What is Mental health?
Mental health is a state of well-being within which an individual will deal with everyday stressors, work productively, reach his or her full potential, and contribute to their community.
Mental health, along with physical health and social well-being, is an important element of overall health.
There are many factors that can harm mental space in the workplace like:
- Poor communication and management policies
- Low level of support for employees
- Performance pressure
- Job insecurity
Why is mental health important in a workplace?
Engagement with work
Poor mental state results in demotivation and lack of focus. When we have workplace mental state problems, our minds wander or fixate on our issues, creating it tough to manage our thoughts and emotions.
Productivity and job performance
Bad mental health can affect the job performance since it disturbs creativity and resilience. Without these skills, we don’t perform well at our jobs.
Physical capability and daily functioning
Not having a good mental health increases social anxiety, reduces cognitive performance and working memory, poor mental health can also leave a bad physical capability.
It’s difficult to communicate well when we’re not mentally feeling well. Bad mental health leads to over-reacting and having a rude behavior towards colleagues.
It may come as speaking with a bad and aggressive tone, being a poor listener, or having a negative attitude.
Poor mental health can also lead to a lack of control, unhealthy thoughts, and poor decision-making. Poor decision-making may lead to bad impression, showing up late, not completing tasks, or not adhering to company policies.
Why should companies focus on mental health in a workplace?
Poor mental health in the workplace is a very serious issue and are problematic for companies.
Having a really poor mental health in the workplace can result in:
- Disengaged employees
- Poor communication
- High turnover
- Safety liabilities
- Poor job performance
- Low productivity
- Poor decision-making
- Decreased profits
How to create a healthy work environment in a workplace?
There are few steps that organizations can take to create a healthy workplace:
- Protect mental health by reducing work-related risk factors
- Promote mental health by developing the positive aspects of work and the strengths of employees of the organization
- Address mental health problems regardless of its causes
- Keeping patience and giving time to the employees
- Build awareness of the workplace environment and how it can be adapted to promote better mental health for different employees
- Promote work-life balance
- Communicate with the higher authorities if things aren’t working well
- Organizing some fun activities for the employees, for example: indoor games, music, creating art etc
- Rewarding the employees and giving them always a chance to improve and do better
- Learning from the motivations of organizational leaders and employees who have acted
- Understanding the needs and demands of the employees
- Giving them new opportunities and a fair chance to speak for themselves when required
- Upskilling them and guiding them to learn and acquire new skills which will be beneficial for them as well as the organization.
- Motivating team members and boosting their confidence
- A healthy workplace can be described as one where the managers and employees actively contribute to the working environment by promoting and protecting the health, safety, and well-being of all the people working in the company while making it a better and healthy place for them to work.
- There are many risk factors for mental health that may be present in the working environment, they are: interactions between the type of work, the organizational and managerial environment, the skills of employees, and the support being there for employees to help with their work within an organization.
- More than half the world’s population are currently in work and 15% of working-age adults live with a mental disorder.
- Without effective support, mental disorders and other mental health conditions can affect a person’s confidence and identity at work, capacity to work productively, absences and the ease with which to retain or gain work.
- Twelve billion working days are lost every year to depression and anxiety alone. Also, people having severe mental health conditions are largely excluded from work because of having a bad mental health.
Mental health conditions can also impact colleagues, communities, and society at large. Depression and anxiety can even cost the global economy US$ 1 trillion each year because of reduced productivity.