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Last week I discussed what employees should do to reduce work and lifestyle stress that could take a toll on their mental health. In this week’s post, I will comment on what leaders and managers can do from a policy standpoint.

Employees who practice self-care and coping skills like getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising regularly, reciting daily affirmations, breathing deeply when stressed, listening to music or inspiring stories as well as cultivating positive work relationships still may need support. 

If “the great resignation” is an indicator, employee self-care may not be enough to retain talented employees. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in November 2021, 4.5 million individuals quit their jobs. The pandemic has caused many individuals to see the deeper meaning of their work, but the impact of the pandemic goes beyond the basics.

Deidra Thompson, a renowned health professional, states, “a sense of meaning and purpose at work can promote mental health.” However, these demands during the pandemic placed a strain on many individuals, which led to symptoms of anxiety, depression, and even posttraumatic stress disorder.

Therefore, policies and benefits that address current conditions are in order. In the past workplace benefits primarily included retirement and insurance plans. Today’s environment is forcing organizations to explore innovative options for how to meet staff’s needs and strengthen employee mental health.

Psychiatrist with Mind path, Rashmi Parmar, MD, says, “Employee benefits play a key role in making your employees feel valued in their job. It’s like letting them know that as an employer you understand your employee’s needs and want to reduce their overall burden.”

Companies are exploring innovative approaches to manage turnover, value talent, and enhance job satisfaction. Employee assistance programs can play a pivotal role in connecting mental health professionals to individuals who need it. Providing this service can make employees feel that employers care about their well-being.”

Leaders and managers have to recognize the warning signs such as employee absenteeism, illness, irritability, or other undesirable behaviors. For example, employers can offer mental health days, digital timeouts, wellness incentives, career counseling, and life coaching to name a few innovative options. In other words, employee benefits can contribute to a better work-life balance, which could reduce employee stress which translates into higher productivity and happy employees. In addition, it can significantly affect employee retention and the overall success of the employer’s business.

Feel free to share your thoughts about how mental health can impact you in the workplaceTo learn more about my coaching practice visit