Alissa Hawkins headshot Written by: Alissa Hawkins

 5 Ways Leaders Can Prioritize Employees’ Mental Health

As a business leader, so often when we talk about our team, we describe them as a family—a single unit that works together to accomplish its main objective. 

When you think of your team this way, you start to think of each of them more personally, and you think more about what you’ve been through together—the good and bad.

As an employer, you can help your employees prevent feelings of stress and burnout in the workplace by making sure each of your team members prioritizes their mental health.

Here are 5 ways leaders can help make sure their employees prioritize mental health. 

  1. Communicate

First, focus on how to communicate with members of your team. Find ways to show members of your team how much you value their health and their opinions on how to make these a top priority in the workplace. If you offer benefits like therapy and counselors to address the needs of your employees, make sure these resources are made available and communicated often.

  1. Bring Awareness

Talk to your employees often about putting a focus on their own mental health, and share with them your plan to prioritize their health first. Encourage them to seek help from qualified mental health professionals. 

  1. Model Healthy Behaviors For Employees

Share with your team that you are doing things to take care of your daily stress. When it’s appropriate, share your personal experiences with others to help reduce the stigma associated with mental health. Be open-minded and vulnerable. Share that you are going on a walk, leaving your desk and taking a break for clarity and unplugging for the day to avoid burnout—and then stick to it!

  1. Help Your Employees Reduce Stress at Work

Consider doing things like implementing flexible hours or creating hybrid/remote working arrangements that help people reduce their stress in the workplace. One thing we are hearing from candidates is that there’s a greater focus put on life outside of work. There’s no longer a one-size-fits-all approach that will work for every single candidate. Find a method that works best for your team to maintain a level of productivity while also allowing for a life outside of the office. 

  1. Encourage Mental Health Days

Encourage your team to take time for themselves. Last year, toward the end of 2021, our entire team took a day off—we recognized that we needed a break. We learned a valuable lesson, and that’s that the mental and physical health of our employees matters more than anything else, and when we take time to ourselves, we can come back recharged and ready for work even better than before. Schedule these days and offer them in addition to sick days and PTO. 

A leader worth following understands how important it is for their team to take care of themselves, and at the end of the day, that’s more important than the bottom dollar.