As an employer, a lot of our time can be taken up with the main running of the business and the healthy and safety of the workplace. We might be concerned about workstation assessments and risk assessments for our employees and checking that the office is always clean and safe for them to be in. But when it comes to employee well-being, we often neglect the mental well-being of our employees. This can play just the same role in how productive your team can be. So it shouldn’t be overlooked.
There is a lot of research to show that feeling close to people and valued by people is a pretty fundamental human need. So encouraging this kind of environment in the workplace can mean a more engaged and happier workforce. Giving everyone an area of responsibility shows them that they are valued, and the work they do is important. Social relationships are also pretty critical for a productive workforce. For those people suffering from mental illness, social interaction can be a great distraction almost, so it is an important consideration for when at work too. So here are some things that you could do in the workplace, as well as encourage others to do at work.
- Go and physically talk to other people in the office, rather than just sending over an email.
- Talk to someone new in the office, or engage with someone from another team or department.
- Car pool with colleagues. It gives you time to really talk and not just about work related things.
- Take the time out to really listen to someone when you ask how they are. Don’t do it when making a hot drink or trying to read emails at the same time.
Think about things that you can offer your employees too. Is it possible to offer workplace counseling services or for them to have a physical health assessment once a year, for instance? A company like Health Assured offers workplace programs to deal with issues in the workplace, such as counseling after a traumatic event. So if there have been traumatic events in your employee’s lives, that is worth considering before they head back to work.
Being active is a great way to have a healthier workforce, both mentally and physically. So encouraging your team to be more physically active can help them in many ways. People that exercise regularly are more likely to not suffer from depression or anxiety. So it is worth looking at. It could simply be that you display posters in the office for people to walk and not take the elevator. You could arrange team walks at lunch or organize another sporting activity. Even just getting something like a ping pong table can help your team to take a break for lunch and to release some stress.
So don’t forget about the mental well-being of your employees and only focus on their physical needs. When you take care of both, you will have a happier and more productive workforce.