September 20, 2023

3 ways company leaders can prioritize employees’ mental health

Mental health awareness doesn’t end after the month of May. While we’ve seen an increase in dialogue around mental health support, it’s time for companies to put a plan into action.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, 75% of employees reported their company does not have an overall workplace mental health strategy to help them with their depression, stress, and anxiety at work. Since the pandemic, the majority of Americans who left their jobs in 2021 are more likely to say their new job has better pay, more opportunities for advancement, and more work-life balance and flexibility.

People are burned out, stressed, and working through trauma in order to perform day-to-day responsibilities at their job. It’s up to company leaders to listen to their employees, provide mental health resources, and implement formal policies that allow team members to create and maintain a work-life balance. Perfeqta has outlined a few ways your organization can create an action plan that prioritizes employees’ mental health.

Listen to employees and be open to feedback.

If you’re a company leader who isn’t sure how to support employees’ mental health concerns, start the conversation and they will tell you what you need. Due to the sensitivity of these topics, find more than one way to communicate with team members, such as:

  • Anonymous surveys
  • 1:1 interviews
  • All-hands meetings, either company-wide or by department depending on the size of your organization

Here are 5 questions you can ask via surveys or in an open forum to inform your next steps:

  • Do you feel comfortable talking about your mental health with your manager, supervisor, colleagues, or company leaders?
  • Do you have an understanding of what mental health resources are available to you at this company?
  • What workplace practices have a negative impact on your mental health?
  • What can the organization start doing to better support your mental health?
  • How satisfied are you with the mental health support provided by the organization?

It’s important to not shy away from difficult conversations inside and outside of the workplace that are affecting employees’ mental health, especially those who often feel alone.

Once you’ve started this conversation, take immediate action by communicating your findings from survey responses, 1:1 meetings, and open forums, and the company’s next steps. As time goes on, be sure to update your team on progress along the way.

Curate and share mental health benefits and resources.

Of the nearly 53 million U.S. adults with a mental illness, only 46% have access to mental health services, which brings forth a call for employers to provide clearer access to services, some of which they may already provide.

Below is a list of benefits and resources more companies are offering employees:

  • Therapy coverage.
  • Employee assistance programs.
  • Access to online directories for those searching for therapists and mental health resources.
  • Wellness and lifestyle programs, such as yoga and meditation.
  • Educational workshops on mental health.

Implement formal policies to create a work culture that values rest.

For company leaders who want to create a healthy work environment, they can implement policies that show mental health awareness and a work-life balance are embedded into the organization’s values.

Over the last two years, we’ve seen an increase in companies offering employees:

  • Unlimited or increased PTO.
  • 4-day workweeks.
  • Remote and hybrid work models.
  • Increased paid parental leave.

We at Perfeqta also see an increase in leadership training for managers and company executives on workplace mental health.

Perfeqta has worked with organizations of all sizes to help build inclusive and equitable workplaces that prioritize employees’ safety and well-being through:

  • Career Coaching sessions that are customized to meet individual performance needs to boost accelerated career growth, increase confidence, and build leadership skills.
  • Company-wide training on anti-bias and inclusion, leadership best practices, and authentic allyship designed to help you create a safe workplace for all employees.
  • DEI Roadmapping to identify and implement equitable work practices that reduce exclusionary practices, implicit biases, and systemic inequalities in your organization.

To get started, reach out to the Perfeqta team and learn more about our services.

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