Are your employees suffering from depression? Do they always seem stressed out? Do you sense anxiety when you enter the workplace? If you’re taking a while to think about this, then the answer is yes. When someone is coping with anxiety and depression, it’s not as transparent as a physical wound. It’s harder to spot the symptoms of depression and anxiety, as compared to a common cold or a broken leg. Due to that fact, it’s almost always explained away as incompetency and disobedience.
Moreover, people are not always that communicative when it comes to mental illness, especially at work and in front of their boss. As a matter of fact, most people are not even aware that they are having this problem. They simply try to ignore it, as if they are having another bad weak. Hence, it is very important for employers to focus on this growing problem in the workplace.
The Importance of Mental Health in the Workplace While it’s great how corporations now focus a lot on dental plans and health insurances. Our brains are also equally important. They carry the risk of many diseases, such as increased blood pressure, diabetes, hormonal imbalances, and an increased risk of cancer.
If an employee is suffering from stress, their performance will also decline. Depression in the workplace has now become a global concern. Millions of work days are lost to depression every year. All these mental illnesses leave employees demotivated, tired, and increase absenteeism.
Given below are the 6 ways you can reduce stress in your workplace:
1. Confront the Problem
The first step to beating this problem is to confront it head-on. Every person suffering from depression is feeling lonely. Talking about it makes them realize that it’s pretty common and a rising issue among their peers. This provides a sense of belongingness and makes them realize that they are not alone.
Also, keep the conversation going. A workplace is a highly active environment and there is a constant flow of information throughout the organizational hierarchy. You can’t just begin a discussion and expect it to thrive on its own. Discuss the subject on multiple occasions to keep it on top of everybody’s mind.
2. Include Managers
It is very critical that managers themselves understand this problem. No one from your staff is going to be taking this seriously if the managers don’t seem to be serious about this from the start. Arrange weekly meetings to raise awareness and ask managers to participate as listeners, as well as the speakers. When employees see that the authority figures are taking their problems seriously, it will relieve a lot of stress and create a stronger bond within the workplace.
3. Encourage time off work
If the way you deal with workplace absenteeism is by prohibiting employees from taking time off work, that needs to stop. Asking for a ‘legitimate proof’ of sickness every time someone takes sick leave, will only make your employees think that you don’t care about them. Just like our bodies, our minds also require some time off now and then. Your efforts to decrease workplace absenteeism will fail horrendously with the above approach. On the other hand, if you encourage them to take some time to clear their mind, it would work in your favor in the long run. Restrictions will only cause more workplace stress and workplace absenteeism leading up to a decline in employee productivity.
4. Be on the lookout
Be on the lookout for any strange behavior in the workplace. Keep an eye anybody that seems unusually anxious or stressed out. Don’t refrain from asking about their well being. Make sure they know that you care and that they shouldn’t hesitate from talking to you. Let them know that you will do whatever you can to provide help.
5. Anonymous Channel
Some issues are sensitive in nature and cannot be discussed out in the open. Doesn’t matter how much awareness you establish, they will still be lurking in the background due to their nature. For instance, employees often suffer from harassment within the workplace, which is something that cannot be called out without inviting some backlash. Bullying and harassment in the workplace is nothing uncommon and costs millions in lawsuits to the company. The longer these issues remain unnoticed within the organization, the more harm they cause to the mental health of your employees. Implement Your Safe Hub in your organization, an anonymous reporting tool that protects your employees with the power of anonymity. Encourage your employees to report anything that even remotely resembles bullying and ensure them that the complaints will be kept confidential.
6. Make your workplace comfortable
It’s the worst nightmare of every employee to spend their lives working in a cubical. You need to make sure that your workplace is more than that. Keep the work exciting by introducing new challenges, games and learning sessions. Organizing an office party now and then can do no harm. It will boost employee morale and make them want to come to work. Furthermore, furnish your workplace with comfortable chairs, decent lightings and provide facilities like coffee dispensers and vending machines.