Mental health concerns cost Canadian employers billions of dollars in absenteeism, presenteeism, and turnover. As we spend a significant portion of our lives at work, it is essential that mental health conversations become apriority in every workplace. These conversations can help to promote a healthier and more productive work environment.
There are many things that you can do to increase employee wellness and mental health. Here are six approaches for creating a supportive workplace culture around mental health.
1. Raise Awareness
Raising awareness is the first step to identifying and recognizing the importance of mental health and workplace wellness in the organization. This can be done through educational campaigns, training sessions, and workshops throughout the organization. Providing resources and information to employees on how to recognize the signs of mental health issues, how to seek help, and how to support colleagues who are struggling can destigmatize mental health and facilitate open conversations at the workplace.
2. Create a Supportive Work Environment
Employees are more likely to feel positive and motivated when they feel supported by their workplace. Encourage employees by providing opportunities to express their opinions and concerns, engage in open communication and feedback, and participate in activities that foster a sense of community and belonging. This can be achieved through team-building ventures, social gatherings, and other initiatives to bring employees together.
Keep in mind that personality and communication styles can differ vastly when it comes to the topic of mental health and wellness at the workplace. Consider catering to both introverted and extroverted personality types by offering a variety of ways to express feedback. This could include online surveys, one-on-one or group discussions, or anonymous suggestion boxes.
3. Offer Flexible Work Arrangements
Flexible work arrangements can help reduce workplace stress and improve work-life balance. Remote work, flexible hours, and compressed work weeks allow employees to work in a way that suits their individual needs and circumstances, which can lead to greater job satisfaction. Studies have shown that a 4-day workweek improves productivity, morale, employee retention, work-life balance, and overall happiness.
4. Promote Self-Care and Well-Being
Encourage and educate employees on various ways to practice self-care and prioritize their well-being. You can offer workshops or training courses on topics that involve both mental and physical aspects, as both areas contribute to overall wellness. This may include mindfulness, stress management, nutrition, relationship, mindset, exercise, or family resources.
FSEAP offers comprehensive service options and programs for all of the above topics, along with monthly newsletters, nutrition tips, and worksheets to distribute to your employees.
5. Provide Access to Mental Health Resources
Counselling and support groups are important parts of mental health management and recovery. Not only can professionals help us feel heard and understood, but they can also help us explore and identify our thoughts, feelings, and patterns of behavior, allowing us to learn new coping skills or management techniques.
These services can be provided through your EAP. Along with newsletters and tip sheets, FSEAP offers 24/7 access and crisis support from anywhere in North America, as well as personal counselling for individuals, couples, and families.
6. Monitor and Evaluate the Effectiveness of Your EAP
Offering solutions to improve employee wellness can sometimes feel tricky and leaning on your EAP for guidance can be helpful. With FSEAP, you have access to dedicated account management and support services which allow you to monitor workplace and utilization trends, and create a program or action plan that is responsive to the unique needs of each organization and its culture.
Wellness and mental health management strategies are essential to a healthy and productive workplace. Using EAPs can easily streamline this process and provide comprehensive support to your organization.