15 Strategies for Promoting Employee Mental Health and Wellbeing

by | Dec 18, 2023 | Blog

In an effort to shine a light on the importance of workplace mental health, we’ve gathered 15 insightful strategies from top professionals. From assisting in utilizing mental health resources to promoting flexibility for mental well-being, these experts share their most effective tactics for nurturing employee wellness. Discover the full spectrum of advice in our comprehensive guide to employee mental health care.

  • Assist in Utilizing Mental Health Resources
  • Train for Mental Health Symptom Awareness
  • Implement an Employee Assistance Program
  • Conduct Regular Well-Being Check-Ins
  • Create a Culture of Open Dialogue
  • Offer Mental Health Days to Staff
  • Expand Team and Provide Fun Bonuses
  • Reevaluate the Workload of Stressed Employees 
  • Cultivate Supportive Workplace Relationships
  • Introduce “Mindfulness Mondays” Initiative
  • Ensure Predictable Work Schedules
  • Allocate Time for Passion Projects
  • Promote Workplace Autonomy
  • Adopt “Flex Hour Fridays” Policy
  • Promote Flexibility for Mental Well-Being

 

Assist in Utilizing Mental Health Resources

As a Human Resources Manager, supporting my employees’ mental health and well-being is primary in many aspects of my role. Outside of sharing information about the importance of work-life balance, the value of vacation, and other supportive information, the key to successfully supporting employees is knowing your benefit offerings and assisting them in getting connected to resources. 

Navigating the health care system and getting connected to effective providers can be daunting and inhibitory. To combat this, I offer myself as a resource and partner to get connected. I routinely share the value of and the best way to use our Employee Assistance Programs and help navigate our insurance and other provider search platforms. 

For open enrollment, I design our benefit offerings to robustly support mental health and well-being and highlight how usage of our fringe benefits, like Flexible Spending Accounts or Health Reimbursement Accounts, can help manage costs.

Brittany Brazell, Human Resources Manager, Our Children’s Trust

 

Train for Mental Health Symptom Awareness

You must train your employees to understand when to recognize symptoms and to create an environment of trust so that they know they can speak to their team or senior staff if they have an issue.

Without this knowledge, employees may try to keep things to themselves, and this mustn’t be the approach they take if they are struggling.

Wendy Makinson, HR Manager, Joloda Hydraroll

 

Implement an Employee Assistance Program

It is becoming more apparent that companies need to take an active role in their teams’ mental health and well-being. Many working-class people are struggling with concerns about the economy, their futures, making ends meet, and coping with their workload. This is a harsh reality for many employees, and it tends to keep building until the person under this strain crashes.

One of the best tools for any company to take care of their team’s mental well-being is to have an all-inclusive Employee Assistance Program. Encouraging teams to use this program once it has been implemented allows them to not feel burdened by expressing their mental health struggles to someone on their team but to a third party that is contracted to help them in these situations. 

It is important to remember that stress manifests itself in more physical ways than just depression and anxiety. People plagued by this will, unfortunately, see their work suffer—which results in a decline in productivity for the company as well.

John Mclean, CEO and Counsellor, Rehab Guide

 

Conduct Regular Well-Being Check-Ins

One effective strategy I’ve implemented to ensure our employees’ mental health and well-being is the establishment of regular well-being check-ins. These check-ins, conducted by managers, are informal, one-on-one conversations focused on the employee’s general welfare, beyond just work-related topics. 

They provide a safe, confidential space where employees can voice concerns, discuss stressors, and share personal challenges. We’ve trained our managers in empathetic listening and basic mental health awareness, enabling them to offer supportive guidance and recognize when to refer employees to our professional mental health resources. 

These check-ins are scheduled at intervals that respect the employee’s comfort and privacy, avoiding any perception of intrusion. We’ve seen a positive impact on our team’s morale and productivity, as employees feel genuinely cared for and supported. 

This approach also helps us identify systemic issues that may affect employee well-being, allowing us to make proactive organizational changes. Overall, these well-being check-ins are a cornerstone of our commitment to fostering a healthy, inclusive, and supportive workplace.

Melissa Pennington, CHRO, Eugenia & Co, LLC

 

Create a Culture of Open Dialogue

Implementing regular check-ins and fostering an open-dialogue culture are pivotal strategies in prioritizing employees’ mental health and well-being.

By conducting frequent one-on-one or team discussions, I create a space for them to express concerns, share achievements, and discuss any challenges they may face. 

This approach helps determine potential issues early on and emphasizes that their mental health is a genuine priority within the workplace.

Amber Moseley, CEO and Co-Founder, IWC

 

Offer Mental Health Days to Staff

As the medical director of a psychiatric clinic, what I do to take care of my employees’ mental health is that we give them mental health days. Our clinic gets busy, and the stress can be overwhelming, more so when our employees are going through a crisis of their own. 

We’ve made arrangements that mental health days are allowed as long as the handoff of tasks is done and coordinated with the rest of the team, so the care we deliver at our clinic is not compromised.

Eric Chaghouri, Psychiatrist and Medical Director, Lucid Wellness Center

 

Expand Team and Provide Fun Bonuses

Hire more people instead of burning out your top performers! When our staff is working on empty, I like to give them bonuses that they are encouraged to use for something fun, such as a dinner out with their friends and family. 

They can pocket the bonus if they’d like, but that doesn’t contribute to the goal of bringing more fun into their lives.

Justin Silverman, Founder and CEO, Merchynt

 

Reevaluate the Workload of Stressed Employees 

I have started to prioritize one-on-one check-ins with key team members weekly, or at least once every two weeks. Asking them about their workload and how they’re coping helps me determine how to delegate new assignments. It also enables me to figure out which employees are already swamped with work and possibly reassign some of their extra projects. 

Usually start the meetings with general chitchat, asking how they are or how their weekend went. I find it essential to notice their body language, tone of voice, and choice of words when they answer these questions, since employees usually don’t directly open up about their stress levels and mental health struggles to their managers. If I get the feeling they aren’t doing so well, I express concern about their evident exhaustion.

Depending on a stressed-out employee’s unique circumstances, I reevaluate their workload, encourage them to take a couple of days off, or remind them about the company’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that offers counseling services. I think this kind of open conversation cannot be done any other way; private meetings are the best for evaluating employee well-being.

Ben Lamarche, General Manager, Lock Search Group

 

Cultivate Supportive Workplace Relationships

The secret to our mental wellness is relationships. Our mental health in the workplace is greatly impacted by being part of a supportive team. We don’t always get to choose whom we work alongside, and stress might arise if we don’t get along with supervisors, coworkers, or clients. During these times, you could need to take care of yourself more, but you might also need to deal with issues. Our relationship guide has more advice on how to achieve that.

When people experience mental health issues, work politics can present significant challenges. Finding a mentor or a handful of reliable coworkers to talk about your feelings about your job might be beneficial in helping you overcome obstacles and get a sense check. While work-life balance is crucial, try to keep up your ties with friends and family, even during stressful times. In my opinion, loneliness can be just as harmful to our health as smoking or being overweight.

Kelvin Wira, Founder, Superpixel

 

Introduce “Mindfulness Mondays” Initiative

At our organization, we strongly endorse the practice of “Mindfulness Mondays,” a program designed to prioritize and uplift our employees’ mental health. As part of this initiative, the first Monday of every month is dedicated to mental health education and activities. This includes webinars from mental health professionals, meditation sessions, and an open platform for employees to discuss their experiences and challenges. By dedicating time and resources to mental health, we aim to create a supportive environment that acknowledges and addresses the mental well-being of our team.

Matthew Lake, Managing Director, Guardian Safe and Vault

 

Ensure Predictable Work Schedules

Businesses need to make a fundamental shift this year in the way they manage employee scheduling. The importance of stable work schedules for employees’ mental health and well-being has become clear. Predictable scheduling can help reduce stress, improve work-life balance, and ultimately increase productivity.

To achieve this, we are implementing software to streamline our scheduling process and ensure that all team members have a clear and consistent awareness of their working hours weeks in advance. This change is not just about improving operational efficiency but also about creating a work environment that values and supports the well-being of our employees.

Eric Eng, Founder and CEO, Private College Admissions Consultant, AdmissionSight

 

Allocate Time for Passion Projects

I organize “Passion Projects.” Every quarter, I allocate time for employees to work on projects they’re truly passionate about, even if they’re not directly related to their job roles. This creative outlet allows them to explore their interests, which can have a positive impact on their mental well-being. It’s a chance for them to break away from routine tasks and rejuvenate their minds while pursuing something they love.

Olivia Kepner, Founder, Coolwood Wildlife Park

 

Promote Workplace Autonomy

One strategy I’ve found incredibly impactful is complete workplace autonomy. We set clear requirements and deadlines, then trust our employees to manage their work with their own unique creativity and pace. This fosters a deep sense of ownership and responsibility, replacing pressure with a sense of accomplishment and control.

This shift has been remarkable in promoting positive mental health and well-being. Stress and anxiety levels have decreased significantly, replaced by a genuine sense of purpose and joy in their work. Employees feel empowered and valued, leading to increased motivation, engagement, and overall satisfaction.

It’s a win-win situation for both the individual and the company, and I’m proud to see how this simple shift has transformed our workplace into a thriving ecosystem of well-being and productivity. By prioritizing autonomy, we’ve created an environment where employees not only thrive professionally but also experience genuine fulfillment in their daily tasks.

At its core, embracing autonomy becomes a cornerstone for mental health support. This strategy isn’t just about policies; it’s a cultural shift that acknowledges and celebrates individual strengths, fostering a workplace where each person’s well-being is integral to our collective success.

Alan Carr, Creative Director, WebpopDesign

 

Adopt “Flex Hour Fridays” Policy

Keeping our team mentally fit and happy is a top priority at Venture Smarter. One unique strategy we’ve implemented is our “Flex Hour Fridays” policy. Instead of a rigid nine-to-five schedule on Fridays, we encourage our employees to use that time to focus on their mental well-being. Whether it’s catching up on personal hobbies, spending quality time with family, or simply taking a longer lunch break for some self-care, we want our team to have the flexibility they need.

This approach recognizes that everyone has different ways of recharging, and by giving our team the autonomy to structure their Fridays in a way that suits them best, we’ve seen a significant reduction in burnout and an increase in overall job satisfaction. It’s a win-win for everyone—happier, healthier employees make for a more vibrant and productive workplace.

Jon Morgan, CEO, Venture Smarter

 

Promote Flexibility for Mental Well-Being

Running a psychiatry practice, I naturally place a lot of value on my employees’ mental health. One strategy is to encourage employees to think about their mental health and well-being and give them the flexibility to do what they need to take care of themselves. 

Whether this involves allowing for sick days to include days needed for mental health, or providing benefits that cover mental health treatment, there are many ways that employers can support their employees’ mental health and well-being.

Dr. Bryan Bruno, Medical Director, Mid City TMS

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