Creating a healthier workplace goes beyond offering health insurance, wellness programs and organic food for lunch. Many companies fail to encourage emotional wellness at the office, and that can affect morale, productivity and turnover rates. Check out three quick tips for improving emotional wellness at the office.
First, Some Statistics
A survey from Cigna indicates that nearly half of all Americans feel alone, and around 25 percent feel as if no one understands them. These numbers are crucial when you think about how this affects collaboration and teamwork at the office. The emotional needs of workers are just as important as the physical aspects of a healthier workplace. As a supervisor, manager or executive, it's up to you to have the right attitude to encourage good mental health at work.
1. Take the Lead
Employees are not going to feel less stressed at work if the boss shows everyone how stressed he is. Lead by example by taking regular breaks and leaving your work at the office as opposed to bringing it home with you. Your team mimics your habits and work ethic, so if you want a healthier workplace, it's up to you to set the example.
Encourage taking sick days by calling in sick when you feel under the weather. Outline your company's sick day policy to your team and encourage your workers to stay at home when sick. If a worker feels as if they need to work while out of the office, talk about telecommuting for a few days as opposed to having that employee work at the office for 40 or more hours that week.
2. Help Workers Feel as if They Belong
Everyone wants to be a part of something greater than themselves, so it's important to make workers feel valued. Create an inclusive environment where everyone gets to express themselves in healthy ways. It's also essential to make sure each individual understand their value within the organization.
Each member of the team should play to their strengths. For example, Stacy may be phenomenal when it comes to dealing with people, while Jack might be great with numbers. Tap into those talents, and make both workers understand why their particular skills fit perfectly into your company to foster a healthier workplace.
3. Encourage Employees to Seek Assistance
Companies should not stigmatize stress, anxiety, depression and mental health issues. Encourage employees to seek assistance from the resources available to them, including regular counseling sessions that may be available as part of their benefits package. Use targeted weekly messaging in company newsletters and other company correspondence to let workers know that it's totally normal for them to seek help. Encouraging employees to use all of the resources at their disposal helps create a healthier workplace.
These three quick tips for a healthier workplace work best if company leaders are on board. Managers should show the way through their own behavior, because workers often mimic the behavior of their superiors.
Photo courtesy of Laura Shefler at Flickr.com