Mental health in the workplace is an overlooked cost. In fact, with 1 in 5 people living with mental health issues, the costs to businesses is over $6 billion because of things like absenteeism and employee turnover. The problem is so widespread that very few people can say they haven't been affected by mental health issues in some way.
In today's economy, employers are looking for new ways to reduce the pressure on their employees. The costs of finding a solution are far cheaper than those associated with not dealing with mental illness. Here are 8 ways to help. The responsibility falls to both the employers and employees to work constructively to find the best solution for everyone involved.
Encourage employee participation and decision-making
Empowered employees feel in control of their life. As an employee, when you're given the chance to make a decision jump on it. That empowerment will increase your overall health.
Clearly define employees' duties and responsibilities
When you know what your job is, then you don't get bogged down in issues that aren't your problem. It isn't about passing responsibility, more that you achieve your own goals before worrying about someone else's.
Promote work-life balance
It may seem like a good idea at the time to either impress the boss or finish a task, but your effectiveness and efficiency are compromised when you work too many hours.
Encourage respectful behaviours
Nothing good comes from a bully. Being respectful ensures no one becomes a bully and it shows that the behaviour is unacceptable.
Whether you find yourself taking too much work home or the expectations are too high from your employer, knowing your limits is important. Let your employer know when you can't achieve a goal, they'd rather know so they can accomplish their goals when they have the opportunity, than when it's too late.
Provide training and learning opportunities
Knowledge is power. Training is empowerment. When you have both, you can establish limits for everyone and teach them the behaviours that are acceptable. Additionally, you can learn how to recognize the symptoms of mental illness.
Have conflict resolution practices
With more people, whether employees or clients, there is a greater chance of conflict. When you have a system in place to take care of the conflict, everyone benefits.
Recognize employees' contributions effectively
It doesn't seem like much, but when you're contributions are acknowledged you feel better about your position in life. When it comes to your job, or your coworkers, having a recognition program will increase morale.
Mental illness comes in many forms. Even before we can recognize the symptoms, establishing these protocols will reduce stress and make everyone's life easier. While many of them must come from the employer, employees can not only participate, but champion these elements to make sure they are adopted quickly.