Creating Work Policies That Look After Employees’ Mental Health

Creating Work Policies That Look After Employees’ Mental Health

26th July 2020 Off By Guest Blogger

The mental health of your employees dictates their levels of productivity, motivation, and ultimately, their loyalty to your company. Poor mental health doesn’t just lead to substandard work, it can also lead to your top talents leaving the company. Indeed, Comeet explains how an unsafe or hostile work environment can lead to a high turnover rate – and that hiring new employees as a result of this can get costly. This is why it’s important to have mental health policies in the workplace. Having the right policies in place can help your employees to feel valued, work to the best of their abilities, and keep growing alongside your company.

Allow Flexible Work Schedules

A little flexibility can go a long way in addressing mental health issues at work. Under the Equality Act of 2010 which amends the Disability Discrimination Act of 1995, mental health problems are considered to be disabilities. This means that not only are people with mental problems protected from discrimination, they’re also entitled to reasonable adjustments that will allow them to better adapt to work conditions. These reasonable adjustments can include flexible work schedules that can allow employees to finish their daily tasks despite the side effects of medication, or even remote working setups where employees can choose to work from home if reporting to the office is not conducive to their mental well-being. Given the availability of remote working apps, technologies, and widespread Internet access, it’s easier now more than ever to instill flexible work scheduling policies to accommodate valuable employees suffering from mental health problems.

Let Employees Shape Work Processes

Simply loosening the reins a bit and giving employees more autonomy at work can allow creative and uniquely-minded individuals to flourish in your company. As Dakota Murphey explains, this doesn’t mean that you should leave employees to be isolated. Rather, it’s about trusting employees well enough to not always look over their shoulders, which can also increase their commitment to their work. If you’ve properly vetted candidates for hiring, and then properly trained those hires to do the tasks at hand, then you can introduce internal policies that will allow employees to accomplish tasks as they see fit. Not only can this greatly ease burdens for employees with mental health problems, but it can also lead to greater overall accountability and productivity in the workplace. It might even allow some employees to come up with innovative ways to streamline daily tasks.

Give Everyone at Work Mental Health Response Training

HR shouldn’t be the only department that’s concerned with mental health response. After all, mental health issues affect all departments in the long run. And the better managers and employees understand depression, anxiety, emotional distress, and other mental health issues, the better your company can assist those with such issues within your ranks. Forbes points out that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to addressing mental health issues in the workplace, and that both HR departments and fellow employees are in a powerful position to offer support to those who need it. While giving your managers the proper training for addressing mental health crises is a big step in the right direction, it’s even better to extend this training to everyone at work, significantly increasing your company’s capacity to properly respond to such crises.

Focus on Allowing Employees to Achieve a Work-Life Balance

Creating policies focused on work-life balance prevents employee burnout and reduces overall stress. Apart from the above-mentioned points, encouraging balance also means allowing employees to take mental health days off, making sure that you’re not overworking employees, and not taking up their time beyond the mandated daily 8 hours at work. The closer your employees are to achieving true work-life balance, the less you’ll need to worry about mental health issues interfering with workplace productivity. In general, instilling policies for proper mental health response is a win-win situation for everyone in the company.

content intended only for the use of By Robin Simonds