Spotting Mental Health Concerns in Your Employees

Good mental health is essential for employees. Without it, they cannot perform their jobs to their full potential. But can managers identify the signs of mental health concerns before employees start struggling? Over half of employees (53 percent) reported a decline in their own personal health last 12 months, according to a recent Gallup survey. Mental health concerns are often overlooked in the workplace, but companies can take action to prevent mental health issues from becoming workplace crisis.

Apparently, mental health issues aren’t just something you have to deal with in your private life. It also affects people in the workplace, and more often than not, goes undiagnosed and untreated. Mental health issues in employees can lead to significantly impaired performance, increased absences, lower job attachment, and even large-scale impacts on a company’s bottom line.

  1. Uncharacteristic Behavior

Uncharacteristic behavior happens when a family member or friend starts misbehaving and exhibiting mannerisms that they haven’t exhibited in the past. It usually begins innocently enough but then evolves into strange behavior, like incessant lying, suspicious behavior, or secretiveness. While uncharacteristic behavior usually progresses, you should be aware of the signs (like, “why is she constantly texting?”) and make the person seek help before they become completely involved with the situation.

  1. Low Levels of Engagement

Low levels of engagement in mental health is a topic that is, gaining attention, and that makes it important for us to take a look at the issue as it can lead to some very serious problems that can become debilitating. Though it should be a priority for everyone, many people, unfortunately, do not take it seriously.

  1. Decrease In Productivity

Mental health problems can impact our ability to function and even our productivity at work. There is evidence that symptoms of mental illness such as anxiety, depression, or insomnia can lead to increased levels of mental distress and adverse work outcomes. Working conditions, such as strict deadlines, stressful co-workers, or insufficient job resources, can also contribute to poor mental health. Employees who experience chronic workplace stress are more likely to report experiencing mental health symptoms than employees who experience low levels of stress or who experience no stress at all.

  1. Changes In Sleeping Or Eating Behaviors

Changes in sleeping or eating behaviors, such as eating more or less than usual or sleeping more or less than usual can occur due to stress and depression.

  1. Disinterest In Work Or Day-To-Day Activities

Disinterest in work or day-to-day activities is a symptom that points to depression or substance abuse. Although it may be a simple symptom, its serious consequences demand thorough attention.

  1. Substance Use/Misuse

Substance abuse is a prevalent issue that can significantly impact the mental health of employees. In numerous instances, businesses provide relevant training such as DOT reasonable suspicion training for supervisors. This usually equips them with the skills to conduct tests on employees and take the essential steps necessary to promote their overall well-being.

  1. Increased Absence

“Absence makes the heart grow fonder” is an old adage used to explain that as one gets used to being single, they really begin to miss having a relationship. However, this adage also holds true in the professional world. The more time you dedicate to your personal life, the harder it is to be productive at work, and when work suffers, so does your career progression. Unfortunately, this is an all-too-common occurrence among millennials.

  1. Changes In Working Patterns

With the advances in technology, working patterns have changed dramatically. Many people work at home, some work out of coffee shops, and others work in co-working spaces. While working out of a home is preferred, working from a coffee shop can be a distraction and can lead to higher stress levels. Working from home has a number of benefits, including increased productivity, increased job satisfaction, increased flexibility, improved quality of life, and saving costs.

  1. Withdrawal From Social Situations

Social anxiety is one of the most common disorders affecting people of all ages and backgrounds. People with this condition often experience overwhelming feelings of anxiety in situations where they expect to be scrutinized or evaluated, such as during job interviews, first dates, or conversations in group settings. These feelings of anxiety and inadequacy often lead to avoidance of these situations, resulting in feelings of isolation and loneliness.

  1. Irrational Fears, Paranoia, Or Anxiety

The irrational fear that someone is going to harm your loved one or yourself is very real. It could be delivered by a weapon, or it could be delivered by words that can trigger your greatest fear. These irrational fears do not mean there is no danger, but non-fearful people understand that everyone is different.

It’s critical that your company manages and mitigates mental health concerns. This is the fundamental nature of human resources management. A clear sense of purpose, mission, vision, and core values, coupled with daily, weekly, and monthly check-ins, creates an atmosphere where employees feel valued. Best practices include identifying leaders, encouraging open communication, providing opportunities for feedback, and allowing employees to voice their concerns.

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