Use this advice to improve the wellbeing of your company's employees
Consider this – at least 40 percent of people in India suffer from significant stress. This is a conservative estimate. A lot of the stress comes from the workplace given that employees spend more than one-third of their day in the office.
For some employees who are rushing to meet deadlines and targets, it is as much as two-thirds of their day. To put it simply, a vast majority of an individual’s waking hours are spent at work. It is essential for organisations to ensure the mental wellbeing of their employees. This is possible only if employers and employees work together to create a healthy work environment. If you constantly stress your employees by putting the needs of your clients before the mental wellbeing of your employees, you’ll lose your best talent sooner or later.
Here is how companies can create a conducive atmosphere at work which encourages well being:
Discuss mental health problems openly
Instead of stigmatizing or penalizing mental health problems, companies should encourage their leaders and managers to spread awareness about mental health issues amongst their employees. They should maintain an approachable tone and an open-door policy especially when it comes to discussing wellness issues. If an employee approaches you with a potential problem, you should take an interest in the emotional and mental wellness of your worker and follow-up regularly by offering assistance. For example, Arianna Huffington, in her book Sleep Revolution, writes about how her collapse from sheer exhaustion transformed how she measured and looked at success.
Create a positive work environment
A stressful work environment is one of the biggest triggers of poor mental health. From strict deadlines and long work hours to management conflicts and heavy workloads, several factors can lead to workplace stress, anxiety, and depression. In order to improve employee wellness, employers need to work on creating a healthy and positive work environment that employees will want to work in. Employers need to be proactive in eliminating harassment and discrimination to create a positive workplace culture. Group activities including sports and exercise, open discussions about challenges employees face, and the like will help create a better atmosphere at work.
Encourage employees to strike a healthy work-life balance
Instead of asking your employees to work late hours, encourage your workers to complete their day’s tasks and leave from work. Don’t schedule office errands for the weekend. Encourage your workers to lead more balanced lives. What employees feel at home often carries over to the workplace and vice versa. Help your people experience more joy and comfort in their lives by allowing them to spend more time with their friends and families. Happiness at home can translate to mental peace at work. Here the leaders need to lead by example. Employees emulate the leader, hence, it is essential that the leader set the tone for a balanced work schedule.
Set up mental health training programmes for employees and managers to help your workforce detect signs of frustration and stress in themselves and those around them. These training programmes will not only prevent anxiety and depression, but they will also help your employees respond appropriately to colleagues who are experiencing mental health issues. These mental health programmes can build further awareness and remove the stigma attached to emotional and mental issues once and for all. Conducting programmes like these is a great way to attract new employees and retain old ones.
More and more companies need to wake up to mental health matters. Startups like YourDOST, an emotional wellness and counselling platform, Type a Thought, a Mumbai-based digital counselling platform, and Gurgaon’s ePsyclinic, among many others, have been working towards mental wellbeing and providing support to individuals and organisations.