“Mental health is a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”
#1 Talk about mental health.
There can be so many external expectations and judgments associated with mental health that we feel one of the most powerful things we can do for our team is destigmatize, normalize, and make space for authentic connections on the topic. We have pulse checks in meetings, and we encourage folks to share challenges and strategies if they are comfortable doing so. In addition, our leaders model openness to let our folks know that there’s no shame in being a person who feels emotions, faces difficulties, and works toward personal goals.
#2 Offer paid time off for employees to invest in mental health and wellness.
We provide our employees with the opportunity to take PTO specifically for mental health, and we encourage them to do so. Even with an unlimited vacation policy, employees are often hesitant to take a vacation day just to take care of themselves, so we instituted mental health days to reduce the barrier for our employees.
#3 Open the door to professional mental health resources.
For most, navigating health insurance benefits isn’t a walk in the park, and it can be even more stressful when an employee is trying to find mental health resources. To make things a little easier, we provide our team with clear, step-by-step instructions about how to use our benefits to find mental health support. By clearing up confusion and proactively communicating about what’s available, we ensure that employees can maximize their benefits instead of wasting time and energy.
#4 Gather diverse perspectives and provide an array of inclusive solutions.
Everyone has different needs when it comes to mental health, and it’s important to know where different people are coming from, as well as offer a variety of choices to meet employees’ needs. At Majorel, we survey employees about their needs and sentiment whenever we can, and we base our decision-making on the data we collect. As an example, some employees prefer richer benefits with external providers, while others enjoy participating in our different employee-led wellness classes, like yoga, HIIT, meditation, and beyond – so we offer it all.
#5 Look for little things that make a big impact.
We recently heard from our team that frequent Zoom video meetings were leading to fatigue and stress, so we made a point of letting everyone know that it’s okay to turn off their cameras, schedule a phone call instead of a video conference, and be a digital wallflower for certain types of events. Announcing this publicly readjusted expectations, normalized these behaviors, and helped ensure that it’s culturally acceptable for anyone on our team to ask for help so that they can feel comfortable. Now, we see employees dip in and out based on how they’re feeling and what works best for them, which leads to more overall engagement in our activities.
#6 Create space and opportunities for employees to provide mutual support.
Mental health and wellness initiatives don’t always have to come from the top. One of our Majorel values is “Build Meaningful Relationships” and we see that by investing in opportunities for our employees to connect and engage deeply with one another, a priceless support network has grown inside of our company. Now, our employees often look to each other for encouragement and guidance, regularly engaging in mutual help that is enriching for everyone involved.
By putting some of these practices into action inside your organization, you can truly make a huge impact on your team’s mental health. Simply taking a few steps forward to make mental health month extend all year long will help create a lasting healthy experience for your employees. We hope that you’ll find these tips helpful as a starting point to strengthen your team’s culture, and we encourage you to share your ideas and programs with us!