People managers play an instrumental role to foster mental health at work. Their guidance, support, and actions can directly influence their teams’ productivity and overall happiness. This article provides actionable insights on fostering mental health in the workplace and ensuring team members feel secure, respected, and valued.
1. Establish Clear Roles and Expectations
Ambiguity in job roles can lead to team members feeling overwhelmed or stressed. Ensure each team member clearly understands their responsibilities and that these expectations are manageable and regularly updated to reflect any changes.
2. Cultivate Open Communication
Promote an environment where team members feel comfortable discussing work-related stresses and mental health concerns. Regular check-ins, one-on-one meetings, and open forums can help facilitate these conversations and build trust within the team.
3. Advocate for Work-Life Balance
Support and respect the boundaries between your team’s work and personal life. Encourage regular breaks, flexible working hours, and time off when needed. Demonstrating that you value your team’s time outside of work can reduce stress and promote overall wellbeing.
4. Uphold a Zero-Tolerance Policy for Bullying and Harassment
Workplace bullying and harassment can severely impact an individual’s mental health. Establish a zero-tolerance policy for such behaviour and ensure all team members feel safe, respected, and heard.
5. Equip Yourself with Mental Health Resources and Training
Understand the basics of mental health and the signs of common mental health issues. Seek out resources and training that will help you identify when a team member might be struggling and how you can provide support.
6. Champion Diversity and Inclusion
A diverse and inclusive team fosters a strong sense of belonging. Celebrate differences, encourage varied perspectives, and treat all team members with fairness and respect.
As managers, we can positively influence the mental health of our teams by fostering a supportive work environment. Understanding, valuing, and addressing mental health can build a stronger, happier, and more resilient team.