If you're ever in a position where you need to do something that would affect someone's mental health, for example, then it is your responsibility to think about whether or not the person could handle what might happen and not go through with it. Sometimes people are willing to risk their mental health for the sake of their job, but this is a decision on their part and should never be forced upon them.
Mental health affects everyone differently. Some may have an easier time recovering from certain events than others. This means that each person's mental state following an event can vary and will impact how they handle similar stresses in the future as well as how quickly they return to work after being affected by a stressful event.
Anything that can affect a person's physical or mental health can also have a negative effect on their job performance. Whether the reason for this is an event that has happened personally to them or something they have witnessed in the workplace, it is still important to recognize the potential problems and learn how to manage and reduce those risks as much as possible.
This article will discuss some of the more common environmental stressors that may affect your employee's mental health, along with some strategies you can use to help mitigate these risks.
1. Work Load
One of the most common issues that causes mental health difficulties at work is the presence of too much work. If a worker is in a position where they are constantly asked to do more work than they are able to handle, this can cause stress and anxiety as well as seriously impact their ability to function effectively. This type of issue can quickly lead to problems in other areas of their life, such as infections from fatigue or personal stress that could otherwise have been avoided by simply taking better care of themselves.
If you suspect that your employee may struggle with work load, discuss it with them immediately so that you can reduce any potential risks and address any concerns beforehand so that an issue does not develop later on.
Bullying is a big problem in the workplace and can have serious consequences for an employee if they are not properly prepared to deal with it. Bullies often look for anyone that they feel can get them into trouble. Many bullies know how to act in a way that will trigger an emotional response from others and does not cause them any harm. As long as their behavior remains within the workplace, this could possibly be a good thing – however, workplace bullying involves actions that could cause mental health problems and can interfere with productivity and ability to carry out their duties at work without going through several medical conditions.
Protect employees from the bullies by educating them on what types of behavior are inappropriate and how to avoid situations that could lead to bullying. Also, be sure to encourage your employee to report any incidents immediately.
Distractions are also a big issue in the workplace and can cause a huge amount of problems for your employees as well as their productivity levels. A distraction could be something small, like having a mildly irritating person at work that makes eye contact with you every thirty seconds or something more serious like a catastrophic event that alerts everyone within the vicinity of what is happening.
Be aware of the kinds of distractions that exist in your workplace and take steps to reduce their negative impact on your employees.
4. Social Isolation
One of the more serious mental health issues that many employees struggle with is social isolation. This type of loneliness does not have much to do with the amount of people surrounding them, but rather whether or not they have someone to talk to when they need it. If an employee is working in a stressful environment where no one around them understands what they are going through, then this can severely affect their physical and mental health as well as the work that they are able to produce.
Be sure to create a healthy social environment in your workplace by encouraging your employees to be social and involved with other workers. This can help reduce the potential for isolation and provide them with someone they can turn to when they need help.
5. Co-workers with Health Issues
If you have workers who suffer from certain health conditions, it is important that you understand how those conditions affect their job performance so that you can take steps to help them improve their ability to produce quality work while being affected by those conditions.
Although it is important to protect your workers, you should also encourage them to be as open and honest with you as possible. Learn what their limitations are and what they can do to improve their condition so that they can do their job better without suffering any unnecessary stress.
6. Conflicting Job Duties
Conflicting job duties can cause major problems for your employees when it comes to managing their mental health. If one of your workers is required to work under impossible conditions or if they are expected to complete a task that is beyond their scope of knowledge or ability, then this will likely cause them a great deal of stress.
Be sure that all of your employees know their specific job duties, so that you and they can better understand what their responsibilities are and how they relate to each other. As well as making it clear what your expectations are, it is important to make sure that your employees have a place where they feel comfortable discussing any issues with you, so that you can provide them with the best support possible.
7. Lack of Recognition
An employee's self-esteem is one of the most important aspects of their mental health, along with their work ethic. If they do not feel that their work is valuable or recognized by their employers, then this sets up an insecure foundation for a whole array of issues and problems within their life.
Be sure to recognize your employees for any accomplishments and always encourage them to share feedback about how they are feeling as well as any other concerns that they may have.
8. Poor Work Conditions
Although being in a poor workplace environment can cause anxiety and stress levels to rise, poor conditions are often the start of the bigger picture. If you suspect that your employees are struggling with poor conditions or if you simply want to improve their working conditions, then make sure you approach this issue without judgment or aggression so that you can address the problem without causing additional issues.
Be sure to understand what is going on with the employees and what they would like to change. Rather than being aggressive and blaming them for feeling a certain way, try to find out why they are feeling that way and if it is possible to reduce or eliminate their mental health issues so that they can work comfortably in a new environment.
Helping Employees Deal with Mental Health Issues
There are times when an employee will struggle to deal with their mental health as a result of changes happening within their lives, such as losing a family member or going through a divorce. During these times it can be important for you to step in and help your employees find some comfort during this difficult time.
There are many ways that you can provide support for your employees, from simply offering them a listening ear to arranging professional counseling sessions for them. It is important that you keep the lines of communication open so that you know how your employees are feeling and how they are coping with certain situations.
As an employer, you are responsible for the mental health of your employees. This means that you should be proactive about offering support and working to prevent these issues from arising rather than trying to deal with them once they have become severe. By building a good rapport with your employees and educating yourself about their needs, you can ensure that everyone's mental health is being looked after.
Written by: Harshita Sevaldasani