Mental health at workplace

Employees and more importantly the happy ones make a big difference at work, is a thought that has been well-accepted by all organisations. Working conditions, challenges, opportunities, peer pressure, and the overall culture of any organisation tremendously impact the state of mind of its employees. In today’s world of heavy competition and a mindset of maintaining one-upmanship, almost every employee remains under pressure continuously.

One of the latest research reports around workplace stress has shown that more than 83% of employees in the US suffer from work-related stress, with 25% pointing to their work as the single most reason for stress in their lives. While the numbers may vary and could be different in the Indian scenario, hopefully, a bit lower, however, it becomes a significant issue for the workforce.

Corporate communications, being a function that addresses external and internal communications has a lot to do with this issue and can certainly contribute to making the lives of the employees better. In recent times, when the whole world was affected by the pandemic, stress at the workplace has resulted in increased anxiety and depression among a large number of people.

Uncertainties of results and failures in hitting the targets have often caused mental health issues, anxieties, depressions, and behavioural changes impacting work and home both for many executives. Especially the frontline executives have been facing the wrath of pandemic much more than back-office ones.

The organisations must take serious cognizance of this as a priority and address the issues related to employees’ mental health. It requires creating, nurturing, building, and developing a corporate culture that addresses the mental health issues of employees. A culture that listens to the employees, empathises with their situations, and provides encouragement, motivation, and ultimately a solution to their problems.

An organisation needs to have in place best practices around mental health issues. There should be an opening window for the employees to discuss and share their issues. Large organisations can have trained psychologists, counsellors, etc. internally, while small and medium-sized organisations can have tie-ups with such specialists who are available on call when required.

Corporate communications must use various tools of communications and ensure that every employee is well aware of such measures undertaken by the company. It should facilitate a channel that can provide feedback from the employees, where they can connect back with the organisation and ensure that their needs are addressed.

Stress, anxiety, and performance pressures often hit productivity hard. Most often this also affects not just a few individuals but also people across hierarchies vertically and laterally, as they all have a common work environment. Various measures that look at creating the emotional well-being of employees work strongly towards mitigating their pains and bringing happiness back into their lives.

All organisations need to have adequate health and safety policies that can take care of the fears and anxieties faced by them. Excellent communication and good management practices will always keep the employees’ mood upbeat, and they will be emotionally charged towards delivering productivity.

Allowing more freedom in the way employees deal in their work-related challenges, giving them more power by increasing their participation in the decision-making process, involving them more in ideations, strategy development, and execution can also help build their morale.

Providing support to the employees when they require most, uplifting them in their troubled times, encouraging, motivating, and giving them room for improving their performances can be a few of the ways to reduce work-related stress.

Ensuring that corporate communications constantly looks at identifying the mental health issues, communicating the available remedies within the organisations, and facilitating support promptly with the required information can bring in a great difference for any organisation.

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Praveen Nagda
Praveen Nagda is the CEO of Peregrine Public Relations, a full-service corporate communications and public relations consultancy firm delivering a pan-India reach to its clients. He also heads White Coffee, an independent events & celebrity engagement company.

Praveen has been closely associated with many national and international events related to cinema for children, art and culture. He has a well-rounded experience that cuts across all key sectors of PR & Corporate Communications.

He started his career with URJA Communications, an advertising agency specialising in technology brands, where he was instrumental in developing the PR division. Post this, he had a stint with Horizons Porter Novelli, a global public relations consultancy. Thereafter, he was heading the IT & Telecom division at Clea PR, a leading Indian public relations and communications company followed by a fairly long stint with Omnicom Group agencies viz. TBWA\India and Brodeur India.

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