Mental health is a critical component of an individual’s health and wellness, but its impact extends far beyond the individual. The well-being of employees can have a profound impact on an organization’s success. In 2020, a National Survey revealed that a staggering 1 in 5 adults in the US experiences mental illness annually. This not only affects the employees’ quality of life, but it also has the potential to hinder their performance, productivity, and morale of the company.
Employers’ ability to recognize the importance of mental health and take proactive steps to support their employees’ well-being is an excellent way to develop a supportive workplace culture. In this article, we’ll be sharing some of the most common workplace programs to support mental health.
Employee Assistance Programs
Employee Assistance Programs, or EAPs, are one of the most common ways to provide mental health support for workers. It is designed to give employees easy access to confidential support and resources to help address mental health and/or personal issues that may hinder their performance in the work field.
The ultimate goal of EAPs is to develop a workplace environment that prioritizes employees’ mental health and overall well-being. By doing so, employees benefit from improved job satisfaction and performance, reaping the rewards of fewer absenteeism, turnover, and health care costs and maintaining a positive and productive corporate culture.
To effectively establish employee assistance programs within your organization, here are some of the few steps you can take:
- Determine and assess the support needs of employees.
- Select an effective mental health provider.
- Establish program policies and procedures
- Monitor and evaluate the progress of the program
Mental Health Workshops
Empowering employees with a deeper understanding of the root causes and impacts of mental health challenges is a crucial step in mitigating the widespread crisis of poor mental health in the workplace. One of the best ways to educate them is through Mental Health Workshops. These types of workshops often cover topics like stress management in the workplace, improving work-life balance, and other ways to cope with poor mental health.
By doing this, employees will have an opportunity to actively engage and learn from experts in the field, including mental health professionals, experienced facilitators, and other lecturers that can shed light on the importance of maintaining a healthy well-being and share some practical ways to cope with mental difficulties.
Here are some of the steps an employer could take to ensure the success of mental wellness workshops:
- Setting clear objectives for the workshops allows you to evaluate the effectiveness of each program and constantly find ways for improvements.
- Keep participants well-engaged.
- Unique and consistent workshop programs.
- Getting feedback from employees also helps you gauge what kind of impact workshops bring to your workers.
Employee Resource Groups
Another common way of supporting employees’ mental health is through establishing employee resource groups. The idea of ERGs is to provide a way for employees to connect with others who share similar characteristics, experiences, and interests in the organization. Whether focusing on diversity, mental health, gender, or LGBTQ+ rights, these groups ultimately work to advance the well-being of all employees by establishing an open discussion forum.
Creating a sense of community effectively promotes a positive workplace environment. Therefore, employee resource groups play a massive role in cultivating this type of diversity and collective support toward workers in an organization.
If you want to make the most out of the communities and discussions, here are some steps to create effective Employee Resource Groups (ERGs):
- Designate leaders who are passionate about employee resource groups.
- Maintain a safe and inclusive environment.
- Encourage the participation of employees.
- Intentionally plan events and activities.
Health and Wellness Programs
Physical health and mental wellness go hand-in-hand when it comes to an individual’s overall well-being. That said, establishing programs such as on-site fitness classes, health screenings, stress management workshops, nutrition education, and access to mental health resources can drastically improve the health and productivity of employees in an organization.
These types of programs can significantly decrease tardiness and absenteeism and elevate workplace morale by fostering a sense of community among employees.
If you want to make the most out of the health and wellness programs, here are some of the steps you can take:
- Evaluate the current work setup and what can be improved to prioritize better employee health and wellness.
- Partner with healthcare experts and providers to have a clear system and programs that are tailored to improve corporate wellness.
- Create a supportive work environment and encourage employees to participate in health and wellness activities.
Stress Management Workshops
According to a study from the American Institute of Stress, 65% of workers state that workplace stress causes difficulties, and more than 10 percent described these concerns as heavily impacting their work performance. This overbearing concern highlights the pressing need to establish employee stress management workshops. These workshops will help provide practical ways and techniques to cope with workplace stress, enhancing performance and productivity.
Get the lowdown on what causes stress and learn how to beat it with the help of fun activities, group chats, and talks. This is a chance for employees to get a better handle on what’s behind stress and pick up some helpful tips for reducing stress and managing their time at work.
Here are some of the effective ways for employers and managers to get the most out of stress management workshops:
- Choose the right facilitator that is equipped with in-depth knowledge and experience in coping with workplace stress.
- Provide resources and keep reminding employees of the importance of practicing stress management techniques not just for relief but also for prevention.
- Consider your participants’ specific concerns and difficulties and tailor the stress management workshops accordingly.
Flexible Work Arrangements
Aside from providing workplace programs that support employee mental well-being, another effective solution is to implement flexible work arrangements. By offering a variety of work schedules, employees can find a better balance between work and personal life, reducing burnout and increasing motivation. This leads to improved overall well-being and reduced stress.
The idea of having more autonomy and a sense of freedom toward their assignments enables employees to develop resilience in accomplishing projects according to their own timelines. That said, flexible work arrangements could not only eradicate stressful work environments but could also prepare each individual to become more responsible for handling projects independently.
Here are some steps to effectively implement flexible work arrangements:
- Do not neglect communication. Flexible work arrangements are excellent as long as team communication is maintained for a cohesive approach to tasks and responsibilities.
- Setting clear and concise deadlines and expectations is the key to handling flexible working arrangements. Feeling a sense of achievement is also one of the factors that help maintain an employee’s mental well-being.
Employees’ well-being and satisfaction are crucial elements of a company’s success. When employees have a healthy well-being, they bring a higher level of performance to their work, cultivating strong working relationships and reducing the likelihood of turnover.
Mental health programs such as employee assistance programs, mental health workshops, employee resource groups, health and wellness programs, stress management workshops, and flexible work arrangements all contribute to a healthier and much more sustainable work environment.