Mental Health & Well-Being in the Workplace
Today’s economic and business environment is demanding more from entrepreneurs, leaders, and teams. So many leaders and businesses are facing continuous change, disruptions to the business, team turnover, and heightened employee and customer needs.
Leaders and team members must reflect, acknowledge, and adapt to both proven and new strategies to better managing their time, responsibilities, and mindset. Lacking this intentional focus can lead to uncertainty, doubt, stress, or other negative emotions. It is extremely important to recognize these and combat them for our own well-being.
In our work, we believe in and have built our vision and mission on holistic performance coaching and work to develop the person, the professional, and the team. In our Team Series and Leader Series, we often discuss the importance of mental health and well-being in the workplace, so when we saw that the U.S. Surgeon General released a new framework for these issues, we just had to share it with you!
In the Surgeon General’s Framework for Mental Health and Well-Being in the Workplace, Dr. Murthy outlines Five Essentials for Workplace Mental Health and Well-Being to help organizations develop, apply, and update processes and practices that best support the mental health and well-being of all workers.
1. Protection from Harm: Creating the conditions for physical and psychological safety is a critical foundation for ensuring mental health and well-being in the workplace. To do this, workplaces can prioritize workplace physical and psychological safety, enable adequate rest, normalize and support focusing on mental health, and practice Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility norms and programs.
Examples of this can include create a safe space for members of the team to try, miss, and learn or what some might call “failing forward”. Or it could be promoting healthy habits and lifestyles within the team.
2. Connection and Community: Fostering positive social interaction and relationships in the workplace supports worker well-being. To promote connection and community, workplaces can create cultures of inclusion and belonging, cultivate trusted relationships, and foster collaboration, teamwork, and having fun together.
Examples of this might include adopting a 100/100 communication approach where anyone on the team can say whatever they wish so long as they are 100% honest and 100% respectful. It could also include scheduling fun activities for the team to enjoy.
3. Work-Life Harmony: Professional and personal roles can create work and non-work conflicts. To promote better work-life harmony, workplaces can provide more autonomy over how work is done, make schedules as flexible and predictable as possible, and respect boundaries between work and non-work time.
Examples of this can include offering flexible hours or split roles, allowing remote work, and limiting emails, texts, and messages to normal business hours only.
4. Mattering at Work: People want to know that they matter to those around them and that their work matters. Knowing you matter has been shown to lower stress, while feeling like you do not matter can increase the risk for depression. To better assure a culture of mattering at work, workplaces can provide a living wage, engage workers in workplace decisions, build a culture of gratitude and recognition, and connect individual work with the organizational mission and meaningful purpose.
•Examples of this include using our Meaningful Decisions Model to encourage honest, open communication and collaboration to enroll everyone on the team in the problem-solving or idea-implementation process.
5. Opportunities for Growth: When organizations create more opportunities for workers to accomplish goals based on their skills and growth, workers become more optimistic about their abilities and more enthusiastic about contributing to the organization. To promote opportunities for growth, workplaces can offer quality training, education, and mentoring, foster clear, equitable pathways for career development and advancement, and ensure relevant, reciprocal feedback.
Examples of this are making sure that roles and responsibilities are assigned and distributed properly among the team. It also may mean showing your team you are invested in them and believe in the by leveraging outside sources for training, development, and coaching.
Centered on the worker’s voice and equity, these five essentials support workplaces as engines of well-being. Creating a plan to enact these practices can help strengthen the essentials of workplace well‑being.
If you want to help ensure your team prioritizes their mental health, check out our Team Series. For years. We have used assessments, activities, and discussions to teach success strategies and to work through tough topics all teams face. We teach teams how to prevent and address the underlying causes of frustration and disfunction so they can protect and enhance their results through holistic performance development.
Similarly, if you’re a leader who wants to be more intentional about prioritizing your own mental health and results, check out our Leader Series. Focusing on self-awareness, mental agility, stress resiliency, and emotional intelligence, the Leader Series helps leaders with:
Communication and coaching techniques, including how to handle emotionally charged conversations
Time management, context management, and organization
Strategic performance planning, business management, and accountability
Wishing you and your team strong mental health and well-being as we approach the holiday season,