After a challenging year for employees, many of whom have had to navigate new remote working situations while simultaneously managing drastic changes in their personal lives, mental health issues are beginning to become more prevalent within the workplace. Even welcoming employees back into the workplace, reversing newly adopted practices, can be challenging, especially as fears of personal health persist. As an employer, there is an expectation for duty of care, one that must now adapt to these modern expectations.
Employers, however, are undergoing much of the same learning process. Those wanting to ensure operations are undisrupted and that staff are able to feel comfortable and productive in the workplace must cater for their business, developing new protocol and policy for office wellness. While this may manifest itself differently within each company, there are certain modern practices that should be considered by all modern employers.
Create A Culture Of Non-Judgement
Unfortunately, there has been a pervasive stigma surrounding mental health issues within the workplace. One in five employees has claimed that they feel unable to talk to their managers about issues of stress and others claim to disguise their mental health issues with physical ailments, unsure they would otherwise be taken as seriously.
Companies should strive to eliminate this stigma and encourage employees to be open about their mental health. This cannot solely be done through a statement and is, instead, best achieved through action. Create safe spaces, offer non-judgemental ‘mental health’ days, and give employees the platform they need to address their wellbeing.
Meet Fundamental Needs
For an employee, there are certain departments that are crucial to their wellbeing. Departments such as human resources and payroll services must ensure that they operate with transparency and high standards or else risk the alienation and frustration of employees. Payroll mistakes, for example, consistently rank among the most notable sources of stress for employees, with unsatisfactory salaries being a key motivator to leave a company.
HR departments must now undergo new training to ensure that they are able to meet the modern needs of their employees. Remote and mixed working environments place new stress upon employees and previous methods of checking up on their wellbeing are no longer readily available. Be sure that your HR team are aware of how to best cater to their team’s needs.
Offer Workplace Counselling
One of the most effective ways to ensure employees’ mental health needs are met is with workplace counselling. This service enables each employee the ability to seek external or in-house counselling sessions, creating a non-judgemental environment with a professionally trained counsellor where issues can be both discussed and, hopefully, resolved.
These services come at a cost to the company but have been demonstrated to have an immense impact on employee retention, wellbeing, and even productivity. They demonstrate that a business is willing to go to great lengths to ensure that its employees are cared for. Sessions, even if only occurring once a month, can curb absenteeism as workplace mental health issues are caught early or eliminated.