Employers want their employees to be happy and healthy, not only does it create a happier workplace, it helps with productivity and means fewer sick days. Mental health problems can affect all sorts of employees of all ages and backgrounds, but there are ways employers can help prevent these issues and support those who are suffering. Here are some things all employers should do to promote good mental health in the workplace:
Offer a good work/life balance
While the average employee works around 40 hours a week in the USA, this doesn’t take into account unreported overtime and people doing tasks such as checking their emails at home. It can be difficult for people to juggle family and work life, let alone having the spare time for things like hobbies and relaxation, but having this time can be a big boost to employees’ mental health.
You can offer employees a better work/life balance by:
- Offering flexibility – do you really need people behind the desk from 9-5? Flexible working can benefit everyone
- Let people work from home – it cuts out their commute and could even make them more productive
- If people work overtime towards a big project, give them some time off in lieu so they aren’t burned out
- If you notice employees who often stay after hours, speak to them about their workload and how it could be better managed
A good work/life balance means employees are more likely to stay with your business in the long term and are likely to be happier with their jobs.
Put together a great HR department
When employees have issues, they need to know there is someone they can turn to for help and advice. Ideally, their direct manager should be their first port of call, but it’s also important to have someone higher up if they don’t feel they can speak to their supervisor. If you don’t have an HR department, perhaps because your business is too small, then you may want to consider looking at PEO companies such as Trinet who offer outsourced HR services. This ensures there is always someone on hand to offer support.
Offer paid time off and breaks
If you want employees to be happy and productive, then ensuring they get proper breaks is key. Whether it’s taking time away from their desk to eat lunch or using their vacation time, you should create an environment where people aren’t afraid to take the time off they are entitled to. Many employees also offer mental health days, where if people feel overwhelmed or burned out, they can rest at home. This can save employers money overall, as it can prevent people needing longer periods of time off sick due to poor mental health.
As an employer, you’ll no doubt notice that happy employees are more productive and loyal, so investing money and resources into good mental health can benefit your business in the long run, as fewer people take sick leave and staff turnover is improved.