4 Ways To Show Your Employees That Mental Health Matters

By Glenn Stearns
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4 Ways To Show Your Employees That Mental Health Matters

An open letter from Glenn Stearns, CEO of Kind Lending

Ok, underdogs. It’s time we had a talk.

What do you know about mental health? Many of us hear it being thrown around, some of you may have even taken steps to work on yours. If you have, well done! If not, that’s ok too.

I want you to take a moment and really think about this next question.

How are you doing?

I know, I know. It’s a question we’re asked multiple times a day. You and I probably have the same knee-jerk reaction. A quick exchange of “Fine. How are you?” and you’re on your way.

I’m not necessarily telling you to spill your guts to the first intern who catches you in the elevator, but really think about the people in your life that you’d give an honest answer to.

It’s one of the most important questions you can ask yourself. Do it every day if you need to.

What’s important is that you’re aware of your own wellbeing.

I like to think of health as a car. The car’s physical health — that’s its engine. It’s what allows the car to move forward. Your engine is what keeps you moving, and it gets most of the attention.

The car’s structure — it’s chassis; that’s your mental health. You can slap the greatest engine in the world into a car, but if that car’s rusted in half…

Well you get the idea. Physical health is great. It’s how we get work done, how we move forward. It’s mental health that sometimes goes by the wayside, and I’m here to tell you that if

you’re smart, you’ll keep it as sharp as you can.

Here’s why.

How Mental Health Affects Your Work

Healthy employees are the backbone of a company. When your employees are in distress, whether it’s from being overworked, subjected to toxic office culture, or something more

personal in nature — that stress is bound to show in the quality of their work.

In study after study, over-stressed employees consistently showed increased absence and decreased productivity. One of those studies, conducted in the UK, revealed that 30-40% of

sickness absence can be directly attributed to mental health issues.

You’re already putting in the work to keep your employees physically healthy. It’s time to start treating their mental health with the same urgency.

Remember. Stressy workers are messy workers.

How To Make The Most Of Mental Health

I know what you’re probably saying. “Glenn, this is all great to know, but what am I supposed to DO about it?” Well I’ve got a couple of ideas, but I’m no expert, so I’ll do you one better:

Here’s the recommendation of the American Psychological Association.

First, make sure your managers are promoting health and wellbeing. A safe office is one where everyone knows that their health comes first. Team members that are willing to go the extra mile

are a blessing, so reward their efforts by making sure that they aren’t pushing themselves too hard.

Second, give your employees options. I understand that some jobs require rigid hours and in-person discourse, but if the pandemic has taught us one thing, it’s that there’s always

flexibility. If you see that someone could be doing their job remotely or aren’t needed in the office certain days of the week, give them the option of working from home. Trust me. Even if

they don’t take you up on it, they’ll appreciate the offer.

Third, take a look at your health insurance policies. If your plan predates facebook, it might be time to take a look at some more up-to-date and mental health conscious alternatives.

Fourth, listen to employee feedback. You’re running a business, not a sweatshop (hopefully).

The best way to know what’s going on with your employees is to listen to their needs and seriously consider their feedback. If you start hearing patterns, that’s how you know you have a problem.

The best managers are aware of what’s going on in their office at all times. So make sure you’re taking good care of yourself AND your employees. They’ll appreciate your attention, and you’ll

be surprised to see how a little bit of caring can go a long way.

Until next time, underdogs...

Signing off,