In 2020 and 2021, 15% of Australians aged 16–85 experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress. This was even greater in the under 34 cohort, with one in five Australians being affected.
Chances are, your organisation has a few employees who are experiencing stress and anxiety. So how can you ensure that everyone is equipped to manage their mental health in the workplace to maintain wellbeing and productivity?
We’ve highlighted five ways you can get started.
Prioritise your own mental health
As with most things in business, employee wellbeing starts at the top. Leaders should be comfortable discussing mental health and make an effort to maintain a work-life balance.
Set an example employees can follow. By showing that you take your wellbeing seriously, others will too. And they may even feel motivated to address the root of their stress or anxiety.
Work on communication
According to Harvard Business Review, employees who felt their managers were not good at communicating were 23% more likely to have problems with their mental health during the pandemic.
Creating a culture that prioritises mental health and open communication helps mitigate the stigma that comes with struggle and ensures a healthy work environment for all employees.
With working from home now becoming more and more common across Australia, there are greater opportunities for organisations to adjust to their employee’s needs.
In an interview with Beyond Blue, Dr Oliver Black, Honorary Fellow of the Department of Management at Deakin University, commented on the potential of flexible working arrangements for mental health.
“Several aspects of your employees’ lives are likely to be changing at the same time so it’s important to support them. That might mean letting them work a little differently, where that’s possible.”
Boost employee resilience
Resilience helps your employees better cope with change and challenging situations. Instead of being paralysed or discouraged, resilient individuals are capable of quickly shifting gears. They bend, rather than break.
By focusing on fostering resilience, your employees will be able to cope better in times of uncertainty and high pressure. This means that they will be better prepared, with effective strategies for dealing with such situations.
Boost emotional intelligence
While individuals with greater emotional intelligence still experience anxiety, they are far better equipped to embrace it. With greater self-awareness, they are able to recognise and manage emotions, as well as triggers that may heighten stress or anxiety.
With greater intrinsic motivation, they are able to stay focused and determined, even in the face of setbacks.
And with a greater ability to empathise with others and form meaningful connections, they have stronger support networks in times of hardship.
Emotional intelligence can be a powerful tool in your arsenal, helping your employees better manage their stress and anxiety in the workplace.
Looking for more ways you can help reduce employee anxiety in the workplace? Talk to our emotional intelligence experts – we’ll be happy to help you find a solution that’s suitable for your organisation.