May is Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and it’s a good time to think about prioritizing mental health in the workplace. The American Psychological Association (APA) recently published an article highlighting the importance of mental health in the workplace, and I couldn’t agree more.

As the article states, mental health affects not only the individual but also the organization as a whole. When employees are struggling with mental health challenges, it can lead to decreased productivity, increased absenteeism, and higher turnover rates.

But it’s not just about the bottom line. Prioritizing mental health in the workplace is simply the right thing to do. We spend a significant portion of our lives at work, and we deserve to feel supported and valued in our mental health journeys.

Mental health can sound like a heavy subject, but it doesn’t have to be. There are many ways to support your employee’s mental health and wellbeing. One of those ways is to provide a system of support such as coaching. Not everyone needs the help of a mental health professional, but everyone needs an outlet to work through stress and work challenges in a productive way.

Let’s take this Mental Health Awareness Month as an opportunity to make real change in our workplaces.

Read the full APA article here: #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth #WorkplaceWellness #MentalHealthMatters

The Benefit of Developing Self-Managed Employees

The Benefit of Developing Self-Managed Employees

The best workplaces are those where the owners, managers, and operations staff are all on the same team and are looking for the best in themselves and their coworkers. In the same way a professional sports team has individual coaches, your team needs individual coaching in effective teamwork. Many businesses employ coaches for their management teams, but employee teams also need coaching. While your management team uses coaching to improve profits, employees need training in self-management, so your managers spend less time dealing with the prickly issues surrounding people management and more time attending to business growth. There are tools available to help employees manage many workplace stressors without involving your managers.

Almost all employees start their jobs engaged; they are hopeful that they are starting a long-term and productive relationship. Over time, though, the “honeymoon” ends, and the employee has a loss of engagement. Gallup research has found that 81% of employees have difficulties with engagement, and while there are multiple factors that lead to disengagement, with the biggest being unresponsive management, even in companies with involved and responsive managers employee turnover is a costly problem. A significant reason for employee turnover in well-managed companies is disengagement caused by a lack of tools to cope with common workplace stressors.

A good manager will work to mitigate the normal stresses of a new job, providing plenty of time for training and clear expectations, but managers have little control over the internal condition of employees. Because of the inherent inequality of the manager/employee relationship, most employees will avoid discussing a negative internal condition with their manager. A lot of workplace frustrations happen out of the manager’s view: interpersonal conflict, gossip, navigating new relationships, and internal friction that is unique to each person. Even if your managers are managing everything well, many employees lack the necessary tools to navigate these challenges. Managers may not see clear signs of disengagement until it has advanced too far to reestablish engagement.

One solution for equipping employees to navigate some of these challenges is informative workshops, which tend to be packed full of information with a small time investment. However, lasting change is often not seen because the rate of learning is so intense. Human growth is typically improvement over time in smaller increments and every individual has a rate of change that is unique to them. This is where coaching can be of benefit to you, your managers, and your employees. Bringing in a third party who is trained to provide the necessary tools, and who engages with the employee in a private and safe space with attention to that individual’s unique way of growing, will result in improvement in conflict management, communication skills, stress resilience, and will increase positive interactions among your staff, which will improve productivity and create a more dynamic, creative workplace.