5 Ways Managers Can Support Employees’ Mental Health

5 Ways Managers Can Support Employees’ Mental Health

An employee’s psychological wellbeing is a broad concept. It covers their thoughts, emotions, actions, and capacity for social interaction. Differentiate between mental health and mental illness; they are related but distinct concepts. An employee might experience a phase of deteriorating mental health without necessarily having a diagnosed mental disorder. 

An employee’s mental health isn’t static. It can vary over time due to factors such as the volume of work, stress levels, and the balance between their professional and personal lives. Here are five ways managers can support their employees’ mental health.

Discuss Mental Health

The most crucial role a manager can play in fostering mental health is dismantling stigmas. Just as leaders usually promote physical health within their teams, creating an environment where it’s acceptable to address illnesses and needs as they come up, they should adopt the same approach towards mental health.

Regular individual meetings, driven by employee priorities, are key to achieving this. Managers should facilitate conversations about work-life balance and overarching issues instead of merely running through a list of tasks. This will also allow managers to share their personal encounters and tactics for handling stress and nurturing mental health.

Incorporate Mental Health Protection into Healthcare Policies

The financial burden of mental health care adds to its existing stigma. Encouraging sliding scale therapy for your employees’ healthcare plan removes an additional obstacle that might deter your team from seeking necessary help. Such coverage could include standard mental health services and alternative treatments that provide mental and physical health benefits.

Decreases the Cost of Doing Nothing

Not addressing your employees’ mental health concerns can adversely affect your business in various ways. For instance, employees grappling with personal problems may require assistance with their duties. Overlooking this need can result in missed deadlines, erroneous work, or project hold-ups. These issues don’t just hinder your productivity. They harm your standing as an employer and in your industry.

If employees battling mental health issues are compelled to continue working without additional support, they are more likely to take sick leaves or, in the worst case, resign. This situation can lead to a lack of motivation among your remaining employees if they take on the extra work without any reward.

Formulate Provisions for Staff members to De-stress

The prevailing notion that time spent away from work or a specific task is unproductive has been challenged by several studies. These studies indicate that relaxing, resetting, and returning to tasks can boost productivity.

It’s vital for leaders to promote a culture where employees feel at ease taking their rightfully earned vacation or paid time off (PTO) without any associated guilt. Furthermore, managers could think about arranging leisurely team activities and group volunteering opportunities for employees to bond beyond the confines of the office.

Exemplify Strong Mental Wellness

It’s common for leaders to unintentionally promote one behavior while exhibiting a different one themselves. This discrepancy is particularly evident when it comes to stress management and mental health. If a leader doesn’t utilize wellness benefits or recreational facilities, their team members may also hesitate to do so.

Managers should demonstrate good mental health practices. These include taking regular mental health breaks during work hours and disconnecting after office hours. They should refrain from checking emails while out of the office, including on vacation. 

While sending a few emails in the evening might be convenient for the manager, it establishes an unhealthy precedent for their teams. Eventually, despite the guidance given in team meetings, everyone works round the clock.

Endnote

By caring for your employees, you establish yourself as a compassionate manager and a leader with emotional intelligence. Making a conscious effort to foster a safe, trustworthy, and secure culture can have far-reaching effects.