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The Global Workforce and Mental Health: Best HR Support Practices

Mental health in the workplace has become a top priority for a lot of companies. However, it is still new ground for many of them as new methods and policies are continuously adopted to help aid employees in their mental struggles. Here we’ll discuss some best HR practices and how digital signage can help improve employee experiences and engagement.

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Mental health used to be a stigmatized, taboo topic. Even now that it’s not, some employees battling work-induced mental health struggles are still fearful of speaking up, for risk of being perceived as negative, or lacking resilience.

The net cost of this on employee experience and retention? Burnout tops the list of reasons why people leave their jobs, according to Inc.

However, since the pandemic, the great resignation and the shift in the modern workforce’s priorities, a newfound awareness has been created in the workplace - and supporting employees with their mental health issues has become a top priority among 92% of employers, according to the 2022 State of Mental Health research.

The impact of mental health on employee experience

Although mental health was a prevalent topic pre-pandemic, it was untouched ground in the workplace. But with the increased awareness, companies are continuously learning and adjusting their internal communications and health strategies to address the work-related factors that impact employees’ mental health.

Accordingly, the mentioned 2022 State of Mental Health research shows that 37% of employees reported that work-related stress took a large toll on their mental health in 2021.

So how can HR teams effectively address work-related factors with workplace digital signage - to aid mental health among employees during 2022, and the years to come?

Improve internal communication and mental health strategies

Creating open conversations and awareness of mental health in the workplace can make employees feel more comfortable about speaking to their managers about the issue at hand.

Employees that feel unsupported are 70% more likely to experience burnout.

What can bring down this figure dramatically? It’s simple (in theory, at least) - open dialogue between employees and management. It’s simply the best way HR and managers can gain an understanding of the spectrum of mental health issues that employees face.

Once they have that earned understanding, a well-placed mental health policy can be implemented to ensure that the employees’ health needs are catered for.

Moreover, if there are mental health plans - or even in-house counselors available - HR or direct team managers must consciously communicate the availability of these benefits to their employees.

Instead of circulating mental policy in paper-back binders - or setting up multiple training sessions to cater to different departments - these can be communicated with digital signage’s centralized communications; mental health training sessions, for example, can be broadcasted live across widespread teams or offices.

Reassess workloads and respect boundaries

One of the biggest culprits that create work-related stress among employees is excessive workloads that are ineffectively managed. An added stressor is that 57% of employees feel that they need to be available 24/7 to their employers.  

When managers step in to help with relieving or managing workloads, 32% of employees are less likely to experience burnout. Also establishing and respecting boundaries will give employees the freedom to tend to their personal matters and focus on their health.  

Show support for employees who suffer from mental health

Mental health awareness and support is essential, not only for those who suffer from poor mental health, but also for other colleagues and managers sensitive to and responsible for understanding what others around them are going through.

Mental health doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t matter where in the hierarchy you are. Around 53% of healthy workplaces’ leaders speak openly about mental health, positively influencing employees - either by empowering them to speak out about their own experiences, or by cultivating empathetic alliances with their colleagues.

The net impact of these - excuse the cliche - ‘synergies’, is that employees are almost half as likely (40%) to burn out when having close allies who they sense understand their situation.

Equal flexibility in the workplace

Many companies have shifted to remote or hybrid work to enable more flexibility among employees, however, deskless workers continue to suffer the brunt of the lack of flexibility which has detrimental impacts on their physical and mental health.

When deskless employees feel unwell or are having off days due to their mental issues, these are often unseen or unheard by management as 70% of deskless workers have gone to work when being sick. The result is that employees don’t feel valued or cared for and end up leaving. 

Employees, whether deskbound or deskless, need to have the same opportunity for flexibility. While the scope of work may not offer it, alternative ways by including employees to have a say on their schedules, workload and hours can help create a better work-life balance for them. 

Implement effective communication systems for health and safety policies

Insufficient communication of health and safety policies can become a major stressor for employees when they’re not aware of the corrective procedures to follow in case of emergencies.

Digital signage solutions and industrial screens around the workplace can relieve these stressors with frequent displays of the company’s health and safety protocols that keep employees informed and assured that their safety is of concern. 

Encourage group self-care activities to improve employee engagement

There are many creative ways to cater to those who suffer from mental health. Digital signage can make it especially simple for employees to virtually reach and improve employee engagement or just for companies to promote activities to relieve employees from stress and anxiety.  Some other ideas are:

  • Broadcast fitness and exercise classes at a specific time during the week
  • Display new and healthy meal recipes daily in break rooms (but also make sure the ingredients are available)
  • Encourage the practice of meditation or mindfulness tips that can be looped during the day around the workplace on industrial screens

ScreenCloud’s digital signage and hardware solutions should be an extension of your company’s internal and mental health strategy. Get your demo today to see how you can better support employees' health in the workplace. 

 SC Gradient

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