How to foster mental wellness in the workplace

You and your plan members spend a lot of time together at work – naturally, job satisfaction is a key ingredient in a happy, healthy life.

Mental illness can have a big impact on the way we work. With one in five Canadians affected by a mental illness, the economic impact in Canada is estimated at $51 billion and mental health claims rank in the top three of long-term disability claims. Statistics like these prove there’s a real need to foster mental health in your workplace, both for your business and the personal well-being of your employees.

Here are five easy ways to help foster mental wellness in your workplace.

1. Celebrate achievements

Show appreciation for your employees’ hard work and help create a culture of stronger engagement, motivation and job satisfaction. By focusing on their strengths and accomplishments, you’ll encourage them to maintain or increase their job performance.

Praise and recognition can also help those with low job performance rise to the occasion, because you’re focusing on what they’re doing right more than what they’re doing wrong.

2. Recognize and address the signs of burnout

Job burnout shouldn’t be taken lightly and can lead to physical health problems and depression. Employees experiencing burnout stress may struggle with:

  • Exhaustion leading to a lack of focus
  • Cynicism, irritability or detachment
  • Feelings of ineffectiveness
  • Excessive self-doubt

In addition to reducing workload, you can combat burnout by offering staff ad-hoc work flexibility, such as working from home occasionally or taking a few paid personal days.

3. Promote break time

One of the biggest secrets of productivity is the refueling principle. Whether it’s a vacation or a 10-minute break, studies show that performance increases after stepping back to recharge the brain and body.

Encourage employees to make a habit of taking a walk or getting fresh air when they’re overwhelmed. Exercise is an excellent remedy for feeling overwhelmed and suffering from stress. A change of scenery can also help produce fresh ideas and lead to efficient problem solving, further reducing stress.

4. Communicate

There’s nothing worse than being kept in the dark. Keeping employees up to date regarding changes, expectations and their own performance keeps them on track and reduces feelings of stress and anxiety.

The more you converse with your employees, the more likely they are to share concerns, ideas and thoughts, resulting in stronger working relationships and a healthier overall company culture.

5. Keep them challenged

Doing the same thing every day can hinder employee motivation and engagement. Create stretch assignments for those in need of a challenge. Along with boosting engagement, it will harness and cultivate talent through continuous learning, helping you nurture and retain strong employees.

Good employees are worth investing in; take care of your team. After all, happy and healthy employees are productive employees.