Mental Health Awareness Month: Why is employee well-being C suite’s priority?

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a time when we reflect on our psychological, mental, and physical well-being. Since the pandemic, organisations worldwide have been increasingly focusing on creating and implementing initiatives that should support employees’ mental health. A lot has been done to improve the pathways that support people’s health and encourage them to take care of themselves in their personal and professional lives. 

At Deployflow, we take our employees’ mental health seriously. Creating a positive environment where we praise each other’s strengths, understand our weaknesses, and support each other’s growth lays a foundation for supporting mental health in the workplace. From work-life balance and transparent communication to cultivating employees’ sense of purpose and organizing workshops and training to cultivate a culture of support, our goal is to empower every employee to feel comfortable to show up as their authentic selves. 

Here are the several initiatives we implemented to improve employee well-being:

  1. Access to Private Health Insurance: Deployflow provides comprehensive health insurance that includes mental health services, ensuring employees have the necessary resources to address their mental health needs.
  2. Promoting Work-Life Balance: Deployflow encourages a healthy work-life balance by offering flexible working hours. Employees can take breaks while maintaining a general 9-to-5 schedule, which helps reduce stress and enhance productivity.
  3. Fostering a Supportive Working Environment: The company promotes a culture of open communication and teamwork. Regular one-on-one meetings with managers and colleagues help build strong team cohesion and provide individualised support, ensuring everyone feels valued and connected.
  4. Regular Check-ins and Feedback: Deployflow managers conduct frequent employee check-ins and feedback sessions. These meetings are designed to assess how employees feel about their workload and overall well-being, allowing managers to address any overwhelming issues and provide necessary support.
Mental Health Awareness Month: Why is employee well-being C suite's priority? Prakash Pilley

From my own experience, keeping an open mind, prioritising mental health from the top down, emphasising work-life balance, cultivating a sense of purpose, and showing authentic leadership are five ways Deployflow can demonstrate its support for our colleagues’ mental health in the workplace. 

Prioritising work-life balance 

According to McKinsey, a third of employees experience a bad impact on their mental health when they are required to return to work by their employees. Work-life balance is one of the key pillars of an employee’s mental health. Our colleagues are spread across the globe and lie in different life circumstances.

The work-from-home policy allows them to manage their personal and professional lives more easily, where both work and life co-exist more fluidly. This flexibility relieves stress, making employees feel more likely to participate in virtual and on-site team gatherings, fun Slack/virtual groups, and a better working atmosphere altogether. 

Mental Health Awareness Month: Why is employee well-being C suite's priority? Thomas Radosh

Focusing on employees’ mental health from the top down

While providing mental health initiatives and mental health support are already offered by many workplaces, I think it is not enough to show people the door. People need to feel comfortable expressing their feelings if they are struggling. Transparent communication coming from leaders is critical if we want to encourage employees to talk about their mental health and potentially find solutions to the problems they are dealing with.

People need to feel that they are not alone in this and that everyone occasionally goes through ups and downs. I discovered that authentic leaders are willing to share their fears and assumptions and show vulnerability to others. And, vulnerability can be “contagious” — when one person starts opening up, this could lead to more people opening up, eventually transforming the whole organisation. This way, CEOs will become more approachable to other employees, creating better connections at work and encouraging everyone to prioritise their mental health. 

Cultivating employees’ sense of purpose

One of the key things I have learned throughout my personal and professional life is that people need to feel that they bring value and that their work, dedication, and contribution are recognized. Long are the days when employees were satisfied with just their paycheck. Today, almost every employee wants to feel a sense of purpose and fulfillment. However, purpose can mean a lot of things for different people.

On the one hand, some people may feel a sense of purpose in the work they do, while others may feel they are contributing to the culture and the environment through their involvement in the community. Overall, the feeling they are truly making an impact is a critical component of their mental well-being. Leaders have an important role in encouraging employees to understand their purpose. If leaders emphasise the importance of defining the purpose, the people will feel more empowered to maximise their potential and show the best version of themselves. 

Keep an open mind and understand the sentiment of your workforce 

It is not enough to encourage people to talk openly about their mental health. It is also important to be consistent in the efforts to have a clear overview and deeper understanding of how people in the organisation feel. The easiest way to do that is to send regular surveys to measure employees’ pulse and understand their sentiments to be able to make proactive measures and prevent unwanted scenarios. For instance, while remote work brings a lot of benefits, it can also make people feel isolated.

Informal gatherings, even when working remotely, are critical not only because they make employees feel the true spirit of teamwork but also because they allow for water cooler conversations that boost our creativity and give us an opportunity to discuss a variety of ideas.

This is why having virtual happy hours or a virtual lunch where people can get together to chat about some everyday events, share stories, and strengthen connections is imperative. Also, checking the employees’ pulse regularly can help CEOs and employees notice problems early on and solve them before they become serious. 

Take care of your inner self 

Mental Health Awareness Month: Why is employee well-being C suite's priority? Anna Radosh

While most of us strive to maximize our potential at work, feel good about ourselves, and drive change, it cannot be easy always to feel positive. We all have our ups and downs. The reality is that each one of us should deepen our understanding of psychological experiences for those that we care about and ourselves.

This includes providing access to the right resources and training to help employees bring their authentic selves to work and empower them to perform at their best. Mental Health Awareness Month is the ideal time of the year for us to reflect on our well-being and consider how we can help those surrounding us overcome the barriers they are facing and thrive now and into the future. We are all in this together! 

To learn more about Deployflow culture and how we contribute to employees’ mental health and well-being, read the interviewes with some of our chang-makers and opportunity seekers at our blog


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maya.budinski

Published on May 20, 2024