The Importance of Mental Health Awareness at WorkPlaceLet’s Tackle the Workplace Stigma that Surrounds Mental Health
According to WHO estimates, there is a missing piece in India's economic puzzle which is expected to cause a loss of 1.03 trillion dollars between 2012 and 2030. But what is this missing piece and why does it entail such an immense financial loss?
The answer lies in a topic incredibly close to HCCB’s heart, mental health awareness and wellness at the workplace.
Despite the rise in conversations surrounding mental health in recent years, a damaging stigma still befalls the nation causing great loss to the economy. This presents businesses with a unique question: How do businesses start conversations that destigmatise mental health while also creating mental wellness solutions for their employees?
Why is Mental Health Important in the Workplace?
An individual's work stress can affect the amount of time they spend with their loved ones, and personal stressors can impact the individual's ability to deliver quality work.
The importance of mental health in the workplace is two-fold and depends majorly on how personal and professional lives seep into each other. Though a separation between the two can be made, there continues to be a lot of overlap.
A balance between the two must be maintained to reduce such an overlap. This is why taking care of one’s mental well-being becomes paramount to enable them to fully realise their potential, both personally and professionally.
Common Stressors in the Workplace
A person's mental health deteriorates based on multiple factors; a few stressors experienced in the workplace could be:
Long Working Hours
Long working hours can lead to psychological stress and an imbalance between one’s personal and professional life. This can impact the employee's sleep schedule which leads to weakened cognitive skills, anxiety issues, depression and employee burnout. Due to this, we at HCCB regard our company's growth to be a result of the comfortable work hours we set for our employees.
An increased workload can induce stress that would lead to physical and emotional exhaustion. This exhaustion can lead to multiple mental health problems like insomnia, depression, and burnout.
Increased work responsibility and inadequate pay do not go hand in hand. Any disparity between the two would lead to the employee feeling under-compensated. This distress combined with the worry of not being able to afford therapeutic care can result in the deterioration of the employee's mental health.
Career stagnation and poor remuneration alongside workload and hours can cause employees to feel dissatisfied with their job. This dissatisfaction leads to disinterest resulting in the employee lacking the motivation to advance in their career and being emotionally drained.
Discrimination experienced at the workplace due to the employee's race, ethnicity, disability, social class, caste or sexual orientation can lead to a decline in their psychological well-being due to the prejudice they experience.
What Manufacturing Companies Can do to Improve Employees' Mental Health
Employees are the heart of an organisation. Since employees spend about one-third of their lives at the workplace, there is a certain responsibility every company holds towards their mental well-being. This prioritisation of mental health can be done when certain practices are made routine, such as:
Offering Structured Flexibility
Balancing work and personal lives can be made easy with structured flexibility. The defined work hours at HCCB offer a certain structure to the lives of employees while also giving them flexibility within that structure.
Regular check-ins with employees can help better understand areas in need of improvement and also reasons that may be impacting their work. This can help chart a more effective plan of growth that does not ignore the employee's personal well-being.
Employees thrive in welcoming and safe work environments. One way to cultivate such an environment is through training that increases management sensitivity and destigmatises the negative notion surrounding mental health. This training will enable managers to provide employees with any needed support as well as encourage employees to avail of workplace mental health policies.
Mental Health Coverage
Psychiatric and therapeutic care can be expensive, which is why measures taken to cover these costs alongside mental health leaves can aid employees. The destigmatisation of mental health-related conversations will encourage employees to access any psychiatric or therapeutic care offered to them to improve their well-being.
In-house mental health counselling aids the psychological safety an employee will experience. Onsite counsellors also aid in employee decision-making and problem-solving while helping them view issues from new perspectives.
Diversity and Inclusion
Since experiencing workplace discrimination can dishearten and further affect an employee's mental well-being. HCCB takes initiatives determined to drive inclusivity and diversity at their sites. This can be seen at our recent factory opening in Siliguri, West Bengal, where the plant is led by a primarily-women workforce.
The HCCB Way
HCCB’s leaders and managers are all sensitised to the ongoing mental health crisis in India. Which is why, since the outbreak of the pandemic, the company has incorporated a wellness and counselling telemedicine facility called 1 to 1 HELP within our work from home policy. This facility is meant to help our employees deal with any physical and mental challenges they might face.
HCCB also understands the positive effect of music on mental health which is why our collaboration with BrandMusiq was to curate a “Music for Wellness” playlist with a mix of cheerful and calming melodies to let anyone destress, relax, unwind and further the conversation that mental health matters.
We Recognise that Creating Mental Health Awareness is Important
Each employee has an identity unique to themselves, one that can become increasingly fragile if their mental unrest remains unresolved. As businesses, we must remember that our duty lies in addressing the stigma that surrounds mental health and making our employees feel safe and secure. This is why we must further the discussion of the destigmatisation of mental health and create a workplace environment that holds both mental and physical health in equal regard.