7 Mental Wellness Challenges Seen By HR Managers

7 Mental Wellness Challenges Seen By HR ManagersSecuring mental wellness need sharper focus

While workplaces have noticed the need to shed light on workplace mental health and employee mental wellness systematic proactive approach to training our minds is mostly still missing. Even though it has become a priority for HR managers and team members to address poor mental health at work securing normal mental wellness needs more attention.

What's worrying is that stress and poor mental health in the workplace are widespread, with up to 8 in 10 employees silently struggling and 7 in 10 finding it difficult to focus as they trudge through their workdays. However, the problems don't end with negatively impacting employees' lives. If these issues could be addressed, they can bring up to tenfold ROI.

Today in UK over 12% of workers take time off due to mental health issues. This makes it one of the main reasons for absences.

But, shockingly, there's something even more expensive! Presenteeism. This occurs when employees continue to be present or report to work while feeling unwell or daydreaming.

As a leader, manager, or colleague, it is our duty to be the calmest person in the room and recognize the early warning signs of poor mental health at work before they get worse.

To guide you, we’ve listed below seven wellness challenges seen by HR managers.

1. Constant pressure to perform at peak levels

Employees are under unreasonably high pressure to perform at their best all the time. This without taking the needed to restore one's health leads to employee burnout and mental exhaustion from the increased workload and long working hours.

The thing is that performance isn’t positively related to work hours. The greater the employee’s work hours, the lower their productivity per hour. Long work hours are associated with adverse health, including poor mental wellness, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes.

Employers need to acknowledge this fact and encourage workers to leave after their workday is finished to enjoy time with family and friends. Also, when someone feels depleted it is better to take a mental wellness day right away than suffer later.

2. Low levels of employee support

Employees may feel overwhelmed and unmotivated if managers don't help eliminate obstacles or equip them with the proper resources. Besides computers, phones and other office and physical resources people also need intrapersonal skills to deal with daily challenges.

One of the ways to address this is that managers should illustrate how to complete tasks that employees are unsure of rather than expecting them to figure them out on their own. Also, when a person lacks sufficient skills mind health training and mentoring can provide needed support.

3. Layoffs and economic insecurity

Nothing is more stressful for workers than constant questioning of the security of their jobs, especially as they observe their coworkers being laid off. Many people fear that layoffs are an unavoidable reaction to an economic downturn. Fear paralyzes us and drops productivity.

Worry and stress always contribute to poor health. Your employees' mental health is at risk when they worry about not being able to support their families or service their debts.

Taking time to share some friendly assurance with those you want to keep on your team is always a good idea! Also sharing information about your business results, success stories and setbacks makes sense. As HR managers and business leaders have more data than employees, sharing it in a way that is easy to understand becomes vital.

4. Poor communication and management practices

A positive manager-employee relationship is characterized by kind and engaging management styles and communication methods.

On the other hand, poor communication and practices strain the relationship, leading to toxic workplace culture and increased workplace stress levels that again contribute to poor mental health.

Removing such toxic culture issues is often easier when everyone improves their intrapersonal education.

5. Inadequate health and safety policies

Having available health information and resources is crucial for any company. Workplace health and safety regulations protect the health and safety of workers, visitors, and clients. They safeguard employers as well.

For example, a general policy can stipulate that employers should consult employees on day-to-day health issues or that safe working conditions must be upheld.

While employers often take care of physical safety measures the psychosocial risk factors aren't often considered equally important. However, they matter as reducing external pressures typically improves work results.

While workplace safety matters, we shouldn’t neglect the role of intrapersonal and interpersonal skills. People who know how to focus and lead their attention at will are less accident-prone. Also, when everyone is equipped with good intrapersonal skills it supports interpersonal skills.

When colleagues support each other, work results improve and safety and excellent health become easier to secure.

6.  Little to No Control Over Their Work

Employees in high-pressure positions with limited control over their workdays are especially susceptible to the adverse effects of work.

One way to address this risk is by designing positions with greater flexibility and more autonomy. Here improving work-life integration as a solution matters.

Leaders and HR managers should also erect barriers to prevent micromanagement. Noticing and rewarding personal initiative should be part of successful workplace culture, especially today when remote working is key to keeping your staff.

7. Lack of Engagement

Employees are motivated to perform their jobs well because they appreciate and connect with their work. Engagement can be physical (energy exerted), emotional (a positive attitude toward their careers and a love for what they do), or cognitive (dedicating more attention to their work and being absorbed in their job).

Because they can relate to and are dedicated to the overall success and mission of their workplace, engaged employees feel a meaningful connection to their work.

When engagement is lacking, companies can see:

  • Lower productivity resulting in a negative economic impact;
  • Medical and psychological consequences;
  • Higher employee turnover;
  • Workplace deviance, i.e., withholding effort;
  • Counterproductive behavior.

Unfortunately, most workplaces have low employee engagement levels as we revealed in this recent blog post. Here again, intrapersonal skills become handy and allow people to improve their own work results.

When people are mentally well, they can be engaged and thrive. Too few do great today!

Other challenges with a mental health connection

Aside from these seven mental wellness challenges above, other factors may also contribute to your employees’ poor mental well-being.

Those factors with a mental health connection may include:

  • Bullying, harassment, or violence;
  • Exclusion and discrimination;
  • Unclear job role and responsibilities;
  • Under- and over-promotion;
  • Conflicting home/work demands and poor work-life integration;
  • Lack of growth and development opportunities;
  • Lack of social support;
  • Lack of recognition.

People with calm and fit minds are free from such negative factors that influence team vibes and individual mental wellbeing.

Conclusion: Be the support they need

Until people lack intrapersonal skills having mental health issues at work is unavoidable. Supporting learning intrapersonal skills and your team members is crucial. A fit mind that gets needed support can work well.

Take care of your own mind first! Train it to spot early warning signs and if needed take a day off.

As an employer, manager, or colleague, always also keep an eye out for any team member who might be having mental health concerns. Even if you can’t help them personally, you can always direct them to someone who can.

The first step is usually the hardest, so familiarize yourself with the mental wellness challenges seen at your workplace. Afterward, initiate a conversation with your staff. By approaching them with empathy and kindness, you could have a profound and even life-changing impact on the lives of your team members.

We offer free resources and high-quality mental wellness trainings. Don’t procrastinate, take action to keep your brightest minds well and fit!

Calm mind is like calm forest – beautiful, serene and offering protection

The author of this blog post, written for Wellness Orbit, is Katie Pierce