4 Initiatives Your Company Can Take To Promote Mental Health

Written by Andrew Nelson

Andrew Nelson is a freelance writer and contributor in the Human Resource Industry. He specializes in topics such as workplace management, employee lifestyle and fringe benefits, employee retention and employee development.     

With May being Mental Health Awareness Month, now is the ideal time to refocus your attention on the well-being of your employees. Faced with continued uncertainty regarding their hours, job security, and career tracks due to the seismic economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, professionals are confronted with unprecedented levels of stress and anxiety about their ability to secure their livelihoods and fulfill meaningful life goals.

The World Health Organization notes that this type of stress can have deleterious effects on the work environment, with those companies that fail to take intentional measures to promote mental health likely to see increased absenteeism and subpar productivity. As a result, revenues will suffer unless the mental health of the workforce is made a priority.

To avoid this pitfall, the following four initiatives are great ways to promote mental health and well-being in your company.

Improve the Work Area

There are many facets to the work area that can have a direct impact on how employees feel about coming to work. First and foremost, is the workplace safe? If professionals are constantly having to worry about their physical safety, it will cause stress that detracts from their productivity. To help ensure a safe work environment, remove any fire hazards, use warnings and signage to signal any potential risks, and have features that make your workplace easily accessible for professionals with disabilities.

Next, take some time to improve the ambiance of the workplace. Make the space as open and inviting as possible. Tear down bleak walls and replace them with customizable glass partitions, install large windows to allow increased sunlight transmission, and create flexible exterior work areas to help make your employees feel liberated by the outdoors. 

Another important concept along these lines is making sure that your workplace is eco-friendly and sustainable. Simply put, the modern workforce is concerned about protecting the environment and is willing to go the extra mile to be a part of a company that is sustainable. Surveys have revealed that roughly 40% of millennial workers chose their jobs because they were more environmentally friendly than the alternative. Therefore, buildings powered using renewable energy and that readily employ recycled materials are likely to increase company pride among employees.

Develop Innovative Compensation Plans

Since the onset of the pandemic, professionals have worried about how to pay the bills like never before. Even those that were able to keep their jobs likely saw their cost of living adjustments frozen, bonuses canceled, or benefits reduced. As a result, many leading companies are implementing raises to help give workers peace of mind in light of the current climate. 

However, increased wages is only one of the most important benefits to employees in 2021. Changing dynamics within the household, such as multiple working parents and a break from the non-traditional family unit, have created new needs for contemporary professionals. As a result, if your company can find creative ways to offer nonstandard benefits such as flexible work schedules, elite paid parental leave, and childcare options, you are sure to reduce the anxiety that comes with trying to juggle work and family responsibilities.  

Have Open Conversations About Mental Health

Empathy is a powerful concept. If employees know that your company takes their mental health seriously and can relate to their struggles, they are far more likely to feel the trust that is necessary to put everything they have into their job.

Nonetheless, despite increased awareness of the importance of mental health, depression and other psychiatric conditions are still a bit too taboo in some workplaces. As a result, it is important to take steps to make strong mental health an important part of your company culture. Don’t wait until Mental Health Month to have your yearly conversation about mental health–keep the conversation going year-round. In addition, offer comprehensive training on the tools and resources available to your employees so that they know they have a place to turn should they encounter any rough patches. 

Encourage Employees to Take Time Off

One of the best ways to improve employee well being is by encouraging them to take days off to specifically address mental health. Research has shown that some 67% of professionals feel too embarrassed to ask about leave for mental health reasons. Yet, attempting to work when not in the right mental space can create a snowball effect that will substantially undermine performance. Therefore, be attuned to how your employees are feeling and encourage them to take mental health days when they are not at their best. If feasible within your company, give professionals the option to work remotely or on a more favorable schedule until their mental health returns to a safe place. 

Making Mental Health a Priority in the Workplace

Companies that take an intentional approach to promoting mental health can decrease absenteeism and enhance productivity in employees, both key drivers of economic success. Nonetheless, mental health is still overlooked in too many workplaces. By employing the four initiatives listed above, you can make significant progress toward ensuring the mental health of your workforce. 

If you’re looking to hire a new employee in California and don’t know what’s needed, we can help! We have a few resources that you can utilize, we have A Step By Step Guide to Hiring Your First California Employee and New Hire Forms available on our website.

Another good resource to help you is Us! You can reach out to us here.


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