Mental health is relevant to everyone. It is reflective of one’s emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing. It affects how we think, feel, and act.
We spend most of the hours in our day working. It’s crucial that the space where we spend this time is safe, supportive, and does not have a negative impact on our mental health.
Mental health is a “hot topic” that has been highlighted by companies and corporate professionals for decades but is, ironically, rarely addressed thoroughly enough. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has only heightened the need for mental health in the workplace to be addressed. This unprecedented time requires every employer to put their employees’ wellbeing and mental health at the forefront of their concerns. Feelings of anxiousness, stress, sadness, and even depression are not uncommon in employees – especially when there is still a lot of uncertainty (cue the negative impacts of the pandemic on almost every human).
But here’s the good news: even in the most uncertain times, employers can still find ways to be there for their team. Today, we’re sharing our top 5 tips on how you can support your team’s wellbeing and mental health.
1. Focus on improving your company culture and nurturing a safe environment.
Nurturing a healthy, safe, welcoming workplace culture is a key component when supporting your employees’ wellbeing and mental health. Healthy people, healthy workplaces and promoting a healthy lifestyle are key for attracting and retaining talent.
There are a few things to consider when maintaining a company culture, especially if your team is currently operating remotely.
- Reiterate your company values with everyone and emphasize them regularly.
- Clearly define how employees should work together.
- Build close team connections to avoid isolation.
2. Foster open communication and create a sense of security and trust.
Employers that promote a company culture centered around open communication establish a sense of security in the team. As a result, this reduces the amount of stress that employees experience and helps bridge cultural differences.
Benefits of encouraging open trust and communication between yourself as the employer and your team include:
- Establishing yourself as an approachable leader. Your team will know they can come to you with any hurdles they encounter or if they just need someone to talk to.
- Getting to know others on a more personal, human level. This has endless benefits to your company culture and team’s wellbeing. When they feel understood and heard, they are more likely to thrive.
- Setting a great example to your employees, who can learn from your actions. Strong leaders model their values every day. They set expectations through action, which naturally guides employees to follow suit and help nurture a company culture that is transparent and welcoming.
3. Put mental health at the forefront of your concerns as the employer.
Lacking adequate mental health support can negatively impact your employee retention rates. Quickly. By prioritizing mental health, you set both your team and you as the employer up for success. Not only will this have a positive impact on employees’ mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing, but your retention rates will skyrocket, and your company culture will benefit significantly, too.
To prioritize your team’s mental health, you can:
- Offer workshops to help employees learn more about mental health and resilience.
- Encourage regular breaks and healthy work/lifestyle habits.
- Provide flexible work schedules, locations, and/or hours.
- Let your team know that their PTO days and vacay days are there for a reason!
Another thing often overlooked by employers is how evaluating your employees’ performance can impact their mental health and their perspective of your company. Communicating your team’s performance to them in a healthy, amicable way can look like:
- Communicating without judgement.
- Considering emotional triggers.
- Being supportive and clear.
- Relating issues to performance rather than personality.
- Highlighting strengths first.
- Separating acknowledging from agreeing.
- Building on existing strengths.
4. Treat your employees once in a while to show your appreciation.
Recognition and praise are a must in the workplace, especially when it comes to showing your employees that you truly appreciate their work. Plus, when employees feel valued and appreciated, they are more likely to be productive and engaged!
There are ENDLESS ways to treat your employees to show your appreciation, but some of our team’s favourites include:
- A gift card for their favourite coffee shop – for example, Tim Horton’s, Starbucks, or a local café!
- Flowers from a local florist delivered to their door!
- A lunch courtesy of the company – UberEats gift cards are great for this!
Your employees will LOVE the fact that you thought about them and went the extra mile to show that you appreciate their dedication and hard work.
5. Do Something FUN with your team outside of work!
Nothing is better than building relationships with those you work with because, let’s face it, you spend a lot of time together!
Fun fact: Did you know that smiling is an INSTANT serotonin boost?
So, do something together outside of work. Smile, laugh, joke around – boost each other’s serotonin levels sky-high. Getting together with your team outside of work is a great way to connect with everyone and promote an inclusive and fun work environment. It also gives your team a space to relax and de-stress! Some activities you could try out include:
- Group activities such as bowling, visiting an aquarium, going on a boat tour, or even going on a hike together!
- Go out for a team lunch/dinner! Do a poll to determine the team’s favourite eatery and book a reservation!
- Organize a paint night with your team – virtual or in-person! Share some laughs together while you let out your inner artist!
By integrating these tips into your workplace, you can make a real impact on your employees’ wellbeing and mental health while fostering an inclusive and safe company culture. As a result, your employees will be happier and will be able to put 110% into their work and relationships with colleagues.
Need some help in getting these concepts off the ground? We’re here to support! Get in touch with us at [email protected] for further information on how we can partner with you to support you in building a company culture that puts mental health and wellness first.