Therapist and author Marianne Clyde says providing employees with quality mental health training is not just a compassionate move. It’s also a strategic business decision. Clyde points to research suggesting that happy employees are more engaged and more productive than other workers. University faculty members who meditated showed improvements in memory related to a reduction in stress, as well as better moods and better attention spans.
According to Clyde, businesses benefit when they give employees “the opportunity to strengthen their own sense of self and value” and when they help them with emotional intelligence concepts like gratitude, forgiveness, and responsiveness. Most managers recognize the need to provide such support to employees, but many companies do not offer it.
While most organizations won’t find it practical to hire an in-house psychotherapist, Clyde suggests these ideas for improving employee mental health:
- Bring in a meditation trainer to teach employees how to meditate. Provide a room or space, and allow breaks for meditation.
- Identify a book that addresses the mental health improvements you want for your employees and buy a copy for each of them.
- Encourage gratitude by providing small notebooks for employees to keep at their desk to record things for which they are grateful.
- Exercise is a great stress reducer, so businesses may consider providing exercise tracking devices or gym memberships.
- Keep a list of reputable therapists to share with employees who may be seeking assistance.