Global businesses are affected by major economic disruptions such as the looming depression, layoffs, etc. Such uncertainty results in changes in workplace culture, affecting employee mental health. About 47% of Indian professionals suffer from workplace-related stress, according to the Deloitte Survey.
Leaders are realising the importance of the connection between workplace culture and mental health. While building a workplace culture for mental health, organisations must focus on two key areas – raising awareness and reducing mental health stigma. Organisations can achieve both of these objectives with customised employee assistance program with mental health support.
Technology enables instant access to mental health benefits, work wellness allies, and ongoing care for employee wellness. Empowering employees with the aid of technology will be meaningful only if the work environment is supportive. Creating an inclusive environment will increase productivity, reduce absenteeism, and improve employee engagement.
Education Promotes Awareness
Mental health stigma still prevails in society and within the workplace. Employers must create a safe workplace, not limited by mental illness assumptions and stereotypes. In a Deloitte Survey, 39% of employees with mental illness avoid seeking treatment due to the stigma.
Leaders who ask themselves how to build a healthy workplace culture must invest in educational programs that break down stigma and promote inclusion. Such programs educate employees to care for their mental health and support peers who exhibit signs of struggle.
Acceptance is key to ensuring workplace safety. Turning managers into mental health allies will take the employee assistance program one step further, as these allies can help employees to seek support. Employers must also provide training to access benefits within the organisation.
These corporate wellness programs will build an inclusive and caring culture, delivering benefits to all employees in the way they need. Challenging stigma and inculcating empathy will improve employee wellbeing. Promoting mental health in the workplace will also help improve mental health awareness in the community.
Make Services Accessible
Mental health benefits are often inaccessible for employees. As a result, about 50% of Indian employees with mental health issues resort to ineffective and often, harmful self help techniques to manage mental health symptoms. To combat this problem, leaders are making mental health benefits an integral part of employee assistance programs.
Apart from wellness activities, workplace wellness programs also include one-on-one appointments to support employees with mental health issues. Such personalised employee benefits offer immediate support to prevent a serious mental health crisis. Customised and flexible benefits also deliver crisis intervention and stabilisation to those with ongoing mental health problems.
Aligning mental health benefits with employee needs is important because each person has a different mental health status. They can be affected by multiple internal and external sources in many ways. One in four Indian families, at least one family member suffers from mental health issues. So, comprehensive mental health support is essential to cope with stress and triggers outside the workplace.
Employers must make these services discreetly accessible because employees still worry about discrimination in the workplace. Offering multiple options to use these mental health benefits will encourage employees to seek support without worrying about the negative consequences.
Bolster Mindful Practices
Leaders are aware of situations that can lead to workplace stress. According to WHO, India contributes to 15% of global mental health burden and workplace stress is a top reason. Recognising such situations and offering employee care to navigate critical times will help in building a better workplace culture.
Managers and supervisors should encourage practices to express gratitude and spread positivity. Mindfulness exercises and games can be organised as team-building activities during office breaks. Many organisations are allowing mental health days to help employees identify and get help for their psychological issues. Creating a caring and inclusive workplace culture helps in attracting and retaining talent.
Creating a culture of wellbeing at work begins with practising and fostering empathy. In India, 80% of employees show at least one adverse sign of underlying mental health issues. Empowering employees to recognise their mental struggles is possible through awareness education. Managers and supervisors need training on identifying symptoms of mental illness so that support can be extended in times of need. Organisations must create corporate wellness programs with customisable and accessible mental health benefits to serve employees according to their requirements.
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