Health of the Employees – not only well-being and impeccable condition
Health at work is more and more often discussed. We all want to feel good. We are also talking more and more openly about mental health. We want to take care not only of impeccable condition, but also of a smile on our faces. It is worth looking at how work influences us. To think about how to take care of employees’ health in the workplace – not only physical, but also mental.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines mental health as a state of well-being in which a person develops individual potential, works and is active in his community, as well as copes with everyday stress, both in private and professional life. In turn, research conducted by the same organization indicates that there are about 300 million people suffering from depression worldwide, and another 260 million of those suffering from anxiety disorders, which means that the global economy costs a billion dollars a year. Therefore, it is impossible not to pay attention to the relationship between the mental condition of employees and their productivity. However, it is important to understand that this workplace can also affect our health.
Risk factors in the workplace
The risk of psychological problems in the workplace is primarily caused by the inability to adapt working hours to individual needs or the burden of duties. The latter may be both excessive and insufficient in the opinion of the employee. Problems at work also appear as a response to the ambiguous division of roles and unclear goals of task implementation.
Therefore, the role of manager or leader appears crucial in this matter. It is the supervisor who has a direct impact on the team, and they are responsible for building correct relations in it. Poor leadership and communication as well as insufficient emotional support are also other factors. In addition, employees mention disrespect and recognition, unfair treatment, favoring selected people, or depreciating efforts. Employees’ allegations also show little involvement in the decision-making process, which is explained by the desire to feel responsible and efficient.
While this is being said more and more often, the link between mental health and health in general is rarely seen. Meanwhile, anxiety, depression or neurosis disorders are often accompanied by problems with hypertension, sleep disorders, headaches and heart disease. As with any disease, whatever the cause, the effect is always the same. Our performance, concentration, creativity and motivation decrease, which makes us work slower and slower or do not work at all on sick leave. There are also mistakes and accidents at work, loss of control over entrusted tasks, inability to make decisions or effective planning. Our malaise also affects the deterioration of relationships in the team and with customers, and thus weakens the company’s image.
How to care for employees’ health?
So, what to do to protect mental health of the employees? There are many proven ways and models of actions that any company can implement. At the beginning, however, you should start by introducing the appropriate policy and accompanying rules of conduct, primarily concerning safety. The lack of such rules in the workplace can also lead to the appearance of such phenomena as mobbing or harassment. This undeniably has a negative impact on the human psyche and emotional stability. You don’t even need to mention the other problems arising from this, such as legal consequences, the breakup of the team or the loss of a good image by the company.
Employers can be assisted by external experts in creating internal policies. A good idea is also to invest in the organization of workshops or lectures on such topics as mobbing, harassment or discrimination, e.g. due to origin, religion or gender. These types of activities provide the opportunity for open conversation and recognition of dangerous phenomena and abuse. It is easier to react and counteract such phenomena. The very fact that the employer undertakes such an initiative will allow employees to feel more confident in the company and will ensure that health of the employees is a key issue in the eyes of the employer.
Correct relations and organizational order
It is fundamental to create an organizational culture in which everyone feels safe, accepted and important in the context of their role in the team. Correct relations and strong ties are the basis for good and effective cooperation, which is why you need to care for and invest in them. Therefore, the key to employee happiness is sound and careful management, which includes fair distribution of roles and the reward system, clear goal setting, but also, where possible, building the company’s strategy and image together.
It is also good to encourage employees to maintain a balance between work and private life. Nothing affects your mental health as well as relaxing among your loved ones, friends and family, on a walk in the park or at the swimming pool. It’s important to have a so-called step away from business matters.
Care for employees’ health in the workplace
Also, in the office, in addition to caring for good relations, the employer can create a space that will allow the employees to relax during the day. Such a place is e.g. a relaxation room with a place for a hammock and yoga mat. Meditation sessions and physiotherapists are increasingly employee benefit. Psychologists or coaches are invited to the office for consultations. They teach how to better set priorities and goals and take care of emotional stability. Visits of dietitians and other specialists promoting a healthy lifestyle are also becoming popular.
Currently, companies have at their disposal a whole range of tools and resources, including benefits, such as sports cards or cinema tickets, which allow them to take care not only of the physical fitness of employees, but also of their personal development and well-being. Health, whether it is a matter of fitness or mind, is not only a matter of the employee. The employer also bears responsibility for them. It is worth realizing this and making efforts so that everyone can enjoy it. Because the healthier and happier the employee, the more satisfied the employer.