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The Importance Of Having A ‘Mentally Healthy Workplace’

Author: Georgia Gregor

Published date: 2022/08

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A healthy mindset is evidently an area we can all agree is what drives a person. It creates and sustains positivity, confidence, and undeniably attention and presence in the workplace. When internal and external stressors, along with mental illness become more prevalent for individuals, it is an employer’s responsibility to assess the mental wellbeing of their workers and be able to take action if and when necessary to motivate and retain productive employees, to stabilise a healthy working environment, and improve their bottom line.

Even when employees are performing at their possible best, stress can prevent anyone from being fully present in their work, this in turn leads to burnout, disengagement, and tarnished relationships within the workplace. So, what can you, as an employer do to help alleviate these issues, make your employees feel their best at work, and drive optimal success through high-performing employees within your workplace? First and foremost, talk about mental health openly and honestly. This will help your business cultivate a safe place for employees, and feeling safe in the workplace is not just about physical safety but psychological safety, too. They should also feel comfortable raising issues and sharing ideas about their work, their roles, and the workplace.

Where do we start? Having a look at the benefits of a healthy workplace, and actively try to incorporate these small adjustments to your business, if you have not already.

The benefits are for working in a ‘healthy workplace’

  • Employees feel respected, supported, and free to speak about concerns or stress.

  • There is a zero-tolerance approach to discrimination.

  • Improved wellbeing and mental health

  • Fewer sick days

  • Greater job satisfaction

  • Increased productivity

  • Increased worker engagement

  • Reduced staff turnover

Incorporating an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) into your business:

Not all employees will feel comfortable reaching out for help. This is why it's a good idea to talk about mental well-being openly in the workplace and provide all staff with access to some kind of support service, even if you're unsure they need it.

If a staff member needs mental health support, you can connect them to your employee assistance program. An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a comprehensive program. Not only does it identify a wide range of issues that affect the work employee’s performance, but it also looks at a person’s emotional, and mental well-being.

By identifying and successfully resolving the external and internal factors, EAP support programs can help the business improve productivity, lower costs, and reduce the rates of absence and presenteeism.

The benefits of an Employee Assistance Program extend to both the employee and the employer.

For Employees:

  • Confidential help from qualified professionals such as experienced psychologists and behavioral experts.

  • The convenience of having sessions conducted offsite or online.

  • The availability of 24/7 assistance for counseling services.

  • Improved work focus and performance.

  • Motivate employees to perform better at work.

  • Discuss financial challenges.

  • Counselling for family-related issues, from relationship management to children and household management.

For Employers:

  • Increase the productivity of employees.

  • Increase employee engagement.

  • Having an Employment Assistance Program developed by experts reduces the burden and stress on the business owner in managing their employees

  • Decrease workplace negativity.

  • Reduce the attrition rate by improving employee satisfaction

  • Greater potential for attracting top talent

If you haven’t already, I would highly suggest looking into incorporating an EAP into your business. There are many websites, and information you can access online if you wish to engage with companies that can provide you with this service.

Mental Well-Being Days:

Wellbeing days are designed to allow employees to take time off to recharge, refocus and allow themselves to come back into work in the right headspace. Make sure staff understand the flexibility you can offer them. Be responsive if a staff member requests leave, confides in you about an issue, or isn’t overly aware of your company’s wellbeing days, or their ability to take these days as sick leave. Draw emphasis to these channels so employees feel comfortable enough to reach out, this also allows higher management to check in and monitor employees – mental illness is just as important as physical illness.

Make your employees feel valued:

Seems like an obvious one, right? Outside of the regular social events, rewarding success and praising those who appear to be doing their best (although, these are super important achievements to compensate for). Being available to lend a guiding hand can speak volumes to a person who needs to reach out for assistance.

It's a good idea to schedule regular meetings or catch-ups with your employees to give them the chance to speak to you about any issues they have. This can also be a great opportunity to hear their ideas for improvements for the business. Creating these relationships with your employees also allows you to pick up on the signs when one of your top performers starts to drop off. It also aids in the ability for an employer to understand their employees, their social abilities when interacting, how they find the most fulfillment within their roles and to be able to explore these ideas with them.

Common stressors at work that you may be able to catch early and help motivate your employees:

  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions

  • A drop in motivation or work performance

  • Becoming overly impatient

  • Having a negative outlook on their position

Some of the signs to look out for:

  • Fatigue or exhaustion

  • Feeling sad, down, or hopeless

  • Feeling anxious and/or afraid

  • Feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope

Checking in:

Talk to your staff, they are a valued asset within your business. Have a genuine sit down and ask how they are going, and what type of support you as a leader may be able to provide to them.

Be open to talking about mental health and well-being in the workplace. You can do this by speaking to your employees regularly (one-on-one, if possible) and being responsive if they raise issues with you.


There are many values to sustaining a mentally healthy workplace and prioritizing mental health. These actions will aid in your business being recognised as a leading company within your field, by improving your business brand and enhancing your company’s reputation in the industry. It will also help to improve and expand the calibre of applicants looking to work within your businesses and allow you to stand apart from your competitors.

These are small adjustments businesses owners and employees alike can take onboard and incorporate into their workplace. Take pride in your workers and colleagues by allowing them to have the full capacity to perform at their optimal best. These tips benefit both the employee and the employer alike, as it goes without saying, a business can only be as good as the employees who work within it.


Georgia Gregor is our Building Services Consultant. You can connect with her on LinkedIn here.