A workplace isn’t successful simply because of the efforts of those at the top, but because of the well-being and effectiveness of every employee. A major part of the overall well-being of your employees and peers is their mental health.

As leaders, we have to erase the stigma surrounding mental health and realize that we cannot enhance the effectiveness of an organization solely through the measurement and tracking of KSAs or KPIs. The mental health of employees within an organization directly impacts your bottom line. To level-up employee engagement and effectively enhance your human capital, it’s time to realize the connection between good workplace mental health and organizational success.

Executives can play a major role in revitalizing organizational success from the bottom up, starting with addressing mental health as a prevalent issue.

The Consequences of Poor Mental Health in the Workplace

In the modern workplace, leaders and C-Suite executives must begin to recognize mental health as a real workplace and personal concern. With our ability to be connected, many employees experience the need to always be “on” surrounding their work, long after the end of the work day as come and gone.

In the day to day, many people experience feelings of stress and anxiety, with 56% stating that their workplace performance is affected because of it, as found in a survey by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

According to the World Health Organization, unsupported mental health issues may affect individual performance in the workplace in ways such as:

  • Difficulty in making serious decisions or accurately solving problems.
  • A reduction in productivity.
  • An increase in absences due to mental and physical problems that are correlated with increased stress such as burnout, sleeping disorders, and headaches.

Their report also demonstrated how poor mental health can affect teams, including;

  • An increase in tension and conflicts between colleagues.
  • Poor relationships with clients.
  • Longer work hours with less productivity overall.

Find Organizational Success with Mental Health Strategies

Your employees and colleagues deserve to feel supported and challenged within the workplace, without feeling burdened or stressed. Thankfully, some steps can be taken immediately to enhance the mental health supports and resources available in a workplace, starting with a hands-on approach.

Teach Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence (EI) enables an individual to be understanding of the emotions of themselves or others. Within the workplace, effective emotional intelligence development should be accessible to all team members, as it acts as a support for better communication, empathy, and ultimately productivity.

Mindfulness and emotional intelligence are often paired together, as employing mindfulness can strengthen capabilities. Emotional intelligence teachings can be woven into all levels of professional development, including showing leaders how EI can help them better their leadership from helping leaders understand the importance of face-to-face communication, to showing employees how their decisions and actions contribute to the organization as a whole.

Put Mental Health Resources and Support Systems in Place

Adding in a wellness program that is chalked-full of resources and support systems for your employees and peers addresses anxiety and stress not only in the professional sense, but in the personal lives of your team.

For these wellness programs to be most effective, it’s crucial that leaders make them fully integrated into existing employee resources and development processes. A wellness program may include:

  • Access to subsidized therapy, meditation classes, and other mindfulness programs,
  • An allowance of mental health days when needed.
  • Create peer-based support groups to start the conversation about mental health and end the stigmas that surround it.

How Good Mental Health Correlates with Organizational Success

To be a best-in-class organization, leaders must begin to educate – and be educated – on issues surrounding mental health, and how good mental health can increase the success of your company from the ground up. This can be as simple as providing intangible rewards to employees such as praise and gratitude, or as in-depth as sharing your own experience with mental health struggles.

On top of immense personal benefits of a healthy relationship with mental wellbeing, professional organizations can experience successes such as:

Increased Productivity

As individuals within a team find ways to work through their mental health struggles and cope with workplace stress, productivity as a whole in increased. As stress reduction provides clarity, there’s more room for critical thinking and effective problem solving.

For leaders who are looking for ways to help decrease the stress of their team, consider revamping current work processes that enhance efficiency while providing a manageable workflow. As a leader, you are accountable for creating processes that can help or hinder the organization.

Effective Communication

With effective communication comes enhanced understanding in all levels of an organization. When mental health is at the forefront of people’s minds in professional environments, the opportunity to work with compassion and empathy is increased. Mindfulness strengthens your ability to lead effectively, including being mindful of the varying communication styles between team members.

Grow Sustainable Client Relationships

The human capital of your organization has a direct impact on the quality of client relationships. If your team has low morale or engagement, chances are a client will take note. When individual mental health needs are met by supportive systems and access to appropriate resources, they can take charge of their professional relationships and regain their motivation.

This is in part achieved by leaders who actively engage with team members on a daily basis, ensuring that they’re saying “thanks” for a job well done and checking in regularly. When employees are invested in the needs of their clients and the success of their business, organizations can reignite a client’s trust in their abilities to achieve desired results.

For leaders who are looking to take the first steps towards better mental health for themselves and their team today, start by being open about your own experiences. To help eliminate the stigma around the mental health of women executives, I began the Truth Behind Our Titles movement. True thought-leaders in an organization realize that real success starts with bringing mental health to the forefront of workplace discussions and policies.

At East Tenth Group, we strive to put people first when implementing our future-forward services like HR strategies, leadership programs, and one-on-one executive coaching endeavors. Subscribe to our newsletter for our latest actionable insights and content, and connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and TwitterEast Tenth Group, Michelle leverages 25 years of business and experience as a strategic advisor and executive coach to help drive actionable people solutions and provide practical insights on business strategy to senior leaders. she and her team and are fiercely committed to the development and growth of people and companies because we believe that when people thrive, business thrives.

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