How to better support your team’s mental health?
Being a leader is great but knowing how to look after your employees makes you a greater one. When discussing mental health with your team, most managers are not equipped with the skills and knowledge to do so. Mental health is a complex topic to dive into; a lot of stigma surrounds it, and creating awareness isn’t as easy. Here are some ways you can try to support your team’s mental health.
1. Creating a good working environment
As a manager, your employees need to know that they are in a safe space, where they can talk about their struggles without fear of judgment and loss of their jobs. When an employee discloses their health issues, there should be a policy to help them cope and recover. These changes should be cost-effective and should be based entirely on the individual.
2. Have good communication skills
When a manager is good at communication, the employees feel comfortable around them. Communicating more than you should, and modifying working hours and norms also helps. Ensuring there is no stress in the workplace, minimising workloads, prioritising what must be done, and not emphasising what can wait.
Including even the other senior leaders will also show the employees that it’s a team effort, and the company is genuinely concerned about their wellbeing.
3. Offering training
Investing in workplace training for leaders, managers, and individuals should be among the top priorities. Mental health awareness should be prioritised and a preventive workplace created in case of future uncertainties. Doing this positions you well, and it’s important to create a stigma-free workplace where discussing mental health or dealing with it won’t be a struggle. Training does not have to be expensive; there are low-cost ways to create mental health awareness, build community, and offer support.
4. Employee benefits
With the rising number of mental health issues, almost every company is impacted, and it becomes a matter of concern. With one in every six persons having a mental illness, there is a need to adjust the benefits package and include mental health benefits as an option for employees. Leaders should discuss amongst themselves and include team members to develop a package that favours people with mental health issues.
Companies should also consider having an On-site clinic or a mental health expert in case of any eventualities. This ensures employees can visit the clinics anytime they need to without needing permission from the managers.
5. Recognise the symptoms of mental illness
Like any other illness, mental illness has symptoms, too, and knowing them will help you know when one of your team members needs help. The most common ones include fatigue, decreased performance at work, irritability, and not getting along with other team members. Increased sick leaves, sudden incompetence, and disinterest in work are cause for alarm. Inconsistencies and fluctuations in mood is also a cause for worry.
When an employee starts to show up late for work, sleeps at work, and becomes quite all of a sudden, they are definitely under stress, and their mental health is at risk. Each individual shows different symptoms, and knowing each member personally will help you see the signs earlier on. Being a leader puts you in charge of ensuring the well-being of each team member.
6. Encourage self-care
Making sure your employees look after themselves and take care of their health is very paramount. Encourage self-love, self-motivation, and speak out and speak up if anything might be bothering them. Ensure that your team takes their mental health seriously. Leaders should also personally take steps to be a role model for the team. Encourage both physical and well-being of employees and ensure they never feel excluded at any time.