There are many reasons why employers should make mental health promotion in the workplace a priority. Most employers are aware that the commitment of employees is crucial for the success of their organisation. Employees’ health and wellbeing is a determining factor in this because the healthier the employees are, the more committed, reliable and efficient they can be.
Across Europe the levels of absenteeism, unemployment and long term disability claims due to work related stress and mental health problems have been increasing. The total costs of mental health disorders in Europe are estimated to be 240 billion Euro per year. 136 billion Euro is due to lost productivity including sick leave absenteeism.
In recent decades the increasing demands and the advances in workplace technology have created a swift change in the nature of work. These rapid changes in the nature of work can be rewarding for employees, however, it can also mean that employees may experience more pressure and demands which could affect their psychological wellbeing.
A healthy workplace is one where individuals feel valued and supported. Some tips for providing a positive workspace is to promote:
- Open communication; where everyone feels listened to and allowed to voice their opinion.
- Employee recognition and appreciation; where employers show gratitude for the good work of their employees
- A clean and comfortable atmosphere; as this helps lessen stress
- A good wage; as this can promote retaining of employees. Less turnover might mean that there is less stress at work.
- Work/life balance (ex: flexi time, teleworking etc..); so that employees can manage their various life demands and responsibilities well.
- Employee assistance programme; to give employees the opportunity to seek help from a professional to prevent or alleviate mental health difficulties.
Since most people spend several hours at the workplace, as an employer, creating and implementing a strategy that addresses employees’ wellbeing is crucial. Such strategies can help employees feel more confident, more capable and more passionate about their work.
Claire is a gestalt psychotherapist at Willingness. She works with adolescents and adults. She has a special interest in mental health. She can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can visit her profile on: https://zme.tec.mybluehost.me/willingnessmt/team/claire-borg/