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Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Helping Employees With Wellbeing Crises: How to Minimize This Modern Epidemic

Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash

Making sure that we prioritize wellbeing is not just about putting certain things in place, but it's about recognizing that if an employee is going through some form of wellbeing crisis that we ensure that we can give them the support they need. It is critical that in today's corporate world, we prioritize wellbeing and mental health to ensure that our employees aren't just healthy and productive, but so they can benefit outside of a potentially pressure-rising working environment. There are so many mental health issues that can impact an employee, like anxiety, stress, and burnout. So, what can we do to ensure that if an employee is experiencing some form of wellbeing crisis, we give them the support they need and deserve?

Create A Supportive Response System

It is important to recognize a mental health crisis in the workplace, and employers must be good at observing these signs and intervene where necessary. Withdrawal, feelings of hopelessness, decreased performance, and changes in mood or personality are some of the signs. But we must also create a solid response system that may incorporate some of the following steps:

Open Communication

It is critical to ensure that open conversations are had to reduce the stigma of mental health or wellbeing crises, and to make it easier for employees to ask for help if they so need it. This could be about meeting them on their own terms, for example, if they are religious individuals, having a workplace chaplaincy or somebody from a chaplain come into the workplace on a regular basis can help those experiencing wellbeing concerns to feel like they can come forward without fear of it impacting their job.


Naturally, it's important that if anybody is experiencing some form of crisis, they have faith in the employer's abilities to deal with everything with confidence and discretion. Confidentiality is an essential part of a working environment, and no employee should feel like they have to withdraw or not give certain information without the fear of it impacting their role.

Instant Response

If an employee has some form of mental health or wellbeing crisis, it's critical that we go through the right channels to connect the employee with the best resources. This could be a wellbeing hotline or connecting them with a mental health professional, such as a counselor.

Ongoing Support

Once we've given help to the employee, it is essential to follow up to make sure that the employee is getting the support they need. As employers, we must be committed to their wellbeing beyond the event itself, and much like making provisions for people with any form of physical disability to help them work better, we should offer the same for our employees.

Making Changes To The Culture 

The organization will benefit from a cultural shift, especially in the modern day. Businesses that have been going for a number of decades can easily find themselves trapped in the past, especially when it comes to this supposedly “new” phenomenon that is mental health. It can be easy to feel like you need to keep it in if you are in an environment that is notoriously old-fashioned in its thinking. We must make changes to the culture to ensure that we prioritize and promote wellbeing. This could include some of the following:

Offering Resources

Many companies use apps like Headspace as a way to help employees going through some form of mental health difficulty. In addition, it could be a part of your healthcare package to offer counseling or therapy services. When we provide resources, the importance of having these in place can instantly make an employee feel like they are being looked after, but it also benefits your business because you may have more people come to you in the hopes of being an employee.

Mental Health Programs

Part of mental health issues in the workplace can be about employees not necessarily recognizing if they are experiencing some form of stress or anxiety. Programs that prioritize managing stress, being aware of mental health, but also increasing resilience form a trifecta that helps employees to look after themselves.

Mental health programs that train employees on mental health or training specific individuals on recognizing the signs of a mental health crisis can help your organization be more proactive and prevent these issues from occurring. Sometimes, it's nothing to do with the organization itself but the individual's life as a whole, and therefore, we should recognize that we can have an impact on their lives outside of work and vice versa.

Promoting Work-Life Balance

It can be easy to demand more of an employee because the business will naturally dictate how much an employee should do. The problem with this is that employees start to feel like they need to give more of themselves or cause problems within the organization. We should encourage our employees to balance the demands of their working life with their personal one.

Flexibility is one of those things that is constantly referred to as the benchmark of an organization's appeal, but we should go one step further and not just be flexible and provide remote work, but we should also cap how many hours an employee should work. The biggest issue many people had during the pandemic was that employers felt that because everyone was at home, they might as well do a bit more work. But when you can't get away from your working environment and you cannot switch off, this is when we are in dangerous territory. Work-life balance is such a clichéd term, but the concept of work-life balance is quite extinct for people who work remotely. Therefore, if you enforce a maximum number of work hours and find ways to limit email checks after a certain time, you are hopefully forcing an employee to prioritize their mental health.

We should be prioritizing cultural changes because these are the things that will make the results stick.

Understanding The Impacts Of Positive Wellbeing In The Workplace

If someone is experiencing a mental health crisis because of their work environment or the job they do, it's important to have a more holistic approach to dealing with these concerns. Employees can feel the pressure of having to do certain jobs and take on more responsibility. When we disperse those demands and not just make sure that our employees are prioritizing wellbeing but are actively doing less in order to mitigate any mental health crises, we should see the benefits. Positive wellbeing in the workplace can have a number of impacts and benefits, including:

Increased Productivity

We need to look at how employees can be more productive. Part of this can be about giving our employees what they need to do their job better but also increasing autonomy. Part of the problem in running a business with very specific and strict processes is that it doesn't allow an employee any sense of freedom. If you are able to understand that as long as the work is done, it doesn't matter how they do it, it can make a big difference in how employees feel when they are doing their work.

Increased Resilience

If an employee has better tools to tackle any form of mental health or wellbeing crisis, this doesn't just reduce its impacts on the workplace, but it actively helps to foster a more resilient employee. Wellbeing is critical to the overall sense of employee satisfaction, and if an employee feels like they are able to deal with whatever comes their way, especially when it comes to workplace pressures like deadlines, they will feel more capable.

Reduced Sickness

Many employers focus on wellbeing by allowing a couple of extra days off per year. When an employee feels like they cannot take time off because work is particularly busy, they are going to be pushing themselves beyond their capabilities. Reduced levels of absences caused by sickness will guarantee a far more effective organization.

What We Need To Do In The Workplace

The solution is all about integrating wellbeing initiatives into the everyday aspects of the organization. So many wellbeing initiatives fall short of their potential because they often seem like a box-ticking exercise. Instead of treating wellbeing as a "nice to have" component of the business, it should be given priority and integrated throughout.

Many companies prioritize the needs of the business over the effects of positive wellbeing, but it's such a simple thing: an employee functioning at their optimum will do much more effective work. Therefore, incorporating wellness initiatives into the business not only guarantees that our employees can reach out for support if they need it, but they also feel like they are in an organization that genuinely supports their needs.

When we work for companies that don't take care of us, we often feel like we have to keep pushing harder to please them and avoid any obstacles. This is not productive for the organization and will result in higher turnover. That's why we need to start thinking about properly helping our employees.

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