Focusing on Your Employees’ Mental Health Can Increase Productivity
~by Rachelle Wilber~
If an employee broke his or her hand or suffered a serious open wound, you would want to make sure that he or she was treated right away. This is because an injured worker is one who won’t be as much value to the company. The same is true of a worker who may be battling a mental health issue. Addressing and resolving the issue as soon as possible can help that person get back to peak productivity.
Mental Health Affects Focus
An individual who is dealing with a mental health issue might be more focused on outside distractions instead of the work that he or she is paid to do. In addition to getting less done each shift, he/she may pose a danger to others. This is because a distracted person may be more likely to forget to turn a machine off or forget to clean a work area that has been contaminated with chemicals. In such a scenario, you may have to spend more time tending to the injured worker or making a work area safe for use again.
Those With Mental Health Issues May Feel Unvalued
If a worker is depressed or is suffering from symptoms of depression, he or she may not feel valued at work. This may occur even if that person has been recently recognized for his or her contributions or is otherwise liked and respected at work. When an individual doesn’t feel cared for or respected, he/she may stop working as hard or may not show up for work at all. The result could be a larger workload for everyone who does show up to work each day. Over time, they may suffer from burnout and experience symptoms of depression themselves. Therefore, it is in the best interests of an employer to deal with a worker’s mental health issues before they have a negative effect on morale within the entire company.
Let’s say that one of your workers was charged with DWI because he or she tried to drive home after spending all night at the bar. By showing your support for that worker, he/she may come to see you as an ally in the legal and personal battles that he/she may have to face in the future. Recommend that they talk with a DWI attorney to help them through the situation. Voicing and showing support for a worker going through a hard time may provide enough hope for that person to turn his or her life around. If successful, that person may then tell others about the employer that doesn’t give up on people when they have challenges in their lives. That message could boost morale within the workplace and make your people work harder for you.
Some Employees Are Unaware of Their Mental Health
In some schools of thought, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a mental health issue that may cause problems for both children and adults. However, that doesn’t mean that a person with this condition is a bad person or a bad worker. It just means that he or she was either never diagnosed with the condition or didn’t know that an adult could suffer from it. In some cases, a single pill a day or other modifications can turn an employee who was once thought to be unreliable into an asset for the business.
Today, a progressive employer is one that addresses both the mental and physical health issues that its people may deal with. Spending time and money on mental health issues may increase productivity as well as reduce violent outbursts or other dangerous situations that your workers may be exposed to.
Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym.
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