Workplace performance and mental health go hand in hand. As the conversation around mental health becomes more prevalent in the workplace, it’s important to understand how your company addresses the mental health needs of its employees. Lack of resources and communication surrounding mental health can result in absenteeism, reduced productivity and poor attitudes.
It’s no secret that many employees are stressed and burned out due to lack of support and management of mental health at work. In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, account coordinator Carson Brown shares 4 ways to ensure your team are taking care of themselves so they can bring the healthiest version of themselves to the workplace.
1. Allow flexibility for your team
While grinding out tasks into the late hours may seem noble, it can easily lead to burnout. Challenge your team to take regular breaks to recharge and regroup. It’s important to understand that work is not the only force in motion in your team’s world. Allowing them time to take care of other needs like appointments, time-sensitive errands or simply taking a walk outside ultimately builds trust and can increase employee retention and engagement. Our team routinely shares when we will be away from our computer so we have the freedom and trust to make doctor’s appointments, oil changes, and grocery runs during the day!
Don’t forget to encourage team members to use their vacation time and to develop a return-to-work process so that employees who need to take a leave of absence always feel supported upon return.
2. Regularly communicate needs and resources
It is imperative for company leaders to recognize the signs of emotional or mental distress in their teams. Noticing burnout symptoms becomes significantly more challenging if there is not an established open communication standard. Pierce PR makes two-way communication a priority with our “quarterly one-on-one check-ins” between agency leadership and individual team members.
Check-ins encourage our team to communicate about challenges, personal development opportunities, and many other topics in an ongoing way. It also allows our leadership the opportunity to relay any observations that could be contributing to our performance such as work load, team functionality and attitude, and potentially assess if we are at risk for burnout. Check-ins create a safe space to get the additional organizational support employees need to reduce, not just manage, stress before reaching a breaking point.
3. Coordinate team outings
One of the best ways to support your team’s mental health is by organizing company outings. As a primarily remote team, we always look forward to spending time together at dinners and work dates at our favorite Nashville coffee shops as often as possible. Whether it’s playing games or making time to chat, even over Zoom, having non-work related experiences with coworkers can build trust and deepen employee connections.
A few Pierce PR team members at our favorite Nashville restaurant, Nada.
4. Practice gratitude
One of Pierce PR’s core values is to “Be Grateful.” We believe intentionally showing our appreciation for one another is of the utmost importance to our team’s overall success. A simple “thank you” goes a long way during a busy day and should never go unsaid. It’s rewarding to receive gratitude from your peers and leadership but is equally beneficial to dish it out as well!
Carson Brown is an Account Coordinator at Pierce Public Relations.