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Mental health in the workplace: A complete guide

Society for Industrial and Organisational Psychology of South Africa
Date: 22 October 2020


Mental health in the workplace: A complete guide

The rate of mental illnesses in the work place have increased over the years, mental illness in the workplace leads to decreased productivity, absenteeism, poor work quality and a negative attitude from employees. This article is aimed at employers and employees, to encourage prioritizing mental health well-being in the workplace for a better workplace environment and better performance results.

Importance of mental health in the workplace

Improve work performance- When the employees are happy and healthy, their work usually shows positive results and they are more productive.

Creates a healthy workflow- Employees work well together as a team to achieve the desired outcomes.

Reduces pressure – Employees gain better working skills.

Breaks Mental health stigma- The is still a lot of stigma around mental health and when employers take the necessary stand to view mental health related issues in the workplace it makes it easier for employees to open up.

How managers can make mental health matter in the workplace.

Open door policy – Managers should allow their subordinates to have the flexibility and confidence to come to them should they have any concern or worry. This can be done by creating a good relationship with employees, treating them well and having the best interest at heart for them.

Have enough staff – When you have enough stuff to take on the required job, employees are not expected to take on more than they can manage which then reduces stress.

Talent management – Make sure that every employee has certain work tasks designated to them according to their strong points. When the employee is good at what they do, they are most likely to enjoy it which causes less anxiety and stress with regards to work performance.

Accessibility to Mental health resources- Providing resources that promote awareness can help to create an accessible and positive workplace environment, one that fosters engagement and attracts talent.

Mental health Education- Employees spend 60% of their time in the workplace which means that 60% of their lives have to do with multiple workplace stressors such as deadlines, workload, pressure, anxiety related to job security etc. It is therefore important that employees get on-going mental health education, this can help address issues before they become debilitating.

Employee Assistant Programs – Employers can reduce the impact caused by mental illness in the work place when they put the necessary measures in place, this can include a HR system, a counseling helpline, a psychologist or a counselor that is accessible to employees.

Access the complete guidelines here

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