One in five Canadians will deal with a mental illness or disorder at some point in life. There will be many more who struggle because of low self esteem, poor coping skills or stress in their lives. Mental illness accounts for a majority of sick days for employees. There are things that businesses can do to help promote mental health.
Encouraging and empowering. Properly informed, trained and supported employees will feel more confident and be more productive. It is much easier to do your job well if you know what you are doing. It takes patience, openness and encouragement from trainers and supervisors for someone to feel confident right from the beginning in a position. Feeling confident in their job can reduce a lot of stress in their entire life.
Recognition. Taking the time to notice when a job is well done can be the biggest motivator for an employee. A personal thank you card for an employee who goes above and beyond, letting them know what you value about them can help them reach potentials they never knew they had.
Stress Relief. All work and no play makes Janey a cranky employee. Yes a work place is meant to be for work but when employees enjoy their time at work because the only stress is motivating they perform better and show up more often. Someone struggling with depression or anxiety is going to be less likely to be able to face an environment that is hostile or negative. It doesn’t have to cost a lot to show appreciation or lighten a mood. Have a singing clown-ogram on a Friday afternoon, leave a stress ball on random peoples desks with a lifesaver or find some other way to bring a smile to a persons day at work.
Open door/ Open mind. It is often said that personal life has no place in the office. This is true but when a person is struggling at work they need to know they have someone they can go to and somewhere to find support. Most adults spend the majority of the awake hours with the people at work. This can be a huge stress on someone if they feel they have no voice or no support in that environment.
The Human Side. Everyone has their own strengths, their own weaknesses and those things they need help with. If businesses want the happiest, most productive employees then they must find a way to get to know their employees and how to bring out their full potential. Someone who feels appreciated, supported and valued will be happier, and will reach further in their career. It doesn’t matter what the job or who the person is, if they feel good about themselves they will shine brighter and do better.