How to Foster Mental Health Awareness and Positive Company Culture

national mental health month

May is National Mental Health Month. If you work in HR, it’s the perfect time to reflect upon the general emotional state of the people in your office. Are they content? Or are they frequently frazzled and overwhelmed?

Why is employee mental health important?

Unfortunately, it seems that employee burnout is a growing trend. People are being asked to work longer hours without additional compensation or benefit. Technology has only exacerbated the situation, with countless individuals feeling compelled to respond to emails long after they’ve left the office and even when on vacation.

This often places undue stress on employees and leaves them thinking they are overworked and undervalued. In turn, as many HR leaders report, this leads to a lot of turnover in the workforce.

All of this added stress definitely has a negative impact beyond turnover. As the National Institute of Mental Health notes, there’s a correlation between stress and poor health.

Over time, continued strain on your body from routine stress may contribute to serious health problems, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other illnesses, as well as mental disorders like depression or anxiety.

Employees suffering from chronic stress may experience digestive issues, headaches, sleeplessness, and irritability. They’re also more prone to contracting viral infections such as the flu and colds. Additionally, stress can be a contributing factor to heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and depression. And in turn, these illnesses may create an uptick in absences, be it for sick days or doctors appointments.

Excess stress impacts company culture and teamwork

Stress places a strain on workplace relationships. If your employees are feeling anxious, they are more likely to be short tempered with their peers (and, at times, their superiors). They might shut down rather than open up or pursue effective communication strategies. Stressed individuals are also more likely to display resentment and become overly sensitive when it comes to criticism or feedback. Sadly, these negative feelings can ripple through departments and even the company at large.

Read more: Are Your Employees Getting Enough Sleep?

Moreover, stress can impede employee focus. The tension it causes leads to mental exhaustion and difficulty in concentration. It’s harder for anxious people to absorb new information or successfully analyze situations. They’re also easily distracted and thus more apt to make (costly) mistakes.

Corporate wellness to the rescue

Companies are beginning to prioritize employee health more. They recognize that they can combat some of these stressors through wellness programs and perks. Not only do these initiatives demonstrate appreciation for workers, they also encourage employees to lead healthier lives for themselves. Just as critical, wellness programs can also help attract and retain talent.

Read more: 6 Wellness Perks to Add to Your Employee Assistance Program

Of course, these perks can range from discount gym memberships and office softball leagues to yoga sessions and designated nap nooks. Importantly, one option gaining in popularity is the in-office chair massage. Easy to plan, a quick massage provides numerous benefits and is bound to leave your employees feeling happy, revived and ready to tackle their next project.

Benefits of Corporate Chair Massage

Chair massages are an excellent addition to your employee wellness program. And you can readily hire licensed and fully-vetted therapists to come directly to your office. Interested employees receive a 12-20 minute massage that focuses primarily on the back, neck, and arms – three key stress points for individuals who spend their days sitting at a desk.

Get more info about Zeel chair massage

Moreover, there’s virtually no preparation needed on your end. The therapists bring all necessary equipment. Additionally, both the set-up time and space needed are minimal. It will only take 10 minutes in a chair massage for your employees to start feeling rejuvenated.

There is no clothing removal required. You can also choose the frequency – do you want a special one-time event or a weekly perk? It’s your call.

Physical and mental benefits

Indeed, in that short time span, their blood pressure and heart rate will likely decrease. Massage also alleviates anxiety by lowering cortisol levels and increasing the levels of neurotransmitters that combat depression.

Additionally, it counteracts the postural stress that builds up due to sitting for prolonged periods of time. Massage has even been known to improve sleep, relieve headaches and boost immune systems. Best of all, it can raise morale – a fact that all of your employees are bound to benefit from and appreciate.

Work perks and company culture

To fully thrive, companies must take mental health into consideration. If you want your workers to be productive and successful you must help ensure that they’re happy and healthy. This can be done through wellness programs. And one the best wellness perks? In-office massages.

Read more: Creating a Workplace Wellness Program for a Happy, Healthy Team

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