Employee Health – Why Employee Mental Health Matters

Employee Health

Are you currently working? Do you love what you do? Wondering if you will be employed once COVID-19 is over? Wondering when it’s safe to start working again? Honestly, working this time of the year can make you feel confused, irritated, worried, and hopeless. The past year has been crazy with the ongoing COVID-19 situation. Many have lost their jobs due to the closing of many businesses. And demand for work has dropped. Employee health has suffered as a result.

Employee Health – Why Employee Mental Health Matters

Primarily, essential workers play an important role in our everyday lives, most importantly health care workers. Through day and night, health care workers experience tremendous amounts of stress and additional workload from patients who are suffering from COVID-19. Along with all that, health care workers need to follow all the health protocols. This includes wearing appropriate personal protective equipment to ensure the health and safety of the workplace. At the very beginning of the pandemic, I can only imagine how stressful it must have been working at a hospital or as an essential worker. Many health organizations, groceries stores, hardware stores, and other essential businesses had to make appropriate changes for their employees to be working in a safe environment. However, there can be a lot of mental health issues that  arise during the pandemic; which can cause harm to an employee’s health.

For those who are employed or unemployed it is important to take care of your health in any way possible. Many employees experience mental health issues that start at the workplace and can lead to stress, anxiety, depression, and much more. Many of us are busy with today’s society on media, news, schools, and jobs. We don’t take a second to think about our health. Our society follows a robotic routine, some people tend to forget. We do not realize that our day-to-day tasks are affecting our mental health.

Start your day by checking up on yourself with a CareClinic health app.

The CareClinic app is an amazing and free health app to not only manage your employees health but for anyone who is having difficulty in managing their health and wellbeing. What are you waiting for?! Start downloading it right now and make the change today for a healthier lifestyle.

What is Employee Health?

Employee health surrounds the physical and mental status of your employees. If you are an employer, you also need to take care of your health. When we talk about health, many people think of physical health, but mental health is just as important. Employee health is a vital weapon for any successful business. Many people tend to put their staff first and help them inspire productiveness and smart work. However, this can lead them in opposite direction and result in poor performance. This can lead to stress, run down, disappointment, low self-esteem, and a higher chance of employee turnover.

Taking care of employee health has rapidly increased for many U.S. employers, simply because the cost of healthcare has skyrocketed. Some people do not realize employee health affects everything from the workplace, performance, productivity, culture, to workplace health and safety. Research has shown that in employees who are experiencing an unhealthy lifestyle, it can reduce productivity and an increase of poor attendance. Those employees who feel healthy and happy, tend to feel more productive in the workplace. Just by simply taking care of yourself, you can be less prone to accidents in the workplace. It is important to feel happy because happy employees equal productive employees!

How do Mental Health Issues Impact Employees?

Mental illness has become a leading global concern, especially in the United States. About one in four adults suffer a diagnosable mental disorder that impairs their social, interpersonal and occupational functioning.

Mental health issues can pose a serious risk to businesses and organizations. Employees who experience mental health issues such as depression, can typically experience poor concentration, decreased motivation, restlessness, irritability, fatigue and much more. This may prevent them from performing their work duties effectively. Depression is the leading cause of disability and between 20 and 55% of adults worldwide have been affected by 2020.

Depression is the largest health condition and most common to affect employees work performance. Unfortunately, for those who are experiencing depression, they will have decreased vigilance in workplace safety. This can initiate possible accidental risks and injuries for employees to experience in the workplace. Another factor of mental health issues that impact employee health, is work-related stress. This means that stress can develop serious mental health issues from pressure or other types of demands in the organization. Although, some occupations are at more risk of mental health problems than others. Having severe work-related stress can manifest as heart disease, back pain, headaches, gastrointestinal, minor illnesses, and psychological effects.

Impact of Workplace Bullying

Workplace bullying has become a common source of workplace stress. Employees who are bullied experience bullying over a long period of time, usually at least six months. Sometimes bullying can occur repeatedly affecting the employee’s health. In addition, bullying usually occurs when there is a power imbalance between the bully and the target. This can involve either formal organization power, social power. Some examples of bullying in the workplace include verbal abuse, threatening behavior, humiliation, and preventing the employee from succeeding in assigned tasks (R).

Relationship Problems with Superiors

The most common reason employees experience stress is dealing with a difficult boss. Many people don’t realize that this can probably be easily solved by improving communication skills. Having the time to acknowledge how your boss communicates and to have a sincere conversation can make a huge difference in the workplace. Sometimes, your boss may not really be the reason affecting your health.  In that case,  an honest discussion can bring out a healthier work relationship.

Another factor that could cause employees to stress out is the number of tasks given. Especially when the assigned tasks are not part of the employee’s role or skill. Many companies often make employees multitask, which can be stressful. Other times, employees are asked to do things which do not fall in their job description. However, communicating with your superiors about this matter as soon as possible can be the best way to resolve this. Communication is a powerful skill that everyone should be able to use and apply in situations they feel uncomfortable.

Work Family Conflict

Many people probably have experienced this before or are experiencing this now, but family issues can get involved in the workplace. For those who are trying to balance work and have family responsibilities, sufficient time for both can help you reduce the heavy load of stress. Simply by taking the time to schedule your family responsibilities and work schedule, you can open up more time to yourself.

Control Work-Related Stress and Improving Mental Well-Being at the Workplace

A tool called the Work Stress Scale (WSS) allows employees to evaluate the level of work-related stress. The tool helps employees assess themselves on their degree to control stress faced in the following domains (R):

  • relationship problems with superiors
  • bureaucratic constraints
  • work family conflict
  • relationship problems with colleagues
  • performance pressure
  • poor job prospects

Developing Capabilities for Managing Employee Health

When managing employees with mental health issues such as depression, managers may need to deal with various issues such as performance, sick calls, and employee turnover.  A manager’s skills and attitude in relation to mental health care is very important. They should be able to help employees with necessary health services. However, managing employee health is a complex situation. There can be many surprises and some things that managers are not able to control. It’s more important than ever in educating managers with conceptual and procedural knowledge that can help them understand employee mental health. Through this, they can take the necessary actions of reporting to a health professional or specialist (R).

What are the Most Effective Ways to Improve Employee Health?

Have you ever felt that you want to quit your job? Are you having a bad day at work? There are many reasons why you may hate your job or the place you work. Sometimes a simple refresher can change the thoughts that come across your mind. Many people experience a busy work schedule and work in an environment that is fast paced. Even the ability to multi-task can lead to possible health consequences such as stress and panic attacks. As an employee, it is important to take care of yourself but there can be many delays or interruptions in your workplace. This why it is important for organizations and employers to make sure that they are taking care of their employees health. Here are some simple remedies to help improve employee health.

Nutrition

A healthy, balanced diet is crucial for someone who works full time. Sometimes you may be unable to reach all your nutrition goals due to long or inconsistent working hours. However companies can encourage healthy eating on the job. They can help by delivering healthy snacks, onsite food offers, or convenient water stations. This creates a positive attitude to encourage healthy eating in the workplace and can possibly lead to healthy eating at home. Overall, a healthy diet provides you the fuel needed to complete all of your tasks efficiently as an employee and discard any negative thoughts that come across your mind.

Physical Fitness

Another effective way to improve employee health is physical fitness. Depending on where you work and your role, many employees spend their time walking or standing for long hours. However, for those who work in an office, they usually spend their time sitting at a desk. It is important to exercise at least once a week, getting employees active can save companies 1.5% of their healthcare budget. Employers can increase health and activity by including walking clubs, health coaching for lifestyle management or onsite fitness centers. Overall, there are many benefits to have all of your team members be active and help each other to stick to their physical fitness goals.

Create a Workplace That Supports Mental Health

Lastly, as mentioned before, it’s not just about employee physical health. Mental wellness is equally important. Mental health is vital in the workplace and it is important to stay positive to achieve your workplace mission. Unfortunately, even healthy employees who are mentally well can be at-risk for developing mental health conditions. This can be due to high stress levels that are left unmanaged over a long period of time. Mental wellbeing programs are an effective way to support employees and encourage mental wellness in the workplace. By simply making small changes in the workspace to provide access to natural light and quiet break areas, you will begin to notice changes in mood and motivation. It is also important to encourage your employees to use their vacation time, this will help them take a break and come back refreshed both mentally and physically.

Using A Health and Wellness App for Employees – CareClinic

Many of us struggle to reach our health goals after an exhausting day at work. As an employer, you can inform your employees about the CareClinic app for self-care knowledge. Employees can create care plans that the app offers to become aware of mental health issues. This enables health professionals to use the data to help employees stay mentally healthy and optimize their wellbeing!

As you may know, wellbeing apps are already everywhere, and there is a possibility your current team is already using them in one form or another. Many people are more health conscious these days and want to keep on top of their own physical and mental wellbeing. The CareClinic app provides the full package, including all the features of what you need to take care of your wellbeing. You may have experienced that other health apps lack some features such as a symptom tracker. You will not experience that with the CareClinic app, it has everything that you need in one app, where you can record, review, and track your physical and mental wellbeing.

How Can the CareClinic App Benefit Employers?

Employers who do not have much health support for their employees may experience possible health consequences. For those employees who are working full-time and seeking health advice, it can be difficult to get your hands on health resources when there is no help from their employers. If employers can provide the CareClinic app for their employees, it can truly help their employees to feel healthier and happier. In the end, you will end up with a healthier and happier workforce, everyone is a winner!

“Take care of your employees and they’ll take care of your business” – Richard Branson

Maintain Good Nutrition

Employees can use the CareClinic app to create a healthy eating plan, which can optimize their performance in the workplace. By being able to keep track of your nutrition, you will not only be able to see the benefits but feel the end results on how your wellbeing has improved each day. The CareClinic app makes sure that you never forget about a meal and are able to achieve all your nutrition goals. This gives you the ability to search for any type of nutrition you may need in your plan and make sure that it fit’s within your work schedule.

Mood Self-Check

Understanding your mood can help you manage it and feel better faster. As an employee, you face different situations everyday which can lead to difficult thoughts, feelings, and experiences. It is important to check back with your mental health by using the symptom tracker on the CareClinic app. You can monitor your mood by choosing a score on how you are feeling.

Track Your Fitness

Physical activity can play an important role in employee health. For those who are sitting all day in the office, not having enough physical activity can result in mood changes and other health factors. Physical activity helps your body and mind to refresh and restart your busy day ahead. With the CareClinic app, you can schedule your workout routines before work or after work to achieve your fitness goals.

Ultimately, it’s very important to make sure that employee health is prioritized in the workplace. It is the responsibility of both the employer and the employee to make sure that employee mental and physical health is looked after and cared for. Health apps like CareClinic can help employees keep track and manage their own health. This will lead to increased mood, motivation, productivity and general happiness within the workplace.

 

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Dharusan Sivanandarajah