May is Mental Health Awareness Month. For employers, it has become increasingly important to support their staff’s mental health. In fact, it has become one of the driving factors behind high retention rates, productivity, and profitability. However, most employers don’t consider their own mental health. As a leader in your company, you have to prioritize your own mental health to improve your employees’ well-being.
How to Prioritize Mental Health On Your Team
As a leader within your company, you have probably been told to lead by example a number of times during your career. The same can be said when it comes to mental health in the workplace too. Actions speak louder than words. So, you need to take care of your own mental health before you can expect your employees to do the same. When you are taking a few days off to unplug and recharge, let your team know that is exactly what you are doing.
You should also make time throughout the workday for breaks. It is easy to get burnt out during the eight-hour day. Take walks, go outside for spurts of your day, or grab a quick cup of coffee in the break room. These breaks and physical activity throughout your day can help inspire new ideas. It can also lead you to be more mindful when interacting with your staff as well.
Being open and transparent about taking breaks will encourage your employees to do the same. They will see that there is a certain degree of power to taking charge of your mental health and making time to manage it.
Most of us aren’t mental health professionals, and even if you are, you need to demonstrate a level of empathy when you are interacting with your employees. It is not your role to solve their problems, but you should have resources available to offer them. For example, some companies have decided to have virtual tools that allow their staff to assess their current mental health status. They can also use digital platforms to schedule therapy sessions, meditate, and better manage their stress.
If your company provides mental health resources like counseling or paid mental health days, encourage your employees to use them too. When you inform them about what your company does to support them and their mental health, they will be more likely to utilize what’s available. All of this will lead them to feel valued in the workplace and happier, which will have a positive impact on their mental health overall.
Be aware of the warning signs of depression, anxiety, burnout, and other mental health issues. You can look for some of the tell-tale signs that a person isn’t coping well with their current situation. Their behavior may change, a dip in performance may be noted, they may miss work more often, or have a hard time concentrating on their job.
If you have noticed these symptoms in one of your staff members, ask them how they are doing. This could make a huge difference because it will make them feel like someone cares. You can also have resources available for them to assess their own mental health. Direct them towards assessments and self-screening tools that can help them identify mental health and addiction problems.
Regular check-ins are also a good idea if you want to keep tabs on your employees’ mental health. Make time for the members of your leadership to check in with the people on their team. This can be a weekly meeting or through discussion boards managed by the organization.
Just as the first point stated, you have to lead by example. If you are going to ask your employees to take care of themselves and their mental health, you have to do the same. Take time for yourself and practice self-care. This means turning off your phone, not checking your email over the weekend, taking a walk at lunch, or putting in time off when you need it.
A huge piece of the puzzle is having the right employees on your team when you need them. It can be difficult to find candidates who fit your needs or adjust your staff to your changing needs. Thankfully, agencies like Burnett Specialists exist to assist you with finding the best candidates for your company. Our recruiters will take the time to get to know each candidate and ensure they are a good fit for your company. That way, you can rest assured that everyone on your team is reliable when it comes down to it. Request more information about how working with Burnett Specialists can benefit your organization.