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Supporting Your Employees' Mental Health in the Workplace

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The world is an unpredictable place these days. We all need a refuge where we can get away from the realities that keep us awake at night. The workplace can be one of those places. Your staff should be able to walk through those doors and do their jobs without much drama or pressure from managers and coworkers. The unfortunate fact is that isn’t always the case. A 2021 survey found that three in five employees have experienced work-related stress and a recent survey proved that a startling 77% of employees have experienced burnout over the past year.


If your company isn’t where it needs to be, we’re here to help. We’ve got advice on how important mental health in the workplace can be, how to provide a positive environment, and how managers can provide the necessary support.    

Why Mental Health in the Workplace Is Important

The staff's mental health needs to be the top priority. That’s mostly because your employees should feel secure when they go to work and know that they can complete their tasks without unnecessary stress. If you care about your employees and their well-being, you should naturally want to help them feel appreciated and unburdened.


If that wasn’t enough of a reason, consider that employees who feel better at their desks will also perform to higher standards because they know the company has their backs. This is especially important in customer-facing roles. Because of the recent pandemic and the stress of interacting with unhappy patrons, the mental health of customer-facing employees is more important than ever. If your workers are overburdened or they feel stressed at work, then they may buckle under the pressure or provide poor customer service, and that doesn’t help anyone.


Ensuring that everyone feels comfortable at work means that employees are more likely to stay at your company. Employee retention has many benefits, including strengthened company culture, increased productivity, and improved employee morale. One way to encourage your current staff to stay with you for years to come is to make sure that your employees feel appreciated and that your company culture allows them to thrive. Part of a healthy company culture means having a diverse workforce, which includes people of color and LGBTQIA+ employees, where everyone is treated with respect. It isn’t enough to just hire a diverse set of candidates; you should also ensure that your company culture is supportive.


Your culture can also improve overall employee morale when there’s an awareness of intersectionality and how it matters to individual experience in the workplace. Intersectionality is the idea that people are complex and have multiple, intersecting identities and social characterizations that influence who they are and the challenges they may face. Companies that understand the intricacies of intersectionality can create workplace cultures that are more welcome to all, which is especially important when addressing mental health concerns in the workplace.

How To Support Employees’ Mental Health

You can put numerous programs in place to support employees who may feel stressed or overburdened from time to time. A simple idea is for managers to begin a program of regular mental health check-ins, where employees are given a time when they can speak freely about their concerns and know that their discussions are kept confidential and that they will get the help they deserve. Business owners could also implement an employee assistance program that includes counseling sessions and access to therapists as part of company-offered health insurance


Many employees also become stressed when they have a lot going on at home and their work shifts don’t allow them time to take care of personal issues. To prevent issues there, consider implementing flexible schedules, where an employee may be able to start later in the day or leave early and make up the time later on. In addition to this flexibility, consider providing mental health days, which would be paid time off where the worker can stay home, take care of things, get some rest, and return to work feeling mentally refreshed.


A key component necessary for improving the customer experience and supporting good employee morale is for management to provide the tools the employees need to complete their jobs as easily and efficiently as possible. Individuals who believe their workplace has prepared them adequately for their job responsibilities are more likely to go above and beyond when assisting customers. This means that your patrons will be happier overall, and this positive cycle will benefit your business. If you’re not sure what tools your employees require, then bring them in and ask them.

What To Do If Your Employees Do Show Mental Health Concerns

Many management teams tend to focus on how to prevent mental health issues from occurring in the first place, and that’s important. However, so is understanding how to help your employees when they’re already showing signs of declining mental health. These signs may include increased absenteeism, decreased productivity, low levels of engagement, withdrawal from social situations, or even a combination of several of these issues.


When you notice a difference in an employee's behavior, stop and talk to them. Ask what they need and then help to provide a solution. If the workload is the culprit, lighten their load for now or ask what changes will help them feel less stressed throughout the day. Ensure that they’re taking their breaks throughout the day and encourage them to get outside and take in some fresh air so they can return to a better mental place.


It’s just as important to know what you should not do around someone who is struggling with mental health. Don’t engage in toxic positivity by insisting that they should be happy with what they have. Give the employee space to talk about their needs and be patient. Remember too that not all employees may feel comfortable discussing their mental health needs with you, and respecting boundaries is crucial.


In conclusion, supporting your employees’ mental health by providing a positive and supportive work environment is essential for a successful business. Show your staff that you care, and their appreciation and satisfaction will shine through in their work.

The CareerCircle platform is designed to connect you with the best and brightest candidates who bring unique perspectives and experiences to your team. Inclusion is not just a buzzword, it's a competitive advantage in today's rapidly evolving business landscape. Companies that prioritize equity and inclusion enjoy increased innovation, creativity, and employee satisfaction.

Contact us at and take the first step toward building a more inclusive and successful workplace!

Content Contributor:

Ainsley Lawrence is a freelance writer from the Pacific Northwest. She is interested in better living through technology and education. She loves traveling to beautiful places and is frequently lost in a good book.