Be the Boss who Cares: How to ensure employee mental health

| August 24, 2015

Be the Boss who Cares: How to ensure employee mental health

We live in a very fast paced world with personal and professional pressure at an all-time high. There are several employees and professionals who’re adversely affected by all the stress. Today, people rarely take time for themselves and in an increasingly disconnected world, it’s easy for employees to become lost and develop problems.

When your employee starts to show signs of mental upset or distraction, you need to be supportive. With increasing cases of depression, anxiety disorders, and sleep disorders, it’s important to be open, welcoming and supportive. Here’s how you can create a supportive work environment for people suffering from metal ailments.

Open Lines of Communication

Unlike physical problems and illness like cancer and the like, mental illnesses aren’t discussed frankly. Most people talk about depression and mental disorders in hushed tones and secretively. This attitude can only be detrimental to overall employee health. No one is really immune to mental disorders.

While some people do handle pressure and stress better, they can still develop problems. You need to keep an open mind from the beginning. That way, if the situation arises, employees can comfortably approach you with their problems.

Mind your Language

You might not even realize it, but you’ll end up using offensive language or tone when talking about mental illnesses. Many people, despite the widespread awareness, don’t take these problems seriously. You need to give the problem the serious consideration it deserves. For example, if you’re talking about a person suffering from some sort of anxiety disorder, be sure to be respectful in your language and serious in your opinions on the matter.

Acknowledge Competence

Employees suffering from mental disorders don’t suddenly become incompetent. In fact, it’s very likely that they retain their skills and work with increased focus. Rather than considering the illness a problem and focusing on the solution, let them heal at their own pace.

Instead, you should focus on ways to ensure that their productivity isn’t drastically affected. Sit down with your employee and discuss ways you can help him work well despite his psychological issues. For example, if your employee if unable to deal with crowds or people well at this time, give him tasks that’ll allow him to work alone and at his own pace.

Offer Support

It is vital to offer support at this stage. Professional pressure and expectations can only add to the burden. You need to work with the employee instead of forcing him to deal with the situation on his own. As mentioned in the previous point, find ways for them to be productive. Don’t mollycoddle them or ignore the problem but deal with it responsibly. In most cases, your understanding and support will help and let them heal properly.

As a small business owner, every employee is important so it pays to be supportive and understanding. By doing this, you’re creating an environment in your business where everyone can work comfortably and this health is always a matter of importance. This also works to decrease pressure on the ailing employees and puts them on the road to recovery.