Smart companies are aware of what Mr Dee Hock wants to express in his quote: You are only as good as the people who work for you and it is a competitive advantage if the people you have employed are not only well-qualified for the position, but also mentally and physically healthy.
I wrote about the financial burden of mental health disorders in one of my previous articles. Today I want to offer a range of easy strategies to improve your employees’ mental health.
Here are six ways to improve your employees’ mental health:
1. Open dialogue
Raise awareness of mental health problems within your organisation. Include everyone into the dialogue, from top management to your cleaning staff, and give them a voice in your organisation. Empowerment is one of the key factors for employees’ engagement and you signalise that their mental health is valued by your company.
2. Take stock of your employees’ mental health and investigate risks
You can use available data from HR or you can add specific questions regarding mental health to the next staff survey. One-on-ones can also help to investigate your employees’ mental health issues. Although people may be afraid to talk openly about their mental health state as they may anticipate negative consequences for themselves. One-on-ones can also be used to investigate potential risks such as a high workload or a poor working environment.
3. Minimise risk of mental health problems
Once you have taken stock of your employees’ mental health and investigated potential risk areas you should generate an action plan how to tackle the current mental health issues, but also how to prevent them from reoccurring in the future.
4. Monitor your employees’ mental health
Maintaining a good mental health state is a process rather than a one day job. You should take stock of your employees’ mental health on a regular basis and intervene immediately if it is decreasing.
5. Train your managers to recognise mental health issues
Training is part of the prevention but also of the monitoring process. Your managers have to be able to recognise mental health problems, but also potential triggers of it such as unrealistic expectations, bullying or long working hours.
6. Offer support to staff with mental health problems
This should be part of your organisational culture. Your staff should know that they can speak to their manager about their problems openly and that they will be offered support to get through this difficult time of life.
An organization, no matter how well designed, is only as good as the people who live and work in it. – Dee Hock
Do employees return the favour when you invest in their mental health? Yes, they do. If you invest in your employees they will be:
- More productive
- More loyal
- Less likely to take time off
- More likely to stay with your organisation
- Recommend your company as a good place to work at
In the long run small investments can reduce your costs and become a competitive advantage for your organisation. Therefore, start investing in your employees’ mental health today!
Why EQ Training?
A comprehensive meta-analysis of the relationship between Emotional Intelligence and health was conducted by Martins, Ramalho & Morin in 2010 where they showed that emotional intelligence is a plausible predictor of health. Ciarrochi, Deane & Anderson (2002) proved emotional intelligence as a distinct construct that is important in understanding the link between stress and mental health.
Contact Capacity Trust for Emotional Intelligence training.