Of all the things overloading our brains throughout our day to day lives, one thing that seems to be overlooked more often than it should is workplace safety. Seeing as we spend a large portion of our time in respective workplaces, our safety should be among our top concerns. From basic cleanliness to our mental health, we should all center more of our attention to making sure every workplace is happy and healthy!
Feeling safe in your workplace is an absolute must. A statistic from the Harvard Business Review shows that since the outbreak of COVID-19 nearly 40% of global employees have stated that no one within their company had asked them if they were ok - and those employees were 38% more likely than others to say they have had a decline in their mental health since the outbreak. Many other statistics show that mental health isn’t being taken as seriously in our workplaces which is showing a vital flaw in workplace safety.
While we look to our peers and the friends we have made in our workplaces, our managers and senior leaders can show big force in keeping the workplace safe and checking in on the mental health of employees. Showing their own vulnerability towards mental health can be a big game changer in setting the tone for others to come forwards and talk about the struggles they are facing in their lives. When employees are striving to show excellence and stay motivated, sometimes it is hard to resonate with the people they are trying to impress. For a manager or leader to show their own weaknesses it can create a place of comfortability for those around them, thus helping others with their own personal struggles.
Strengthening the bonds of employees can be as simple as checking in on people. Asking people how they are doing and how things are going can be a monumental way to ensure better mental health and overall workplace safety. Go above simplicities and basic formalities and genuinely ask employees how they are managing. Even the simple act of listening to someone to the full extent and letting them get things off their minds can help the overall mental health of another employee. It can be incredibly easy to get hyper focused on the tasks and challenges of our daily lives, but reaching out and lending an ear can completely change the tone of another person's week.
A large struggle in daily work life is completing tasks and striving to be the best at what you do. Showing your boss that you are going above and beyond to accomplish things and succeed to further your advancements and overall placement within the workplace. This can become taxing on anyone who is driven and goal oriented. Reshaping the ideals and the structure of some common practices can genuinely help employees who struggle with the idea of disappointing their superiors. Reshaping the standards of sick time, personal time, paid time off and other common practices and alleviate a lot of stress and worry on employees. Helping people focus on their safety and mental health and knowing they are protected while they do what they need for themselves can really change the frame of mind for employees who may suffer from the added stresses and anxieties. Having positive and empowering performance reviews can also help with the mental struggles many have in the workplace. Reframing structures that are already in place to be more impactful and positive can have a bountiful over reward for the day to day lives of workers everywhere.
In times such as these when so much is uncertain it is incredibly important to make sure we as a whole are putting workers and employees first. Mental health can be something that is so commonly overlooked in such places as the workforce, but it is a vital component in ensuring quality results and overall safety for the members of our community that make up the workforce. Taking a few extra steps as a manager or team leader can change the tone and the atmosphere of an environment. It is our job and our duty to make sure we are all doing our part to keep the workplace as safe and healthy as it can be. Mental health is something that many struggle with and struggle even more opening up about. As a leader in any capacity it is your job to make sure you are educating yourself on the steps you can take to help make the workforce a safer and happier place to be.