How to Create a Mentally Healthy Workplace: Your Guide to Troubleshooting Anxiety and Promoting Supportive Environments
Anxiety at work is becoming an increasingly talked-about issue and it’s time that businesses and their people managers move beyond the conversation and into actively taking steps to reduce anxiety in the workplace.
This book provides easy-to-follow techniques to identify the causes and triggers of stress in the office, as well as simple yet effective solutions to troubleshoot employee anxiety.
You’ll also learn about small changes you can make for big results – for example, why firefighters who take a break together to eat lunch are able to save more lives; how millennials is a generation that may be prone to paralysis by analysis; and how business leaders can be allies to employees from minority backgrounds.
These sections will introduce positive changes you can implement today that will help take the stress out of the office!
Leaders Can Help Employees Cope with Uncertainty in the Workplace
Today’s workforce is filled with uncertainty, and younger workers feel particularly besieged by events which are beyond their control.
They were already facing job insecurity thanks to the financial crisis of 2008, combined with the fear of automation taking over their roles.
But after investing in their own education and qualifications, some millennials instead find only insecure freelance or contract-based work – leaving them feeling easily replaceable at any time.
Adding to this is the COVID-19 pandemic, which has further destabilized many jobs and caused an even higher level of anxiety among younger workers.
This feeling of being constantly under threat has given rise to “Generation Paranoia” – a need to be “always on” and always available for fear of losing their job.
Leaders can try to help alleviate this problem by being transparent about changes within the company and updating employees regularly on new issues that may arise.
Confusion and panic can quickly given way to mutual understanding solong as everyone in the business feels informed.
Ultimately, disruption is here to stay and leaders must embrace it; providing clear leadership will help young workers cope better with uncertainty they cannot control
We Need to Embrace Conflict and Debate in the Workplace for a Healthy and Productive Team
It’s no secret that some conflict is necessary for a productive and successful team.
This isn’t to say that frustration and hostility should be rampant in the workplace.
Rather, healthy debate can produce greater problem-solving and can actually motivate staff to produce better work.
At its core, constructive conflict among team members allows them to feel heard, engaged and secure in their work.
Moreover, when people have a hand in developing projects, they are more likely to invest their energy into ensuring those outcomes are achieved.
Managers can actively cultivate an environment where constructive debate takes place by encouraging discussions in meetings, granting time for each person to share their thoughts, and emphasizing the importance of giving honest opinions at all times – even if it means sharing something uncomfortable or disagreeable.
Ultimately, by taking these steps it not only encourages better quality debates but also gives teams the right information with which to make decisions.
How Leaders Can Become Allies in the Fight Against Bias and Discrimination at Work
If leaders want to foster an inclusive workplace, they must start by having difficult conversations about discrimination and systemic bias.
Too often these conversations get pushed aside or ignored, but that cannot be the case anymore.
It’s essential that we recognize the fact that marginalized groups are particularly susceptible to workplace anxiety caused by who they are.
This includes ethnic minorities, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and those affected by disabilities.
Studies have shown that Black people are 20 percent more likely to experience severe mental health problems than any other group in the United States — yet unfortunately, Black adults are less likely than the average American to receive help or treatment for it.
It’s no secret why this trend exists; racism and injustices impact individuals’ psychological wellness from all walks of life, including when they’re at work.
Similarly, LGBTQ+ people endure higher rates of anxiety and depression than their heterosexual counterparts — an alarming truth which needs to be addressed immediately.
Leaders must lead with bravery and compassion when confronting discrimination head-on within their organization – whether minor or extreme cases of prejuidce arise in their workplaces at any given time.
A great way to bridge this gap is if leaders model authenticity by sharing aspects of themselves with their teams – it may provide others with a feeling a safety, allowing them to express themselves authentically as well.
Although superficially declaring “that you don’t see color” is well-meaning, it isn’t helpful in reducing bias; someone’s identity can never be voided because it exists in reality whether you acknowledge it or not.
We should always strive for open dialogue between all sorts of people within a workforce!
Managers Can Promote Inclusion and Cohesiveness in the Workplace Through Regular One-to-One Catch-Ups and the Ten-Ten Morning and Afternoon Rituals
When it comes to team effectiveness, having members that feel a powerful sense of belonging is incredibly important.
This not only helps motivate individuals to perform at higher levels, but it can have far-reaching impacts for the team and organization as a whole.
Cornell University found that fire stations in which employees ate their lunch together were much more effective than those where employees ate alone—an indication that this feeling of inclusion is vital for increased productivity and safety.
Additionally, research by the University of British Columbia discovered that over 71% of professionals had experienced feelings of exclusion from their teams.
This can lead to lowered morale and decreased productivity, making it even more important for managers to create an environment in which all team members feel included.
One strategy is implementing what’s known as the ten-ten routine: where leaders briefly chat with everyone in their team, morning and evening.
Doing this makes everyone on the team feel like an integral part of something bigger—satisfying our need as humans to be valued and appreciated.
The use of buddy systems can also help, involving senior staff mentors who help junior colleagues build relationships with their peers.
Organizations Can Reduce Burnout By Reducing Employees’ Overwhelming Workload
The modern workplace is full of overwork, with employers asking their employees to do more in a short time span.
This has resulted in a startling 91 percent of Americans feeling burned-out by work, according to a 2019 survey.
Burnout can lead to feelings of exhaustion both physically and emotionally and even cause workers to be cynical and loathe themselves for enduring unfair demands.
Beyond damaging individuals personally and professionally, overwork also leads to lost productivity for employers due to increased sick days along with increased employee turnover.
Organizations are taking notice of the risks of burnout among their staff, but they often fail by focusing on the symptoms rather than the source: too much work.
Resilience training or wellness initiatives such as health eating programs or time management guidance fail to address the problem that employees are simply overwhelmed by the workload.
More effective solutions could include reducing digital tasks such as form filling that take away from valuable time with patients or reassigning tasks that certain members enjoy doing— strategies which have helped reduce anxiety among outsourced health care teams .
All in all, companies should focus on reducing the workload itself if they’re serious about tackling burnout and improving productivity among their team.
Employers Can Help Reduce FOMO by Implementing Employee Learning and Development Initiatives
Millennial workers of today are feeling a strong sense of FOMO; fear of missing out.
This is manifesting itself by them making preemptive jumps between jobs in the hopes that they’ll find better opportunities elsewhere and won’t miss out on development or career progression.
In comparison to their parents’ generation, many young workers feel disposable as they work through freelance and contract-based jobs.
With only one in ten organizations offering learning and development initiatives, it’s no surprise why Gen Zers feel this way.
However, employers can take advantage of this situation by implementing development initiatives for their employees.
Investing in employee growth and finding creative ways to promote employees, such as providing mini-promotions like Ladders does every four months, can not only boost employee engagement but also make the company successful since those companies facilitating employee learning and development are almost a third more likely to be leaders in their industry.
By investing in developement for their younger staff, organizations can ease anxiety around career progression and reduce turnover rates.
How to Stop Perfectionism from Generating Anxiety in the Workplace
Recent studies have revealed that perfectionist traits are becoming increasingly common among young people.
For example, a 2017 study by the University of Bath found that perfectionist traits were significantly more prevalent in British, American, and Canadian college students than they had been in previous generations.
This is likely due to the prevalence of social media, which has made it easier than ever to compare ourselves with others.
This can lead to intense pressure to strive for unattainable standards – there’s a certain kind of pressure that comes from always feeling like you’re not quite good enough or aren’t meeting up to someone else’s expectations.
Furthermore, research suggests that these perfectionist tendencies can cause additional problems in the work place.
Perfectionists may struggle with flexibility and taking on new tasks because they fear their efforts will not be good enough, causing them greater anxiety.
The Anxiety at Work book offers an insightful look into the current condition of the global labor market, noting that new generations of workers are often faced with challenges their parents did not have to deal with.
It also emphasizes how important it is for employers to have empathy and create an environment where employees feel valued in order to reduce anxiety.
The book offers actionable advice for managers, emphasizing that it is important for them to take time out of their busy schedules to properly praise star performers.
This can help make sure that those who are doing well don’t worry about their work going unnoticed and get the recognition they deserve.
Overall, Anxiety at Work provides valuable insight into how anxiety impacts the workplace and how managers can best support team members while remaining productive.