A person’s mental health will impact every part of their daily lives. From how well they sleep to how much they eat and even how they interact with others. This means that, inevitably, it will also impact how well they perform in the workplace.
In the US, it is estimated that as many as 1 in 5 adults have mental health issues. Meaning that they may be more prone to stress or burnout, especially in high-pressure jobs like being a doctor or a nurse. In response to this, in recent years, HR departments have aimed to curb the number of sick days that a mentally ill employee may take. While also aiming to help them improve their mental health while performing the duties of their job. This not only saves money and stress related to hiring new people but also allows employees to feel more supported at work.
Here, we’ve compiled a list of 5 ways that HR departments are helping employees with their mental health.
Mental Health Awareness
You cannot help someone with an illness if you do not know what that illness is. With this in mind, many HR departments and even firms like the Mesa HR firm are offering in-work training for their employees. This is aimed around helping them to be aware that their colleagues may be suffering from mental illnesses, how to spot the signs, and how to help them in a crisis. Some HR firms also offer support groups to their employees, which may meet once a week in the workplace to discuss their struggles and help them to find solutions. “It’s also important to include this in process documentation so that new team members are also aware.
It can be hard for someone who suffers from depression to work a 5-day workweek. In response to this, many HR firms in the US are aiming to offer staff who suffer from mental health issues 4-day work weeks. As well as this, many HR departments are trying to phase in a 4-day work week so that stress levels are lower and staff has more free time. This has been found to improve the overall health of the employees and boost productivity, especially if they are working from home.
Stress and mental health issues go hand in hand, so many HR departments are vigilant in identifying sources of stress in the workplace. It’s worth noting that workplace stress comes with a cost and is estimated to cost the US $300 billion annually in lost productivity!
This may involve ensuring that all employees have access to the support that they need. It may also mean checking that their workload is manageable and that there is regular and open communication within the staff structures.
There are many interesting ways that HR departments are aiming to reduce the amount of stress and poor mental health that their employees may be suffering from. Thus, many workplaces are incentivized to offer benefits, such as access to gym memberships, massages, and acupuncture at a lowered cost.
Managers are not infallible, and, just like everyone else, they may need a bit of education from time to time. HR departments across the US are being trained in how to better manage staff who have mental health issues, as well as how to have more difficult conversations with them around this subject. This goes hand in hand with instructing managers on ensuring that workloads are appropriate and that all of their staff have the required support to complete tasks.
Andrej Fedek is a digital marketer. He recently started his own blog about digital marketing called InterCool Studio. His passion is to help startups grow and thrive in a competitive environment.