Shawnee Love •
May 19, 2017
Awareness of how employee mental health affects workplace performance has come a long way. When I first started in HR, we told people to “check their emotions at the door” and expected that directive would prevent personal “stuff” (e.g., mental and emotional health, personal and interpersonal stresses, etc.) from having an impact on our workplaces. Although many people were able to do just that, and still to this day, people praised for their professionalism typically have the ability to control their emotional reactions, the fact that an employee’s mental health affects his or her work has become clear to even the most resistant business leader. What research has also shown is that if you really want to get the best from your employees, creating an environment which is supportive to their mental health pays off in the form of healthier, happier employees and enhanced productivity (which let’s be honest, is great for the bottom line).
If you like the idea of a healthier bottom line, healthy, happy employees, and more productivity, you can encourage mental health in your team, by implementing some of these tips:
- Provide benefits including an employee and family assistance plan and paid personal time,
- Inquire if you see an employee looking distressed,
- Model positive work-life “harmony” behaviors,
- Offer flexible work schedules where appropriate,
- Embrace a code of conduct with respect at its heart,
- Recognize and appreciate employees regularly,
- Place employees in jobs they are well suited for,
- Encourage a sense of team and community at work,
- Coach people in improving their Emotional Intelligence (EQi),
- Communicate effectively, often,
- Minimize obstacles and frustrations such as those created by red tape, redundancy, and conflict,
- Address conflict as soon as you become aware of it, and
- Ensure the workplace is physically and psychologically safe.
In upcoming blogs, we will explore ways to implement these tips in workplaces. If you have a tip you’d like to share, please comment as well!