Monday, May 29, 2017

Mental Health: Workplace Strategies for Leaders to Pay Attention

mental healthIt stands to reason that the healthier we are, both physically and mentally, the better prepared we are to face the challenges and opportunities of the day – and the more productive we can be. I recently had an amazing conversation with a client about ways that we could improve the health, and specifically, mental health in the workplace. We came up with five strategies that I’d love to share with you.

  1. Set boundaries. As a leader, can you initiate some boundaries within your team dynamics that makes it OK for people NOT to answer their phone at night or weekends when they may be spending quality time with the people they love? Can you make it a policy to limit the off-hours engagement required via email/text and messenger?  Can you encourage your staff to make business time a priority during business time – and family/personal time a priority when they are away from the office or workspace? While it may seem counterintuitive to go against the all-work-all-the-time trend we’ve seen in recent years, science and experience tells us that more balance leads to higher productivity, less burn out, more team cohesion and a happier, healthier workplace.
  2. Work from home. Can you create some flex-time for your team that allows them to work from home occasionally or on set days so they can use that them to hyper-focus on specific tasks away from office distractions? While maybe not for everyone, for many, this shift in atmosphere can be a big boost to managing often weighty to-do lists.
  3. Get outside. Not long ago I worked with a client who had just moved their workspace to a new facility. With the new location, they had an opportunity to create an amazing outdoor space for their team members complete with Wi-Fi, comfortable sitting areas, couches, and shade spots. AND they made it totally acceptable for team members to take their work outside and get a little nature in their day. The results were about what you’d expect them to be. Happier team members, increased productivity and less absenteeism. Sounds like a win-win-win – don’t you think?
  4. Create wellness groups. With so many of us turning an eye to fitness, it’s fun, and engaging to create wellness groups within your organization. The Fit-Bit folks commune with daily and weekly challenges, some host weight loss contests or bring in nutritionists. Can you do the same for your organization? Perhaps bring in a few professionals that can teach your team physical and mental health and wellness strategies that can kick off new initiatives and company focus?
  5. Community service. You know that feeling you get when you do something good for others? Why not encourage that within your organization. I love my client Trinity Health. When they do leadership events, they always include a service project within their community.  It’s a great way to encourage service within their team, and help the communities that surround them. Can you think of ways you can put policies in place that encourage and reward your team members to volunteer and act in service as well?

Need more ideas for how you can improve the overall wellness, stress level and morale of your team? Watch this to learn:
– How to permit employees to set boundaries for after hour work requirements
– How to create a workplace that promotes health and wellbeing
– How to alleviate the stress from disruptions in the workplace.

Here’s to your mental health and well-being and that of your team! If you’d like to learn more about making the most of your team, increasing productivity, attention and profitability – then call me. I’ve got the answers you’ve been looking for!


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