Have you ever taken a mental health day? A day where you woke up, didn’t feel “right,” and called off work for something other than a physical ailment? With no fear of judgment or professional repercussions?
If you haven’t—why not? And if you have, then you are in the minority and are likely working for an employer who already knows the importance of building a culture that supports mental health.
Although the pandemic isn’t the only factor causing strain on employees, it increased the mental and emotional toll for many. Providing mental health days is one important way employers are supporting employees through increasing levels of burnout and mental health concerns. A sanctioned break from work responsibilities allows employees to rest, recharge, and care for themselves.
But is taking one day off enough to move the needle on mental health issues for employees?
Probably not—however, creating a work culture where taking mental health days allowed and encouraged could make a difference for many employees.
How can we remove the stigma surrounding mental health days?
In Mind Share Partners’ 2021 Mental Health at Work report, 31% of respondents shared that the resource they most desired for mental health support is a more open culture around mental health. Consider these ways of opening channels of communication to create a healthier workplace culture:
- Provide access to mental health care and make that information easily accessible for all employees
- Create wellness support groups where employees can connect around mental health issues
- Train managers to recognize and respond to early signs of overwork, burnout, and mental distress
- Build a culture of caring, where employees know their well-being is as valued as their productivity. One way to do that is by performing frequent check-ins where managers not only ask, “How are you?” but also follow up with, “How can I help?”
- Encourage management to “practice what they preach” by taking mental health days when needed.
- Offer company-wide training on the importance of taking care of your mental health.
- Treat mental health as a workplace priority, not as an individual challenge for an affected employee to face and conquer alone.
Create a sustainable mental health day policy.
A day off here and there provides temporary ease for employees experiencing mental health challenges, but a well-communicated cultural change is necessary to sustain progress. Consider creating a plan to cover unexpected gaps by employees using their mental health days so that those employees won’t feel guilty for causing more work for their team and productivity won’t suffer due to strained resources.
Hiring temporary employees can help ease the strain on your hardworking employees. Premier Talent Partners can provide qualified, diverse, motivated workers to keep productivity and morale high while keeping costs down. Let us help keep your business healthy. Contact us today!