90,000 hours at work. That’s how much time the average person spends at work. It translates into employees spending one-third of their lives at work. Studies show that 76% of employees experience moderate to high stress levels and in businesses with unhealthy work cultures, employers are likely to experience lower productivity, higher employee turnover, and reputational damage.
Even though these figures call for significant improvement, workplaces are still falling short when offering employees the right support and interventions to build their mental wellbeing at work.
One of the many reasons employers fail to make an improvement is because the interventions they implement are riddled with common mistakes that can end up impacting employee mental wellbeing negatively. By addressing these mistakes and taking the necessary steps to create a better work culture, businesses can establish thriving workplaces.
From the isolation of working remotely to excessive workloads, employees today are plagued by several factors that are affecting their mental wellbeing at work. To their credit, many businesses have taken measures to address these rising problems and introduce interventions designed to help better workplace wellbeing.
However, the problem arises when the interventions being implemented are paving the way for common mistakes, which, if left unchecked, could create a much more challenging situation for employees to deal with on a regular basis.
Here are a few mistakes that most organisations make when implementing a mental wellbeing strategy in the workplace.
Drawing attention to mental wellbeing during a dedicated week during the year is great, but your focus needs to go beyond events and take on a more regular appearance. Employees don’t focus on their mental wellbeing for one week so neither should your interventions. Keep an eye on your employees throughout the year and make mental wellbeing a part of your daily routine.
With innovative new systems and processes being promoted, employers often want to be seen as trailblazers. But what if ‘new’ simply distracts us from what’s essential like managing workloads, good job design, and creating a better management culture? Neglecting the essentials can sometimes have a negative impact on employees and overshadow your successes in other areas.
Most of the time employees are frustrated because organisations don’t follow through on their promises. Decision-makers need to walk the talk and deliver. More often than not, employers fail at being the role models they claim to preach. If you say that easing workloads helps mental wellbeing but pack on the tasks, then what are you ultimately saying to your employees?
Before you start implementing a new strategy to boost mental wellbeing at work, think about everything that’s already in practice and failing. Remove everything that prevents employees from feeling good and being their best selves, whether it’s endless meetings, poor management, or micro-management. Before adding a new wellbeing strategy, think about what you can remove.
Burnout is a leading cause of mental wellbeing and organisations need to help their employees make the necessary changes to protect against it. Our free guide—understanding and tackling rising rates of employee burnout in workplaces—explores the causes of burnout and how employees can overcome it.
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