benefits, such as counseling services, employee support programs, or mental health days. These benefits can help employees access the support they need and reduce the stigma associated with mental health.

Train to recognize and respond to mental health issues

Managers should be trained to recognize the signs of mental health problems and respond appropriately to support themselves and their subordinates.

Promote work-life balance

Companies should have flexible work hours, encourage employees to take breaks, and promote healthy habits like exercise and meditation, which can reduce stress and improve overall mental health.

Minimize stressors in the workplace.

Companies should identify and address workplace stressors, such as excessive workload or poor communication, that can contribute to bad mental health. They can improve workflow, provide additional resources or training, or implement new policies or procedures.

Improving Mental Health At Workplace Requires A Lot Of Effort

For Employees – As an employee, there are also steps you can take to improve your mental health at workplace.

Find the root of the problem.

To build up your mental health resistance, especially against stress or anxiety, you must concentrate on determining the root cause of your problems.

For example, if the time it takes to get a job done always worries you. Learn time management strategies to organize your work more efficiently or renegotiate deadlines with your manager.

Similar to other situations, it is always more effective to focus on the root of the problem to find a solution than focus on the problem itself.

Practice Self-care

Practice self-care by taking short breaks, eating healthy, and exercising daily. They are considered potent medications that help fight stress, anxiety, and depression. You may include minor workouts into your everyday routine by jogging or taking the stairs over the elevator, or cleaning the house is also an effective form of exercise.

In addition, getting quality sleep is the best way to improve mental health. It helps you to have a healthy mind and healthy body.

Mental Health At Workplace – Set boundaries

Set clear boundaries around your work and personal life to help manage stress and prevent burnout. This could involve setting limits on your work hours or disconnecting from work emails and messages outside of business hours or on weekends.

Build social connections

Connecting and communicating with others in society is also one of the practical ways to increase your mental resistance to stress.

Hence, schedule time to communicate with friends, family, or coworkers. However, it would be best to enhance communication with others with a positive outlook on life to get positive vibes. 

Mental Health At Workplace – Speak up

If you are experiencing stress at work or other issues affecting your mental health, speak up and seek support. Your company can provide mental health resources or support to help you manage your workload and reduce stress.

In the next part, we’ll learn more about speaking up for our mental health. 

Mental Health At Workplace – Image: freepik

#4 – How To Talk About Mental Health At Workplace

Talking about mental health at the workplace can be challenging but essential. Here are some tips for talking about mental health at work:

  1. Choose the right time and place: When planning to talk about mental health at work, choose a time and place where you feel comfortable and can talk openly without distractions. 
  1. Prepare what you want to say: Prepare what you want to say in advance to express your concerns and needs clearly. You might want to try with a dependable friend or write your thoughts beforehand.
  1. Be specific and clear: Be specific about your concerns and needs, and provide clear examples of how mental health affects your job or health. This can help your company understand your situation and provide appropriate support.
  1. Focus on solutions: Instead of just highlighting problems, focus on solutions that can help you manage your mental health and keep doing your task. This can show that you are proactive and committed to finding a solution.
  1. Know your rights: Understanding your rights under your company’s policy and related mental health laws can help you advocate for appropriate accommodations or support.

Key Takeaways

When mental health at workplace is a priority, employees are more likely to feel valued and supported. This can increase their job satisfaction, productivity, and overall well-being. By creating a culture that promotes mental health awareness and support, businesses can also attract and retain top talents while improving overall performance and profitability. 

Don’t forget to build an effective mental health program. You can create a workshop or training session with the help of AhaSlides’ ready-made templates to improve mental health at workplace!

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