Workplace mental health: How employers are responding

RESEARCH: Employers and HR teams have had a wide range of responses to the growing crisis of mental health issues within their workforces.

In Singapore, as part of World Mental Health Day on October 10 last year, non-profit organisation Silver Ribbon recognised 12 employers for creating working environments that recognised and encouraged greater mental health amongst their teams.

Speaking virtually at Silver Ribbon’s mental health awards ceremony, CEO of the Singapore International Chamber of Commerce Victor Mills said that treating mental illness in the workforce started with eliminating stress triggers.

These included “toxic managers”, who he said should be held accountable for the impact they have on staff below and around them. He also said “purposeless meetings” should be outlawed, and colleagues shouldn’t call each other after office hours, and especially not on weekends.

"We must all be prepared to build on the momentum which the pandemic has

provided, and not waste this moment in history to make meaningful changes to how

we as societies and businesses treat mental illness," Mills said. "Don't treat mental health issues as a weakness”.

Building leadership with compassion

During this continuing health crisis, making sure your workforce stays mentally and physically fit is paramount. So too is treating all employees with care and respect. After all, your staff are your greatest asset and strength in times of need.

Designing employee wellbeing programmes that address both physical and mental health is one way of addressing this challenge, as employers are identifying their needs and coming up with solutions. Ultimately it could improve the bottom line with happier, better-performing, and healthier employees.

Even if the majority of the workforce is working remotely, checking in and asking them what they need is still possible via a call or email. And then — of course — actually acting on what they say can have a powerful impact on staff engagement, retention, and productivity.

Call it taking a more “human approach” — treating the workforce as people, rather than just another business resource.

This feature is extracted from Chief of Staff Asia's report on Mental Health in the Covid-era Workplace. For further coverage, and access to the full report, please see any of the below links:

Pressure from all sides: Mental health in the Covid-era workplace (full report)

Pandemic drives increase in burnout (news highlight) October 15, 2021

Workplace mental health issue becomes a pandemic crisis (feature) October 18, 2021

Burnout boom: Encouraging staff leave during the pandemic (feature) October 20, 2021 Workplace mental health: How employers are responding (feature) October 22, 2021

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