Workplace wellbeing is the state of satisfaction that a person can experience when they perform their duties in a mentally healthy way, and feel connected and committed to their work. But what prevents many employees from achieving that sought-after state of wellbeing? And why is it so difficult for companies to nurture healthy environments?
In a world on the move, where work and personal life are increasingly intertwined, mental health is beginning to assume greater relevance at work – in fact, it has become an urgent priority. Mental health is not just an individual problem: it affects employees and employers alike, and can significantly influence the productivity and well-being of your teams.
If you’re looking to address the mental health of your workforce, but have some doubts about how to do it, then keep reading. In this article, we’ll explore the importance of mental health in achieving workplace wellbeing, and look at how training can play a pivotal role in creating a healthier and more efficient work environment.
The importance of mental health in the workplace
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one in four people will experience a mental disorder at some point in their lives. In practice, that means we are all likely to be affected at some point, whether directly or indirectly. This underlines the magnitude of the collective challenge we face, and the importance of addressing it as soon as possible!
Designing and implementing mental health initiatives can drive widespread change in any company culture. When practiced consistently, values such as integration and caring for employees become a part of daily working life and increase the motivation and commitment of teams throughout the company. So, if we want to have happy and productive teams, ignoring mental health in the workplace is simply not an option.
The benefits of a mentally healthy workforce
As we have seen, mental wellbeing in the workplace is not just a personal concern; it is a factor that can determine the direction of an entire company. But what does it mean to have a mentally healthy workforce? It means, simply, that your employees are in peak mental condition to do their best at work, make informed decisions, and deploy their skills to the fullest.
Through initiatives that contribute to the wellbeing of the company, it is possible to develop an organizational culture that promotes productivity and fosters a good work environment. But beyond that, there is a whole host of other benefits to consider. Let’s look at them in more detail:
Higher productivity: Mentally healthy employees tend to be more productive and efficient.
Employee satisfaction: A work environment that values mental health tends to have more satisfied and engaged employees. Here’s a key consequence of this to consider: according to a Gallup study, the absenteeism rate is 37% higher for workers who are not satisfied with their jobs.
Lower employee turnover: Companies that take care of the mental health of their employees tend to have a lower turnover rate. Therefore, costs connected to new recruitment and selection processes are reduced or avoided altogether.
Improved corporate reputation: Commitment to employee wellbeing improves corporate image and attracts top talent.
Enhanced teamwork: Working autonomously is important, but so too is a collaborative environment. Creating a sense of shared wellbeing through teamwork allows employees to feel more connected and supported.
Better business results: It is estimated that companies that commit to mental health initiatives have an ROI 6 times greater than those that ignore them.
Stress, burnout and other problems affecting wellbeing
There are various problems related to mental health in the workplace, for example burnout, that represent significant obstacles to achieving employee wellbeing. Constant pressure, tight deadlines, and high expectations can lead to unsustainable levels of stress and, eventually, burnout.
This not only affects the quality of life of workers, but also represents a considerable cost to companies due to decreased productivity and increased absenteeism. In fact, lost productivity related to mental problems, such as depression and anxiety, is estimated to cost the global economy $1 billion per year, according to the WHO.
What other obstacles make it difficult to nurture a healthy work environment? Some of the most common include:
An inappropriate work-life balance
Toxic work environments
Lack of recognition and reward
Lack of professional development opportunities
Lack of support for stress management
Fortunately, 80% of companies consider mental health and well-being as determining factors for their organizations in the long term, according to the report “Raising resilient: A new generation of workplace is emerging.” But how to move from concern to action? Below, we offer some suggestions.
Recommendations for boosting workplace wellbeing
As we learn more about the subject of mental health, new perspectives are emerging on how employees’ mental wellbeing can be boosted in the work environment. Here are some of the latest recommendations on how to achieve this:
Create more flexible work structures.
Move away from authoritarian leadership models and embrace a participatory communication style.
Create an environment of trust and safety.
Promote development and personal growth plans.
Stimulate a sense of belonging and collaboration.
Design training plans to enhance the soft skills needed by individual teams.
How can L&D leaders help to create healthy work environments?
Learning and development (L&D) leaders play an important role in supporting the mental health of their employees in the workplace. They are responsible for proposing and carrying out training initiatives to improve the well-being of their employees, which form part of any comprehensive wellbeing strategy.
Through the development of key skills, such as emotional intelligence and stress management, L&D leaders can bring about significant changes in their teams. Examples of strategies or resources that can be implemented to maximize such training results include:
1. Personalized training
Personalized training is an approach that recognizes the uniqueness of each employee and team, and their distinct development needs. By making your employees feel like a central part of the training process, you can show them the value they have to the company – an act likely to have a positive impact on workplace well-being.
Gamification is the application of gaming mechanisms, such as point-scoring or levels, to learning processes. Offering courses that incorporate elements of gamification can influence employee wellbeing and behavior by providing a relaxed space where people can experiment, connect with knowledge in a different way, make mistakes and release emotions.
3. Learning by doing
Experiential learning, or learning by doing, turns training into something meaningful, because it more deeply involves learners, generating a connection between what they learn and what they feel. Likewise, it strengthens employees’ capacity for action, translating into greater involvement and participation in work projects.
4. Mindfulness programs
Simply put, mindfulness is about consciously – and non-judgmentally – paying attention to present experience. In a professional context, this means being fully present during tasks and interactions with others.
Mindfulness programs often include breathing exercises, meditation, and tasks to focus attention. These help employees reduce stress and improve their ability to cope with difficult real-life situations.
Boost workplace wellbeing through training with isEazy Skills
As we’ve seen, nurturing the mental health of your team is the key to deepening their emotional commitment to your organization, and keeping them motivated, happy and productive at the same time. Do you want to boost the talent and wellbeing of your employees through training? At isEazy Skills, we can help you to achieve this.
Just as brain-based learning takes advantage of the brain’s innate capabilities to improve the learning process, mental health training works on an understanding of mental and emotional processes to promote workplace wellbeing.
In the same way, through skillful emotional management, the promotion of healthy habits, and the encouragement of a growth mindset, our soft skills training courses will help you strengthen mental health in your teams and boost the workplace wellbeing. Below, you can see a preview of the course “How to Promote Mental Health in Your Company.” Press play and discover what you and your teams can learn with isEazy Skills!