4 Ways to Invest in your Employees’ Mental Health

The past few years have been tough on everyone, and your team members are no exception. To keep everyone performing at their best, you’ll want to make sure you’re looking after their mental health. Fortunately, investing in your employees’ mental health doesn’t have to be expensive. Here a few ways you can help support your team through challenging times.

Offer Mental Health Resources

One of the best ways to protect your employees’ mental health is to provide them with the resources to seek professional help. Consider adding a wellness stipend to your employee benefits. Workers can use that money to pay for mental health counseling or other programs to boost their mental health. Also, consider partnering with a local mental health center to offer discounted therapy for your employees.

Watch for Signs of Burnout

Burnout can be insidious, because it tends to develop gradually. But untreated burnout can eventually lead to fatigue, anxiety, depression, and even physical illnesses. It comes from being overwhelmed and stressed out for too long, without enough relief.

If you notice an employee starting to check out—being less productive, volunteering for fewer projects, taking more PTO than usual—start a conversation. First, find out if anything is going on at home that could account for the change in behavior. If not, then you are likely looking at the first stages of burnout. Either way, ask the employee what you can do to support them, and be ready with a few suggestions of your own. It might be as simple as reassigning a project or offering flexible scheduling.

Avoid Overload

Take some time to assess your team members’ workloads. A good rule of thumb is to never schedule more than 80% of someone’s day. Make sure they have enough time for breaks, project overruns, and the general time-sucks that can arise throughout the day. If anyone is overloaded, do what you can to rebalance tasks and create a positive work environment.

Lead by Example

Your team members are always watching you. If you tell them to clock out at 5:00, but you stay till 7, they’re going to follow your example. To protect your employees’ mental health as well as your own, practice healthy habits and develop a strong work-life balance. Shut down your work emails at the end of the day. Take a full lunch break, offsite, every day. Use your PTO hours. Go on vacation. And encourage everyone around you to do the same. Be sensitive to work-life balance.

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