If you have a stake in your employees’ health (and most HR, benefits, and people managers do), you’ve probably already realized that poor mental health among your employees is a massive and complex problem. And the larger your company, the more people who are likely affected by it (we’ll look at some numbers a bit later).
Poor mental health clearly comes at a tremendous cost to the employee who is suffering, but also to your company as well.
Yet because of the complexity of this topic, it can be challenging to address mental health issues in a timely and effective manner. In a recent webinar, we covered this topic in detail. If you'd like to dive right in, you can watch the on-demand recording here. In this post, we'll discuss the barriers to addressing mental health in the workplace and offer a new paradigm for overcoming these barriers.
Take a moment to consider the New Year’s resolutions you eagerly set for yourself at the beginning of this year. Remember that vision of a “new you” you saw parading in your mind?
Now flash forward to the present. Have you been hitting the gym, sticking to your diet plan, and spending more time with your family and friends? If so, good for you. That’s quite a feat. But if not... congratulations! You have a normally functioning response to negatively framed goals. Your neurological pathways for behavior change (or lack thereof) are right on track.
New Year’s resolutions, like many goals we aspirationally set for ourselves, focus on change from an undesired state or behavior to an ideal one. Although we may strive for self-improvement, it’s not as simple as just deciding that we want to be healthier, more generous, and well-balanced people. This process of setting ideals, but failing to reach them is an agonizing, yet very common one.
As an employer, it’s important to understand why you may be seeing performance outcomes by your employees that don’t match your (or likely their) ideals. Just as we all struggle with executing our New Year’s resolutions, employees can also have a hard time reaching their aspirations in the workplace. This is part of the bigger issue that humans can sometimes be our own barriers to achievement and change.
So how can you help employees make real, effective changes to their lives? Read on for a few ideas!