5 Ways Leaders Can Support Workplace Well-Being

By Emily Bissel

Have you ever wondered how happy employees are at work? 

Well, it turns out that a lot of them are pretty unhappy. 60% to be specific. And when people are unhappy at work, it can affect their overall wellbeing. 

So, what can leaders do to help their workers when they're dealing with problems, worrying about safety, or feeling burnt out? Here’s our advice.


1. Talk about mental well-being

Some leaders might not know how to talk about mental health, so they just don't talk about it at all. But when we don't talk about mental health, it can make people feel like they can't share their problems. And avoiding problems does not make them go away. 

The facts speak for themselves: 

  • 76% of U.S. workers reported at least one symptom of a mental health condition
  • 84% of respondents said their workplace environment contributed to at least one mental health challenge
  • 81% of workers reported that they will be looking for workplaces that support mental health in the future

If we want to improve our workplaces, we all need to talk more about mental health. Even senior leaders should be open about their own struggles. When leaders set the example, others can  feel safe to admit when they're having a hard time or when they need help. Calm says that if everyone is honest, we can make a culture where it's okay to talk about mental wellness.


Inclusivv Tip:

If you’re feeling unprepared for these conversations, read our Beginner’s Guide to Courageous Conversations to learn the essentials for how to support well-being through shared dialogue.


2. Provide mentoring opportunities

Providing workers with a mentoring program encourages connection and communication, which forms the foundation of thriving workplace relationships. When your employees feel connected to others within your organization, they’re much more likely to be engaged in their work. And when an employee has someone they can share their honest thoughts with, they can focus better and perform their best.

Did you know that mentoring others can actually make you feel better too? A study by Harvard Business Review found that people who acted as mentors felt less worried and more fulfilled in their work than those who didn't mentor. So, not only are you helping someone else by being a mentor, but you're also helping yourself.


3. Encourage employee recognition

Did you know that workers love when their bosses say "good job"? Sounds obvious. But, get this, a study found that only one out of every three workers actually gets recognized for their hard work. That's not very many!

Getting recognized for your hard work can make you feel confident that you are doing the right thing. It can make you feel like you accomplished something important and that your leadership values you. 

You can show your employees your appreciation by writing them a nice thank-you note, celebrating them in a Slack channel or offering them a raise.


4. Offer flexibility

Things are always changing, so it's important to keep checking in with your team and yourself. This is especially important when things are transitioning. If you know what's going on, you can help solve any problems that come up. 

Remember your team doesn’t always need the same support. Everyone has different things going on in their lives, so it's best to treat each person as an individual. If someone is feeling stressed about taking care of their kids or working too much, try to find a way to help them out. Maybe they need a more flexible schedule or some time off. Focus on kindness and understanding, and do what you can to make things easier for them. That way, we can all have the space we need to do our best work.

5. Invest in programming and training

Bosses, managers, and workers need to learn about mental health at work. Now, more and more people are struggling with their mental health, so it's important to learn how to talk about it and get rid of any stigmas or assumptions people may have. You can start an ERG group where people can support each other and learn more about mental health, or you can join Inclusivv Membership, a psychologically safe space built on empathy, connection and belonging.

The people who work for your company are the most important part of it, and when you take care of them, you're showing you value your employees' mental and physical health. This makes for a really great work environment.


Tags: Workplace, DEI, Mental Health, Employee Engagement, Well-Being

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