5 Steps to Improving Employees’ Mental Health
Burnout is a true mental health disaster for employers and employees alike. As the US economy continues to adjust to a more sustainable employment landscape, employees must go the extra mile to find the perfect work-life balance that will allow them to work at their top performance, as well as love what they do. If your employees are on the brink of burnout, consider these five steps to helping them achieve a better work-life balance.
1. Reduce work stressors
Pay attention to when employees feel overwhelmed. In a recent Gallup poll, experts noted that one primary cause of burnout was “work overload.” Employees are assets, but they are still human beings. Part of treating them respectfully is helping managers understand reasonable workloads for their employees, reducing stress levels.
Look for ways to improve communication. In the same Gallup poll, two other major causes of employee burnout pertained to poor communication. Many people are poor at communication and don’t realize it, and the result is that most directives and instructions are confusing or ambiguous, at best. Companies should insist on their managers being clear and specific at all times.
Don’t expect employees to check work emails out of office hours. With the accessibility and always-on era of the smartphones, it can be easy to send an email to an employee and hope they will read it and respond in their free time. However, employers need to respect the end of the work day and not to infringe on employees home life. Keep work related emails during work hours and the work week.
2. Encourage a sense of community
Instruct employees on how to relate to each other appropriately. A major cause of stress and overwork can come from superiors imposing their burdens on their subordinates. Managers that confide in one of their employees about the budget problems and possible layoffs in the future. Additionally, conflict between coworkers often ensues as motives are misunderstood and gossip spreads throughout the office. Learning how to go to the right people for specific problems, as well as practicing proper conflict management tactics will allow the workforce to turn into a community of people that focus on helping one another rather than competing with one another.
Improve social networking opportunities. Employers can do far more to encourage camaraderie among employees at work. For example, instead of holding employees back from being at home with their families by making holiday parties mandatory, why not encourage smaller teams to have parties to celebrate project milestones? Additionally, many HR software providers offer social media options so that employees can engage regularly throughout the day in ways that you often do outside of work.
3. Allow employees to ask for what they want
Regularly invite feedback. It is not enough for managers to ask for feedback: they must also be able to take the feedback on board and implement change where possible as a result of the employee feedback.
Allow remote and work-from-home options for employees. More and more employees would like to work from home. Many jobs can be done remotely just as easily from home as they are in the office, provided the employee maintains their work quality, time management, and the proper communication channels are in place. We have covered the benefits of Remote working in a previous article. But in short the benefits are considerable, greater efficiency, no commute, reduction in stress, better work-life balance, flexible work hours, more time for personal time/free time (otherwise wasted on commuting).
Build training curriculums for employees that desire a promotion. When managers notice that certain employees are eager to grow within the company, it is time to start making those employees aware of how a promotion might be in their grasp. Smart employers create a plan to nurture each of their top employees into leadership positions.
4. Incorporate productivity software
Encourage employees to utilize technology. Some departments are taking double and triple the time their tasks would take if they were using the latest productivity software. Learning new computer skills is like learning any new skill, and fortunately, the Internet is full of easy-to-use tutorials on every kind of productivity software imaginable. Employers that implement productivity software are able to accomplish more while offering their employees less stress and more work-from-home positions.
One good example of productivity software is Automated Payroll Software, within payroll, there are lots of administrative steps that are repetitive and can be automated. Automating these steps can improve employee productivity and free up their time for more interesting tasks. Payslip clients have reported:
“An estimated 2 days in times saving each month due to automated workflow, reviews, and authorization in the system”
“Improved employee morale when time is not being spent on tedious repetitive tasks”.
Put in extra effort to better understand the software that the company currently uses. Most companies don’t tap into the full potential of the software that their employees use on a daily basis. Company leaders should spend a few extra hours each week mastering their company’s software programs, and then train their teams. Employees will quickly learn shortcuts that can make tedious work automated, as well as improving the accuracy of certain tasks.
In this technological era, you are able to so much more from the palm of your hand. Smartphones and tablets are more powerful than anyone could have ever imagined. Nearly all computer tasks that you can do on a desktop computer can also be done by your smartphone. Additionally, collaboration software is eliminating the need for time-wasting meetings. As such, make sure that the software that the company uses offers employees the option to use their mobile devices where compliant.
Payslip’s Global Payroll Software features an Employee portal which is available on a tablet or smartphone, this portal gives the employee ownership and over expense receipts with a facility to easily submit receipts using their smartphone, employees can view and download payslips all improving employee satisfaction.
5. Create more opportunities for employees to take care of themselves
Pay the market rate or above. Low paychecks often result in low morale employee, can prompt an employee to look elsewhere or worse taking shortcuts with their health. Smart employers make sure that their employees feel valued financially.
Replace salt and sugar snacks with healthier options. Eating unhealthy foods can actually increase the body’s stress. If the office has traditional snack machines around the office, consider replacing them with snack machines that specialize in healthy food options.
Offer gym memberships as part of the salary package. Exercise is also crucial to employee mental health and proper work-life balance. According to Harvard Health Publishing,
“Exercise reduces levels of the body’s stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. It also stimulates the production of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that are the body’s natural painkillers and mood elevators.”
Many companies actually provide gym memberships for their employees, either by affiliating with a nearby gym of reimbursing employees. Not only does this improve your employees’ moods and overall health, but it will also boost the immune system lessening the need for sick days.
Companies that take the initiative to help their employees achieve a healthy work-life balance see lower turnover and greater work performance overall. In contrast, employers that ignore the benefits of a healthy work-life balance will have difficulty keeping good employees and be frustrated by the mediocrity of their workforce.
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Using Payslip, we can manage all our payrolls across nine in-country vendors on one platform. When the global Covid-19 pandemic arose, it was not an issue from a payroll perspective, and critically getting everyone paid. The Payslip platform enabled continuity for our international payroll service including the fast and seamless implementation of the Payslip Employment Self Service during this time.
Payroll Manager, LogMeIn
With business and employee growth rates of above 50%, we rely on our vendors to deliver on time, every time. Payslip’s workflow automation, enables Phorest to manage our payroll provider process – data driven, real time and transparent. Payslip saves us time so we can focus on our business growth.
International Payroll Manager, Phorest