Today's employees are shifting their priorities, and this means that employers need to accommodate the new standards and ideals that people have about what makes a company a good place to work. One thing that keeps popping up in surveys and meeting rooms across the country is mental health. The people who are looking for work right now want a job that cares about their overall well-being. This is actually a top priority for many millennial and Gen Z workers.
But what can you do to ensure your company attracts and retains employees who view mental health as a priority when seeking a new job? This list of 10 tips that you probably haven't heard before will help you support your employees' mental health, both on the job and during interviews.
In a time when remote and hybrid work is the norm, improving communication at your company is more important than ever. Ensuring that your employees can easily contact managers and members of their team can make a big difference in how they feel about their work. If employees need help understanding their tasks or making decisions or changes concerning projects, they need to have the ability to easily discuss issues they encounter with their managers or team members.
The management team at your company needs to be able to listen to the challenges employees face to create an environment of constant improvement. By being open and listening, your company can make small changes over time that improve the mental health of your employees and make your company a place they want to be.
"Consider what your employees are going through before making changes and decisions."
While remote and hybrid work options bring a whole new set of communication and scheduling challenges to the table, this is something that new employees want. The ability to work from home, set their own hours, and avoid commuting are just a few of the things that make working from home an attractive option for employees. In fact, many employees are now searching for jobs that allow them to work from home at least part of the time. So to attract top talent, your company needs to create a flexible work environment that can accommodate everyone's preferences.
Use a human approach
It's not always easy to take into account the personal life of each person who works for your company when setting company goals and making decisions. However, adopting a human approach to everything you do regarding company changes and workflows can improve the mental health of all employees. In your interviews, try talking to potential candidates instead of bombarding them with questions. Get to know them as an individual. On the job, make sure you consider outside factors that affect your employees' performances.
Consider what your employees are going through before making changes and decisions. For example, if an employee is going through a divorce or another big life change, you may want to put off a new training session until things have stabilized in their situation. This will put less stress on them during an already stressful time.
For most employees, praise and recognition can go a lot further than a pay raise. To support the mental health of employees at work and during interviews, it's vital that you understand how to offer recognition in a way that fosters employee development and well-being. Put an awards system in place that encourages employees to congratulate and support one another and be sure that your managers know when to offer their appreciation. You don't want them to give praise or recognition where it isn't deserved, as this can alienate those who are truly working harder or being more productive.
By recognizing those who truly shine at your company, you'll find that more employees are willing to step up their efforts because they want to earn recognition as well.
Encourage time off
Taking time off is a key factor in improving employee mental health. Everyone needs a break from the stress that a job can cause. The more often people take time off, the better equipped they are to solve problems and bring innovation and ideas to your company. It's not enough, though, to simply have a vacation policy. Your managers and higher-level employees need to take time off regularly to show lower-level employees that it's OK to take a vacation and that there aren't any negative consequences to doing so.
This means that employees shouldn't have to work harder either before or after their vacation to stay caught up on their assignments and tasks. If they do, it often means that taking a day off is actually more stressful and worse for their mental health than if they had continued to work.
Check in regularly
Regularly checking in with your employees can make a big difference in how they view your company, and it can vastly improve their mental health. By checking in with your staff to ensure they don't need help or to let them know you care about what's going on in their lives outside of work, you show them that you see them as more than just an employee.
When you check in, you should ask about how they're handling their workloads as well as their family, recent vacation, or other personal life events that they may be going through. Your check-ins can help you get to know your staff so that you connect with them on a more personal level.
Create a positive company culture
A positive company culture is one that makes everyone feel welcome. Each person on your team has their strengths and weaknesses, and by encouraging everyone to embrace these aspects about themselves and others, you can make your company a more positive place to work. When employees feel good about coming to work each day, it improves their mental health and well-being. They'll call in sick less often and they'll make more of an effort to be productive and an asset to the company.
Make time for breaks and fun
Allowing your team to take breaks is vital to their mental health. Overworked employees are less effective than those who are well-rested. You also need to plan fun, team-building exercises to help your employees get to know each other on a more personal level. To work well together, employees need to respect everyone as an individual. Team-building exercises can help your staff learn more about their team members and how everyone contributes to the company's success.
Provide mental health resources
Whether you employ mental health counselors or just include mental health services in your employee benefits package, providing mental health resources can make a big difference in your company's reputation. Employees want to feel supported, and when your company has resources in place that help with this, everyone will benefit. Make sure employees know where and how to use these mental health resources.
Plan for mental health training sessions
Training has a positive impact on employee growth and development. So when you offer training that helps with mental health, your company can see an improvement in this aspect of your company culture. Your employees need to feel comfortable discussing their well-being with your company's managers and leaders, and those individuals need to know how to address and respond to employee problems they might be facing. With the right training, everyone will be prepared to help with supporting each individual.
To improve your efforts, use these 10 ideas to support the mental health of employees at work and during interviews. This is something that more and more employees are concerned with when searching for a new job. Make sure you're prepared so you can find the best members for your team.
Learn more about creating a good work environment:
Understand what microaggression in the workplace is so you can avoid it at your company.
Upskill your employees so they can be more productive and confident in their abilities.
Create the best vacation policy for your employees so they want to work for your company.