- 1 What is mental health?
- 2 Causes of mental health problems in the workplace
- 3 How do I recognise a work place stress
- 4 Why don’t people talk about mental health?
- 5 How to deal with employees suffering from work place stress?
- 6 Steps to manage mental health (stress management)
- 7 Risk factors for work-related mental health
- 8 Conclusion
- 9 FAQs
What is mental health?
Mental health comprises the social, psychological and emotional well-being of a person. Mental health impacts one’s thinking, feelings and activities. It plays a significant part in dealing with stress, interacting with others and making bold decisions.
Mental health is indispensable in all stages of life, including childhood, adolescence and adulthood.
It is all about how people think, feel and act. Mental illness can impact daily routines, relationships and physical health.
Causes of mental health problems in the workplace
The underlying causes are some vital mental health problems employees face in the workplace.
Long periods of sitting have been linked to several health issues. Obesity is one of the illnesses that make up the metabolic syndrome, which includes high blood pressure, Diabetes, excess body fat around the waist and excessive cholesterol levels.
Heavy workload may cause heart disease, Hypertension, joint pain, weight loss and exhaustion. A high workload disturbs a person’s mental peace and conduct, resulting in a lack of mental focus, motivation and problems concentrating on the duties.
Job insecurity negatively impacts job satisfaction, commitment to the organization and intention to leave the company. Employees who felt insecure about their jobs report poorer job satisfaction and increased intentions to leave the company.
Job insecurity is a key source of work-related stress for many people.
Conflicts with co-workers
Individuals are experiencing more stress and anxiety due to unhealthy conflicts with co-workers. Conflicts with co-workers cause a sense of discomfort at work. This creates an environment of mistrust that stifles teamwork and coordination.
Team conflict can result in undesirable outcomes such as decreased group cohesion and productivity, which can even jeopardise the team’s survival.
Impact of COVID-19 on workplace
COVID -19 virus has completely disrupted the culture of working from the office. As a result of COVID-19, all employees were pushed to Work From Home (WFH) culture.
The advantage of the WFH culture is that it minimises the spread of the COVID-19 virus among employees. On the other hand, disadvantages like isolation, workplace disconnect, less social interactions and a good working environment are said to be the main reasons for the cause of mental health problems among employees.
In addition to that, the fear of financial constraints and job insecurity has become prevalent among employees as millions lost their jobs in this COVID-19 pandemic.
Good mental health
The following are some significant steps to promote mental health in the workplace.
Implementation of health and safety policies
Implementing valuable health and safety policies has now become fundamental for any organisation to retain the company’s talented employees. A company which provides enormous benefits, including health and safety policies, attracts talent and develops trust among employees.
Informing staff that support is available
The following are the things that a company must ensure for their employees:
- Provide mental health coaching related to stress management
- Train managers on how to proceed if they see signs of emotional distress
Involving employees in decision-making
Employee participation in the decision-making process demonstrates that the organisation respects and trusts their ideas and input. It allows employees to feel satisfied and respected in their fields.
Programs for the career development of employees
In general, an organisation consists of different types of development programs to enhance various human resource competencies.
Recognising and rewarding the employees
Rewarding and recognising staff in the form of bonuses, appraisals and rewards should be awarded to employees for their contribution to the company. This reward-giving activity supports the employees and creates a long-standing good impression on the company.
Job performance and productivity
Job performance merely indicates that the employee has completed tasks assigned to them. Job productivity focuses on output and your contribution to the company.
Engagement with one’s work
Positive behaviour or a positive mindset at work can lead to positive job outcomes. Employees highly engaged at work are energised, committed and completely absorbed in their tasks.
Communication with co-workers
There are numerous advantages for the employees when an organisation has good workplace communication. It enables employees to become more agile in their workplaces. Communication enhances staff retention, engagement and motivation in the company.
Following tips aid in effective communication.
- Use face-to-face communication
- Make eye contact
- Pay attention to nonverbal messages
- Be present and engaged
- Participate in the conversation
- Speak calmly and openly
- Acknowledge the time
How do I recognise a work place stress
In case you suspect that you are being affected by mental health problems. Check whether you have the following symptoms below:
- Feeling sad – Anxious / Stressed or down
- Confused thinking or Inattentiveness
- Difficulty to cope up with working environment
- Withdrawal from friends and activities
- Tiredness, low energy or sleeping problems
Why don’t people talk about mental health?
In most cases, people are afraid to admit that they have mental health issues because they consider others may think of them as ‘strange’ or leave them out. Due to these reasons, several people refrain from telling their problems to others.
How to deal with employees suffering from work place stress?
If you’re constantly stressed, communicate your problems to your close friends, which may help you feel better and disentangle yourself from the problems. These tiny changes make drastic improvements and help you free yourself from the burden of stress.
Social support networks
Social support networks comprise friends, family and peers. This network aids the professionals in getting rid of social isolation and loneliness, which increases the likelihood of having problems related to mental health. Having a few trustworthy friends or peers will help you feel better mentally and cope with stress.
In addition, a social support network is vital for the performance of employees. It enhances the employee’s ability to deal with challenging conditions and reduces the adverse effects on emotional and mental wellness.
Overall, high-quality positive social support networks can improve stress resilience and protect employees against the development of trauma.
Thanking employees, complimenting employees, providing a certificate of achievement or mentioning an employee’s accomplishment at a company meeting are all classic examples of incentives for employees.
Employers can use data to track progress
Nowadays, companies are incorporating monitoring software to track attendance, emails, applications and websites to observe employee activity and how much time they spend on work.
This means they can see if an employee is surfing the web or using social media accounts in their corporate time.
Steps to manage mental health (stress management)
Every organisation must ensure the following tools for the benefit of their employees.
Mental health self-assessment tools
A self-assessment tool is a test, procedure or activity that can be used to help people obtain data for the self-evaluation of an individual. These tools are based on psychological and sociological studies of an individual’s personality and social behaviours.
Self-assessment helps the person to improve their:
- Communication and collaboration
- Achievements and Strengths
- Collaboration and teamwork
- Creativity and innovation
- Problem-solving and critical thinking
- Adaptability and flexibility
Free or subsidised clinical screenings
Provide free or subsidised clinical depression assessments to the employees from a certified mental health practitioner to improve employees’ productivity at the workplace.
Offer good Health Insurance policies
Every company must provide group Health Insurance policies and ensure coverage for employees’ basic health care expenses. Your Premium will be deducted from your monthly paycheck. Individual insurance can be purchased separately, and Premiums can be paid separately.
Provide free self-management programs
Self-management abilities refer to your ability to govern and control your actions, feelings and ideas so that you can do the work without a problem. Some of the well-known self-management programs include:
- Time management
- Organizational skills
Employees who are aware of their traits tend to be more confident and often come up with ideas that contribute well to the company’s growth. You can also promote awareness by distributing resources like booklets, posters and films about the employees’ signs and symptoms of poor mental health and treatment options.
Conducting workshops might bring new insights and ideas to the employees about how to function and progress well in the company. It’s a terrific way to teach live hands-on skills to experiment with new techniques and strategies to the employees.
Employee relationship is responsible for recognising and resolving workplace concerns, assessing employee happiness and offering support to the company’s performance management system.
Provide appropriate training
Provide appropriate training for the managers to help them recognise their employees’ problems and encourage them to seek care from trained mental health specialists.
The following are considered to be some of the risk factors for employees in the workplace.
Inadequate health and safety policies
Companies should refrain from breaching safety regulations. Companies are obliged to guarantee that their employees are safe in their workplace. In case of discrepancies, the respective companies have to bear the consequences.
Poor communication and management practices
If there is a communication breakdown, employees may have difficulty meeting expectations and deadlines. Due to poor communication, they may feel guilty, embarrassed or even have low self-esteem.
The most typical causes of a bad workplace are conflicting job objectives and untalented co-workers.
Limited participation in decision-making
The lack of effective leadership is the major factor limiting employees’ participation in decision-making. The main reason for limited participation in decision-making is the inactive involvement of employees in the job.
Low levels of support for employees
Employees who lack emotional and practical assistance from superiors and co-workers experience poor support at work. They need emotional and strong work guidance to help them perform better at work.
Inflexible working hours
Inflexible working hours may cause severe work pressure on the employees. If employees are uncomfortable during their office working hours, their productivity might be affected. These inflexible working hours may cause long-term disruption in the employees’ careers.
Unclear tasks or organisational objectives
Unclear tasks might create confusion for the employees and the management team. Therefore, having a clear work structure in the organisation may help the company progress well.
A healthy workplace plays a vital role in a professional’s mental health. Depression and anxiety have a substantial impact on the workplace.
Positive mental health is crucial in the workplace because it enables people to deal with problems and disappointments in their life, both at work and at home. Good mental health at work helps employees stay flexible and energetic in challenging situations.
Many companies are now taking several mental health initiatives to help reduce the workplace stress that hampers the employees’ performance. Well, it is not possible to completely eradicate the stress-related issues among the employees.
Still, efforts can be made proactively by the employers to reduce the financial burden of the employees by taking care of their medical expenses for their treatment and hospitalisation.
For this purpose, employers provide a Group Medical Policy, which covers certain medical costs for employees and their family members during medical emergencies.
Here, the employer pays the premium and offers the group health cover to employees as a benefit for serving the organisation and building trust among the employees.
Choosing the right employer mediclaim/group health insurance plan from the best health insurance company provides a plethora of benefits to the employees.
Star Health Insurance offer Group Medical policy which is cost-effective and valuable for employees. Some of the features of the policy include coverage for pre-existing diseases, in-patient hospitalisation for 24 hours due to illness/accidents, pre- and post-hospitalisation expenses, daycare treatments, modern treatments, OPD expenses, AYUSH treatment and much more, subject to terms and conditions of the policy. For more details on the policy, refer to the policy clause and wordings.
What are the main sources of workplace stress?
1· Long hours
2· Heavy workload
3· Changes within the organization
4· Tight deadlines
5· Changes to duties
6· Job insecurity
7· Lack of autonomy
8· Boring work
How do you keep your mental health in check at work?
1· Encourage positive habits
2· Recommend separating from work
3· Rethink the working week
4· Install on-site facilities