Well, according to Femine Home Medical, stress related absences cost Canadian employers nearly $3.5 billion each year. That definitely sounds like a management problem to me.
Being mentally sound is just as important as (or arguably more important than) being physically well. Think about this, as entrepreneur do you find that you get mentally exhausted over a period of time? Easily agitated at employees and staff? Micro managing everything that everyone does? Ever suffer from a panic attack? You, my friend, are not alone.
Disorders like depression and anxiety can go undiagnosed for months or even years because the difficulty associated with detecting mental health disorders. Fact: 1 in 3 people do struggle with mental illness and you might just be one of them. The dilemma is this- you are a business owner and you have no time to lose sleep over your mental health- no matter how much you may want to.
First of all, cheers to your ongoing resilience and perseverance, but I’m writing this blog to tell you, you might be doing more damage than good to your overall mental health.
Take a breather once in a while
On average, as a business owner you should be vacationing once every quarter. Yes, we’d all love to visit Paris or Bermuda every quarter, but that’s not necessarily what I mean by ‘vacation’. A vacation can mean a weekend at the beach, 3 days visiting your parents, hibernating for a week at home or an all-inclusive trip to the beautiful island of Antigua for a month.
Regardless of where you go for your vacation the idea is constant and that is to take your mind off work related stressful issues and to relax. Without frequent vacations or resetting periods you can run yourself right into depression and anxiety.
Just as you get mentally and emotionally drained, so do your employees. Only in plenty of cases an employee doesn’t have the financial means or freedom to have quarterly vacations to reset. For this reason, it is extremely important to develop an empathetic system in your organization towards those struggling with emotional and mental health issues, and the way to do this is by encouraging mental wellness in your organization.
Here are a few ways to promote mental wellness in your workplace:
1. Create a safe space in the workplace. There is no harm in transforming that spare office in the corner into a Safe Space room for everyone’s use. A safe space in the workplace can be just the thing your peers and employees need to get a quick 15 minute break to reset.
2. Introduce mental health policies. If you haven’t already, implement non-harassment, discrimination and bullying policies. If you have these policies in place review them to better support all various types of employees.
3. Offer mental health training. Offering mental health training to the leaders in your organization (managers, department heads) will better prepare them on how to communicate to various types of employees during an episode. This type of education can easily be the difference between a good manager who gets the job done, and a great manager who knows how to get the job done by inspiring and motivating the employees.
Unless your enterprise is 100% staffed by digital intelligence, mental wellness is your business. You and your HR team can help shape how your organization supports and manages dealing with mental health in the business, because you are the catalyst and an entrepreneur is a DOER!