An average employee spends about 10 hours a day at work. Most people continue to linger on to work-related thoughts and issues even beyond those 10 hours. So work makes up quite a significant part of our life. Therefore, it has a lot to do with our mental health. According to the Mental Health Organization, one in every seven people faces mental health problems due to their workplace. It places a significant responsibility on the employer to ensure employees operate in a relaxing work environment. Employers must try their best to remove all the possible stressors from the workplace.
Stress and mental pressure negatively affect productivity. Employees suffer burnout more often; as a result, their motivation declines. It is not only harmful to employees but also for the employer in the long run. Reduced employee productivity deters business growth. It affects the market performance and comprises a business’s competitive edge. So workplace stress acts as a double-edged sword. It is equally harmful to the employees as well as the employer.
Ensuring mental well-being at work is not something complicated to achieve. There are small steps that you can take to provide a productive environment for employees. If you have been wondering what those steps can be, this article can aid your search. It highlights five ways to ensure a stress-free workplace and improve productivity.
1. Provide an in-house health expert
There was a time when no one even used to think of having an in-house medical expert at the workplace. The lack of trained medical professionals in the field was one of the reasons. However, now online medical education like nurse practitioner online has been producing competent medical professionals. And so, employers can hire psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners and develop an internal mental healthcare consultation.
It becomes even more significant for workplaces where extensive production takes place. There are always chances of accidents and injuries. When employees know there are medical experts present at the workplace, they gain mental relief. It enhances their productivity and promotes a positive work environment.
2. Promote Socialization
You can’t spend 40-50 hours a week at someplace just working and not interacting with anyone. Such stringent workplaces would undoubtedly put a lot of burden and mental pressure on employees. Instead, employers should promote socialization. They should encourage employees to communicate with each other. It strengthens their bond and increases performance. Having friends than colleagues is better.
When employees have good social connections with their colleagues, they share information readily. It promotes team building and develops synergies. It helps employees build alliances and a support mechanism at the workplace. Then, they always have someone to go to in case of any mental stressor. They can speak to people and share their problems. It motivates them and provides emotional and mental peace.
3. Continuous Learning and Development
Most employers tend to ignore this very fundamental reason behind employees’ mental stress at the workplace. It is the lack of training and development. The moment employees start feeling that their learning has stopped, their mental health deteriorates. According to Lorman, a training consultancy, 74% of employees think they do not realize their true potential because of a lack of training and development opportunities. These employees can achieve wonders if provided proper learning and development opportunities at the workplace.
This feeling of deprivation and absence of achievement creates mental stress for employees. Therefore, proper training and continuous investment in human resources serve a great purpose to ensure employee well-being at work. It is a win-win situation for both. Employees feel value addition and skill development, whereas organizations derive more productivity and better business from those employees.
4. Dedicate Budget for Employee Recreation
A gym, a resting lounge, a play area, and a lunch area with a refreshing ambiance are necessary elements for employee well-being at work. Every organization should dedicate budgets for employee well-being activities. The WHO found out that every $1 spent on employee mental well-being generates $4 worth of return as increased productivity.
Organizations should treat employee well-being as a proper business domain along with other functions. Only then will they be able to recognize the benefits and returns of investing in it. Employees are the real asset that generates value for any business. Therefore, their well-being should matter the most. Now even if it requires financial investment, organizations should not shy away from it.
5. Reduce workplace stigma
Something even worse than facing mental health issues is when people start mocking it. Reducing workplace stigma and promoting inclusion are crucial for employee well-being. Organizations should value the human aspect of employees and not just treat them like other materialistic assets. Employees can have mental health problems, and that shouldn’t allow anyone to discriminate against them.
Employers should promulgate a supportive workplace atmosphere. Employees should encourage and support others who are facing any workplace stressor. The support itself is enough to resolve half the workplace mental health issues.
The business environment of today has undoubtedly become increasingly complex and stressful. The load certainly trickles down to employees as well. However, proper mental health management initiatives can help employees cope with that stress. It needs a systematic approach where the employer ensures employee well-being. It then designs a workplace that has an appropriate stress-reducing mechanism. Discussed above are some tested and proved strategies to promote employee well-being. However, your specific workplace conditions might demand a further diversified solution.