When asked to train a professional footballer, what would be your approach? My best bet is to upskill their physical strength such as stamina, speed, and in particular, how to protect themselves from injuries. Why? Because it is an occupation with a 90% focus on physical demand.
Now for most office jobs, chances are the demand placed upon employees are roughly 10% physical and 90% mental. With that logic, it is not uncommon that a large portion of work-related issues that employees struggle with are linked to mental health, such as anxiety, burnout, depression etc.
However, the sad fact is, under the influence of the stigmatization of mental illness and the inadequacy of relevant knowledge in workplace, employees are highly likely to be spurned for seeking help in such regard.
According to this year’s AXA PPP Healthcare survey, two thirds of the managers do not believe that stress, anxiety or depression is a serious enough reason for employees to take time off work.
It’s not a problem you created, but it will be your dime
Now as an HR professional or an employer, you may ask: Is it not their own responsibility as an adult to take care of their mental health? I’m their boss, not their babysitter.
While it is true that a grown-up should posses the intrapersonal skill to check in with his/her state of mind, the reality is that most of them don’t. It was, and still is a gap left by educational institutions, but to overlook that issue will only put the company in disadvantage, if not chronic demange on its human capital.
This year Forbes released a research on mental wellness which shows two in five organizations reported an increase in stress and mental health conditions that has contributed to staff absenteeism.
Address the elephant in the room: Have everyone a dose of mindfulness training
“It is a mistake to think that employees simply need more motivational training, team building exercises or gym memberships,” said Dr Helena Lass, a practicing psychiatrist and the founder of Wellness Orbit. “People are are overwhelmed with stress, burnt out or struggling with handling their inner mental reactions.”
The solution? Start including mental wellness and intrapersonal skills into the spectrum of employee training.
One of the Big Four Accounting firms PwC has thrown themselves into the thick of wellness training by having six different wellness programmes pan out throughout the year. A simple example would be having their senior partners to speak about their approach to mental health openly, as an effort to get rid of the stigmatization of mental illness in the workplace.
Wellness training could be the game-changer
The promotion of mental wellness in workplace is still in the midst of pioneering, but this also means companies have a real chance to reform society by becoming worldwide educators that pave the path to a community with high-functioning members who are in great mental shape.
Foodie, cat aficionado, beach enthusiast, journalism graduate and content marketer at Jobable.com
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