According to the « Institut universitaire de recherche en santé mentale de Montréal » mental health related disabilities in the workplace cost nearly 14% of the annual net profits of Canadian companies, which represents a staggering $ 16 billion annually.
Did you know that it’s possible to minimize the costs associated to these absences by implementing appropriate organizational policies, programs and practices? Being able to recognize the first signs of psychological distress, addressing these issues and providing employees with appropriate support can often be enough to help avoid an expensive period of disability.
Is your workplace at risk?
By identifying the risk factors in the workplace you will be able to put in place the right practices and resources for the employees who may need them. Risk factors can be as varied as the solutions put in place to mitigate them, for example:
- In an industry that promotes performance, with high stress levels and important peak periods, some employees may feel overwhelmed by work flow and high expectations. To help them maintain their self-confidence and feeling of competency you can set up stress management workshops for employees, and ensure that managers are available to listen and provide solutions so employees feel supported.
- In a context of constant change, the uncertainty can be disconcerting and some employees may feel that they are being subjected to a change over which they have no control, rather than taking an active part in it. Open and frequent communication, as well as the active participation of all stakeholders in the change is important to facilitate the transition.
- Work that does not leave much room for initiative and/or creativity, by the very nature of the tasks performed, can also demotivate some employees. It is important, as a manager, to help the employee find meaning in his/her work, to identify realistic goals to be achieved in order to motivate him and to explore other areas where his contribution could be recognized (organization of social activities, training new employees, special projects, etc.)
The important thing here is to take the time to not just identify the risk factors but also and above all to suggest solutions that work for your employees. There is no point in putting in place a bunch of different measures that do not meet their needs.
Managers have a key role to play
They are the ones who are best placed to recognize high-risk personalities in their work teams, to notice a change in the behavior of an employee or who can intervene at the beginning of a conflict that could worsen between two colleagues. Managers must be sensitized and equipped to deal with these issues as they arise. They will then be able to guide their employees so that everyone participates in an organizational culture focused on a healthy working climate throughout the entire organization.
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