What Can a Company Do for the Wellbeing of Its People?
People's mental wellbeing is a very important, but relatively new topic. A few years ago, wellbeing received very little attention in companies. Companies did not know how to grasp this topic and focused only on performance, not on the company atmosphere or aspects that create people's mental wellbeing.
In April, Soulmio conducted its first survey on mental health in Czech companies. The results showed that 82 percent of employers did not provide any care for the mental health of their people.
Six months later, as the results of the October survey show, this number dropped to 69% and according to our information and requests we receive it continues to drop. It seems that the year 2020 opened our eyes and we are becoming more and more aware of the importance of people’s mental state, care for employee wellbeing and the atmosphere of security in companies. Companies have one goal. To ensure the maximum effectiveness of their employees during working hours despite the difficulties presented by the current situation. This year reminded us that employees are not machines, but personalities with their individual needs.
What are we missing?
First of all, it is necessary to understand why the collective condition of people’s mental health is deteriorating.
People need to have a sense of safety and a certain security. On the other hand, uncertainty undermines mutual trust which then causes unpleasant situations that must be constantly addressed.
We also get a sense of safety from the environment where we operate and where we live. The pandemic took this sense of safety away. In this context, it is necessary to constantly stimulate and promote the little bit of security that we are now experiencing.
Another interesting aspect is the fact that, according to our survey, only 13% of people trust the HR department when it comes to mental health. They would much rather turn to their superior or a colleague in case of any trouble. In this case, it is important to have access to a platform that offers a professional solution.
How can a company support the wellbeing of its people?
By creating a sense of security in people. A sense of security is based on a predictable environment. If we know what awaits us in the company, we naturally start to get a sense of certain security. It makes us feel calm and helps start up creativity.
As a company, we should therefore have a clear policy. A clear view of whether employees should or should not work from home, a clear view of testing, a clear communication of the company’s vision and the individual steps on the way towards its fulfillment. In general, it is necessary to improve the sense of security and safety. Otherwise, we are preparing the ground for doubts which escalate into mental issues.
Specific tools for promoting wellbeing
We must realize that as companies we step in for the social security of today’s society. Provide your employees with information regarding the prevention of mental issues, open the topic of psychological safety, show them a solution - where they can seek professional help, where they can read information about prevention. Educate your people in this area, try to slowly but consistently raise awareness of wellbeing and promote a secure environment in the company.
Show a way but do not force anyone into it
Raise awareness of mental wellbeing but do not overshoot it by forcing people to participate. You can provide them with the means, make sure that they know they can use them and that information will not be used in conflict with their interests. Ideally in an anonymous environment and with maximum discretion. Try to help people by offering help. Start slowly. And if you do not know how, we are here for you.
The article refers to the results of a unique survey on mental health in companies conducted by Soulmio.