10 Ways to Create a Mentally Healthier Workplace

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Are you walking the walk to a mentally healthier workplace or are you and your organization just talking and having meetings about how to manage mental health in the workplace?

As May Mental Health Awareness Month comes to an end this week, the work continues to take action, create awareness, education and support surrounding mental health and creating a sigma free workplace. As I shared recently in ‘What employers need to know and do” (See below) in support of Mental Health Awareness, there are many strategies and resources available to help employers take action.

In addition to revamping your EAP program and providing support and training to help those affected by mental health, there are things that can be done to create a mentally healthier workplace so that all employees can feel valued, supported and ultimately thrive.

Check out these 10 Tips and use as an internal checklist/audit to see where your organization could take action and walk the walk to a mentally healthier workplace:

10 Ways Organizations Can Create a Mentally Healthier Workplace

A healthy workplace is one where individuals feel valued and supported, provides a positive workspace, and shows respect for other aspects of a person’s life. If you’re uncertain as to whether your workplace is on the path to wellness, the signs below may provide some helpful tips:

  1. Productive Atmosphere. Clean, functional and well-lit space. Good working relationship with all staff. Employees feel respected, appreciated, incentivized, and rewarded. Signs of intimidation, bullying, sexual harassment, and fear are absent.
  2. Livable wage. Providing a livable wage encourages a committed and sustained workforce.
  3. Reasonable accommodation. Employers and employees have to work collaboratively to identify reasonable accommodations (not special treatment) in the workplace for physical as well as mental disabilities. From changing physical work space and schedule to the use of interpreters or technologically adapted equipment, it can run the gamut.
  4. Health, Wellness, & Environment. Provide a comprehensive health insurance plan including smoking-cessation, weight-loss, and substance abuse programs.
  5. Open Communication. Keep the communication process transparent. Creating an environment of open communication contributes to a more energetic and productive workforce where all employees can feel invested in the company.
  6. Employee Accountability. It takes two to make a healthy workplace. Employees have to come with a “can-do” attitude and be willing to support each other as well as management.
  7. Management Accountability. Allow employees to provide work-related feedback to their supervisors. It can be anonymous to avoid the possibility of negative repercussions.
  8. Work/Life Balance. We now live in a world where technology is available to keep us connected to work around the clock. Work options such as flexible scheduling, hoteling (reservation-based unassigned seating) or telecommuting ought to be implemented if applicable.
  9. Clear & Positive Values. Be transparent and definitive about what the organization stands for. People in as well as outside of the company should have a good understanding of this.
  10. Fitness. Offer a gym membership, fitness class or even just an exercise space that encourages employees to become physically active and stay fit. If possible, incentivize employees to access such services

Source: 10 Ways Tips by mentalhealthamerica.net article August 2013

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