How to Raise Awareness About Mental Health in Your Workplace – by Hannah Weiss

Did you know less than one-third of Americans are actually happy with their work, according to Mental Health America? What’s more: half of the work force is checked out! How can we change those numbers around? With mental health still being a taboo in our society, many people are afraid to discuss or share issues with an employer. What can we do to increase mental health awareness and overall satisfaction in the workplace? Here are a few ideas to get conversation going in your office:

1) PROVIDE WELLNESS OPPORTUNITIES TO YOUR EMPLOYEES

While some employers may not like the cost associated with this idea, offering a wellness or health benefit to employees could be worth some bang for the buck! Truven Health Analytics did a study in 2014, and found that for every $1 that Johnson & Johnson added to its employee wellness program, the company saved between $1.88 and $4 on healthcare costs. That’s a huge savings! That idea may not work for your company due to its size or budget, but you could implement free wellness practices, like mediation at lunch on Tuesdays or Yoga Thursdays. Small changes could go along way to increase the happiness of your employees!

2) ENCOURAGE SHORT BREAKS ON-THE-JOB

This may seem counterintuitive, why offer breaks on the job if you want to increase productivity? Well, the happiest employees are the most dedicated and passionate, so offer yours some perks on-the-job! I used to work at a marketing agency where the benefits were endless: a Ping-Pong table in the conference room, free lunch gift cards, weekly happy hour gatherings, Olympic office competitions and more! Rewarding your employees for their work goes a long way. These ideas do not have to be super expensive, creating a game for the office could just require some work time or creative brainpower. You could even ask your employees if someone would like to start a company “fun club.”

3) OFFER FLEXIBLE SCHEDULING TO CREATE A POSITIVE WORK/LIFE BALANCE

One of the most sought ever benefits is flexible scheduling. Can you afford to be flexible with your employees? If you can, it could pay off in a big way. Last week a study from FlexJobs shared over 76% of workers avoid their office for important tasks. Many employees find a shared workplace to be overwhelming and distracting. If you can learn to trust your employees with a flexible schedule, you’ll create a happier workplace and higher quality work. It doesn’t have to be a dramatic change, just allowing staff to work from home for 4 hours a week could benefit your company!

4) SEND WEEKLY EMAILS TO STAFF ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH AND WORKPLACE ENGAGEMENT

Any of these ideas can increase mental health awareness and happiness in your workplace. The main thing to think about is opening dialogue about mental health in the workplace. Don’t shy away from having these conversations in the office, as you can learn a lot about your employees from a discussion. There is no cookie-cutter solution, but learning more about your employees and their needs could help you make the most beneficial decisions to increase mental health and overall happiness in your workplace!

Don’t forget:

My Social Standard is a tool that identifies when employees are depressed, anxious, or thinking of harming themselves or others. It is a very inexpensive way to keep employees safe and companies productive and secure. Learn more www.mysocialstandard.com

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How to Raise Awareness About Mental Health in Your Workplace – by Hannah Weiss

Workplace Bullying Facts by workplacebullying.org

Most workplace harassment and mistreatment (80%) is completely legal. Remarkably, a hostile work environment is actionable (illegal) only in very few situations.

America’s individualistic society feeds aggression and competition in the workplace. These traits block an empathic concern for the well-being of others, make bullying look tame when compared to other forms of physical violence, and justify inequality of status across ranks within organizations — dubbing a few as winners and the rest losers. Bullying is not only tolerated in business, it is often seen as necessary. Lawmakers are reluctant to pass laws that reign in unfettered workplace violence resulting in psychological injury.

Poor Leadership, Inept Managers

The majority of bullies (72%) are bosses…

  • Bullies derive most of their support from…HR. It’s a club, a clique, that circles the wagons in defense when one of their own is accused.
  • Some executives command bullies to target particular employees. Bullies are simply good soldiers following orders in a blind fashion.
  • Supervisory training is nearly nonexistent. No budget. No time. Few good skills taught. OJT transmits bad habits.
  • Executives blame the problem on a “few bad apples,” deflecting blame for systemic causes and denying responsibility for systemic cures.

Employers Don’t Know How to Stop Bullies

Everyone walks on eggshells and is afraid to confront “the golden” bully, the boss’s favorite. HR misapplies the tools of traditional conflict resolution, for example, mediation. Wrong solution for the actual problem. The workplace culture holds no one accountable. Confronting bullies is unthinkable. Executives and senior managers have been badgered by the bully, too. They are afraid of an emotional confrontation. They loathe conflict and remain paralyzed. By not acting, they tacitly endorse the bully. They fear lawsuits brought by the bully if they dare investigate or punish the bully. There is rarely a basis for such suits. The fear is irrational.

Bullying Is Underreported

Forty percent (40%) of targets never tell their employers…

    • Bullying is erroneously branded as “conflict” or a mere “difference in personality styles.”

Both are true, but bullying is also a form of violence. Simple labels minimize its impact on both people and the organization.

    • Historically, complaints lead to retaliation (revengeful hurting) or reprisal (taking away of rights or status).

Knowing this, targets are reluctant to use internal employer processes.

Workplace Bullying Facts by workplacebullying.org