Creating a Supportive Company Culture
One in 5 Canadians experience mental health issues, and that should be a huge concern to employers. Depression and anxiety are the most prevalent conditions affecting employees in the workplace. While mental health concerns were previously thought of as private issues, there’s a strong business case for addressing employee mental health. According to the Mental Health Commission of Canada, mental health issues cost Canadian workplaces over $6 billion annually in lost productivity. Employees suffering from mental health issues not only miss work due to stress, but even when they’re at work, they may have trouble delivering their best work.
The Mental Health Stigma
Mental health can be a difficult topic to discuss in the workplace. Too often, people fear the consequences of speaking out about mental health issues. They worry that making such issues known will impact their career or social status, causing them to be viewed as weak or unfit for the job.
Employers can play an important role in supporting employees by creating space for an open dialogue and providing resources to support mental health awareness. You’ve probably heard of Madalyn Parker, the woman who bravely wrote an email to her team announcing she was taking a couple days off to focus on her mental health. Her CEOs positive response went viral and sparked a national conversation about mental health in the workplace.
So, how can employers help employees deal with mental health struggles in the workplace?
Reduce the Stigma
Simply making it ok for employees to discuss their mental health issues, or state that they are stressed at work is the first step towards reducing the stigma surrounding mental health. Too often employees don’t want to discuss these issues for fear of appearing weak or incapable of doing their job.
Hosting a mental health awareness day and offering employees custom t-shirts decorated with mental health slogans is one way to bring company-wide attention to an issue that is often in the shadows. This simple and affordable act can make employees feel more comfortable talking about their own mental health struggles.
Custom t-shirts have an incredible ability to unite individuals around a common cause. When everyone is wearing the same custom t-shirt featuring a positive slogan, those who are affected by mental health issues (again, 1 in 5 Canadians), are less likely to feel ostracized and instead can feel supported by their co-workers and their organization, knowing that they aren’t alone.
Focus on Early Prevention
The workplace is loaded with stressors. From workload to pressing deadlines, restructuring of teams, interruptions by co-workers and managers; it’s no surprise stress is so prevalent in our society. Educating employees with methods to cope with stress before it becomes an issue can help. Here at Entripy Custom Clothing, essential oils are an important part of our corporate culture and are used to help combat feelings of stress and anxiety.
Colour theory also plays an important role in Entripy’s mental health prevention prescription. Colour theory follows the idea that the colours an individual is exposed to affects their emotions and their mental health. Entripy’s office is painted orange and green. Orange for its motivating properties that promote feelings of enthusiasm, happiness and encouragement and green for its healing properties that promote harmony, freshness and a stable environment.
Encourage an Active Lifestyle
An active lifestyle can help to conquer many mental health issues by building mental resilience, improving cognitive function and reducing stress. Wellness programs are also an important part of Entripy’s employee benefits program, allowing every employee a yearly health and wellness allowance that can be used towards a gym membership or the purchase of fitness equipment.
There are many ways companies can show their support for a healthy lifestyle and encourage employees to get active:
- Provide employees with custom performance apparel featuring your company logo to encourage physical fitness. Throw in a custom gym bag featuring your company logo to show your company’s dedication to physical fitness.
- Host a competition to win a free Fitbit or a membership to a local fitness facility.
- Organize an employee lunchtime walking club or lunchtime yoga classes.
- Form a corporate sports team to encourage a little friendly competition among co-workers.
Integrating employee mental health in your corporate culture is not only part of creating a supportive and positive environment, but can help your company bottom line by reducing absenteeism rates and turnover and improving employee productivity.