April is the official Stress Awareness Month, dedicated to highlighting how detrimental stress can be and publicizing stress reduction tips to improve mental health.
As an employer or HR manager, part of your job must involve caring about the mental health of your employees. After all, a happy, healthy employee is best for your company! And since work is known to cause stress, it only makes sense that your workplace wellness program would address stress reduction.
A little lost when it comes to adding stress awareness and mental health help to your workplace wellness program? Here’s what we suggest.
Support Mental Health in Your Workplace Wellness Program
Research has shown that meditation can provide relief from a host of medical conditions, including asthma, cancer, heart disease, sleep issues, depression, and anxiety disorders. So providing a company-sponsored meditation session is a great way to add some stress-fighting to your workplace wellness program. Whether you make it a one-time event or regularly host classes that involve meditation, there are many options to choose from, including guided, mantra, transcendental, or mindfulness meditation, Qigong, tai chi, or yoga. By providing a quiet setting for your employees to relax, breath, comfortably recline, and focus their attention, you’ll help them clear head space and eliminate stress.
You probably already give your employees breaks during the day, although the length of time varies depending on your state’s laws. In most cases, your employees are free to take their breaks as they please (as long as they aren’t in the middle of a meeting, project, or a very busy shift). Sometimes, employees work right through their breaks, hoping that getting more work done will help them stress less.
In reality, taking regular breaks increases employee productivity and reduces stress, since the brain gets a chance to rest. A break will prepare your employees to power on full steam ahead, improving accuracy and overall performance. Plus, skipped breaks can cause fatigue, irritability, and loss of passion for the job. We suggest building in a short but mandatory break time for all employees to get out of their chairs, stretch, de-stress, and socialize.
Employers should also ensure that employees are aware of all the mental health benefits included in the workplace wellness program and their insurance. Explain what sort of counseling or mental health coverage the insurance includes, plus if there are specific mental health resources unique to your workplace, such as in-house therapists or meditation specialists.
Sometimes, some simple company bonding exercises are all you need to fight stress in the workplace. There are a variety of lighthearted yet effective activities you can sponsor to promote employee bonding and mental health, including:
- Participation in community-wide team sports leagues (try something fun and outside-of-the-box like kickball or dodge ball)
- Pot luck lunches
- Company-wide competitions, like a video game tournament
Fun activities like these will improve your company culture, boost morale, and help fight employee stress.
Get Help With Workplace Wellness
Want more specific help adding stress reduction and mental health components to your workplace wellness program? Consider working with a wellness-certified Test Smartly Labs location! We have experience with creating or adjusting workplace wellness programs.
Find your nearest wellness-certified Test Smartly Labs to get started today!