What does employee mental health mean for the success of your business? Mental health is a state of well-being allowing individuals to realize their potential, cope with the normal stresses of life, and make a contribution to the community. It affects how we think, feel, and act.
The impact of work alone on personal identity, self-esteem and social recognition is hard to measure, but the workplace environment has a significant impact on an individual’s mental well-being. Depression and anxiety are two of the most common mental disorders that affect productivity, and as a business owner it’s important that you do what you can to create a workplace environment that does not negatively affect your team.
Why Build a Happier Team?
Since we spend a large majority of our lives at work, it’s no surprise that it’s one of the most influential factors to mental health.
Risk factors for employee mental health include:
- Insufficient health/safety policies
- Poor leadership/communication
- Poor decision-making
- Lack of emotional support for employees
- Ambiguous roles, tasks and objectives
- Excessive and insufficient workload
- Poor interpersonal bonds/team cohesion
- Physical and psychological bullying
- Clashing of home and work demands
If that’s not enough, these are some of the effects of ignoring employee mental health:
- Low happiness – Employees can suffer both mentally (depression, anxiety, burnout) and physically (high blood pressure, heart disease, ulcers). This increases overall sickness absenteeism that disrupts smooth workflow.
- Low performance – Mental health problems in the workplace lead to an increased amount of substance abuse, work errors, workplace accidents (which can be fatal), poor decision-making, and a general lack in planning and control of work, which all contribute to an overall reduction in productivity.
- Bad culture – Mental health problems in the workplace also lead to friction and animosity among colleagues and poor relationships with customers. It can also lead to reduced motivation and commitment and high staff turnover; contributing to a potentially toxic company culture.
How to Improve Employee Mental Health
We will go into this in further detail in the coming weeks, but there are a couple of different ways that you can enact positive mental health-related changes in your business. You can do so with policy changes and with changes to company culture.
Promote employee mental health by putting appropriate policies in place:
- Enforcing adequate health and safety practices including identification of distress and harmful drug use among employees;
- Implement a strict policy against sexual and racial harassment;
- Establish programs for career development of employees such as on the job training and sponsorship for further studies to keep them motivated;
- Involve employees in more of the organisation’s decision-making to create a sense of validation and participation.
These changes can be enacted to support positive mental health:
- Create a positive company culture of bonding easily, emphasizing support and looking out for one another;
- Encourage a good work life balance by giving employees adequate time and incentive to spend quality time with their loved ones to keep them inspired;
- Reward the contribution of employees, especially when they excel, so they know they are cherished;
- Encourage healthy activities such as drinking water and eating fruit, as well as providing stress relief spaces such as a gym or mediation room;
- Have zero tolerance for all forms of bullying.
Unhappy employees can cause devastation to your business. Not only is it upsetting and damaging to morale, but unhappy employees are also more likely to file claims against their company. Be sure to have adequate New Jersey Business Insurance as you work to improve your company culture.
About Provident Protection Plus
At Provident Protection Plus, we have served the businesses and residents of New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania for more than 65 years. We are a wholly owned subsidiary of Provident Bank, the region’s premier banking institution, and we are prepared to offer you personal, business, employee benefit, and risk management solutions. To learn more about our coverage options, contact our specialists today at (888) 990-0526.