Mental health of your employees dictates your business’s success

Author Maria
Updated Oct 12th, ’22
Category General
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On the 10th of October, the world celebrates World Mental Health Day. But is there something to celebrate or something we should focus on to bring more awareness to the subject? For a problem like this that humans have been confronted in the last years more and more, we should have this celebration every day to remind us that it’s something serious that affects millions of people in one way or another.

According to the American Psychological Association, the number of people getting therapy has increased with the pandemic, and more than 68% of therapists have a waiting list. If years ago, people who were going to a therapist were considered the ones with personality disorders, now almost everyone needs someone to talk with. Many more factors put us in stressful situations, or we touch our limits much faster because of the fast evolution of the world. It seems like we have time for many things but not to breathe for us. But we are not here to put labels or names or diagnoses. We are here to say that apart from personal issues, work and environment are big factors.

In our company culture, we care about people’s mental health. If you can’t help them have a healthy mind, they will not be able to go further with the work. Even if sometimes the trigger is work. And what we are hoping is for more big companies to take a step and bring some awareness around this subject. 

Companies, in general, are talking about how to make their employees work more focused or be more productive. But can they do this if they have other issues that don’t allow them to function normally? For example, how many countries in this world have legislation that protects people from burnout or offers them a take-off? Or how many companies have special people trained or programs for employees that can help them during the process? I don’t want to post some numbers because this will put us as humanity in a bad position.

Business owners are not considering that the mental health of their employees is linked directly to their success. It’s a good practice to invest in people by taking them to training, studying, or paying for different courses. But what if that employee needs a different approach and his needs are more psychological than professional? I’ve seen companies where people were fired “nicely” because they had a certain diagnosis that, if you can understand, means no harm to your business.

How can companies help their employees?

A good solution for companies stays exactly in the evolution of technology. Numerous SaaS solutions offer online therapy and even solutions for big companies with many employees. One of these is BetterHelp or TalkSpace. It doesn’t matter why they need help, whether because of your company, the work they have to do, or just personal issues unrelated to the business.

A mentally healthy employee will be more productive because his mind will be clearer and start a healing process. Otherwise, it will go deep, and the company can lose good people. And this is another responsibility that the Human Resources department should have; from time to time, they can assure how your employees feel.

I believe it is a new era for mental health and business to change their culture and approach. Some companies are already doing little changes for employees to create a healthy environment and talking about the “well-being of our employees.” Still, for more of them is just marketing and words. The end-user, the employee, doesn’t feel he is being offered what he needs. Teambuilding, where they have to do some activities, is not therapy. Offering them coffee, fruits, or other drinks at the office is not therapy.

But creating a schedule so they won’t feel like their life is about work can change something. Offering specialized help is something else. Eliminating the stigma is another point you can put into your business culture.

Change the culture of your company completely. A toxic environment will make them leave as soon as they can. And leaders should work more with the HR department to find solutions together. As the manager or leader of the business, you are directly responsible for the people. Psychological safety at work is what employees should feel instead of the burden of numbers and work.

Please provide them with a more flexible way of working, even though corporations already have almost the same pattern in their work system. Work with them so that they can work with you and for you.

We should not wait for another pandemic or hazard to change some systems. We should not wait for burnout until we realize that we work with people and that humans are fragile. It’s not an unlimited resource that we can play with. So should we not wait for the 10th of October to say “Happy Mental Health Day”. Every day is about mental health, and people are struggling with their emotions, not to say that more people are also struggling financially to pay for their therapy.

And I believe every business can contribute to those changes and create a better environment for their employees. So, let’s not only make this world better with the products we create but also with the culture we promote. We have a voice, and let’s use it also for the benefit of people, not just the business.