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8 Ways to Boost a Positive State of Mind

8 Ways to Boost a Positive State of Mind

With inflation, soaring house prices, and a rental crisis across Australia maintaining a positive state of mind is more important than ever. Yet, finding effective mental health initiatives that genuinely resonate with employees can be a challenge. Preach about an initiative in your organisation that has little or no effect on your employees’ state of mind, and it could have the opposite effect… ‘Friday pizza party’ comes to mind. When treading lightly through the new age, and managing the general doom and gloom of 2024, it’s important to implement strategies that truly support and empower your teams.

8 ways to boost a positive state of mind

We’ve observed firsthand with our clients what works and what doesn’t. In honour of the recent Mental Health Awareness Month, we thought we’d share some initiatives that have made a real difference in workplaces we partner with. Here are 8 ways to boost a positive state of mind:

1. Flexible Work Arrangements

Flexible work schedules and remote work options give employees control over their time, reducing stress and increasing job satisfaction. This flexibility and autonomy allows them to balance personal responsibilities with professional commitments more effectively.

8 ways to boost a positive state of mind

How to Implement:

  • Offer remote work options where possible.
  • If fully-remote roles are not possible, encourage hybrid arrangements.
  • Allow flexible start and end times to accommodate different lifestyles. Something as small as being able to pick their kids up from school can have a huge positive effect on someone’s day-to-day life.
  • Encourage a results-oriented work environment, focusing on outcomes rather than hours spent at the desk. If your team is performing above and beyond, why would it matter that they nip out for a dentist appointment, or to walk the dog?

2. Well-Being Days

Providing specific days for mental health shows that your company values employee well-being just as much as productivity. It helps prevent burnout and encourages employees to take care of their mental health proactively.

How to Implement:

  • Allocate a certain number of mental health days separate from sick leave.
  • Communicate openly about the importance of using these days. They should not be a worst case scenario, everybody needs a breather every now and then, let your employees know that you understand that and they can be open about it.
  • Ensure that employees feel no stigma in taking mental health days.
  • Provide some examples of what the day can be used for – Well-being Days, Duvet Days, DIY Days, Family time, Alone Time, Nature Nurture time. This gives employees assurance that they don’t need to feel guilty for their reasons

(Here’s me enjoying a walk on the beach – my favourite way to recharge!)

3. Regular Check-Ins

Consistent, meaningful check-ins between managers and employees can help identify and address issues before they become significant problems. It encourages a culture of open communication and support.

How to Implement:

  • Schedule regular one-on-one meetings.
  • Use these meetings to discuss workload, stress levels, and personal well-being.
  • Sometimes just letting it out when your thoughts are clouded can make all the difference, I know it does for me. Train managers to lend an ear, listen actively, and provide appropriate support.

4. Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs)

EAPs provide confidential support for personal and work-related issues. These programs can offer counselling, legal advice, and financial planning, among other services, providing a comprehensive support system for employees.

How to Implement:

  • You don’t need to be an expert in all of these areas to offer support. Partner with a reputable EAP provider.
  • Promote the availability and benefits of the EAP to all employees.
  • Ensure confidentiality to build trust and encourage usage.

5. Wellness Programs

Movement and mindfulness – it’s a huge contributor to positive mental health for most people, really. Wellness programs that include activities like yoga, meditation, and fitness classes can significantly reduce stress and improve overall mental health. These programs encourage employees to take a holistic approach to their well-being. They can be costly, and it’s not something many organisations in the peak body’s, membership’s, and associations space offer. But you can encourage wellness without spending $$$. Have you considered starting a run club with your office or walking 1:1s? There’s thousands of online resources available for free, or very little cost. Why not host a group meditation using a youtube video at lunch? It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but it could be the catalyst that turns someone’s day around.

How to Implement:

  • Offer on-site or virtual wellness classes.
  • Provide resources for at-home wellness practices.
  • Encourage participation by incorporating wellness activities into the workday.

6. Mental Health Training

Training sessions on mental health awareness can equip employees with the knowledge to identify signs of mental health issues in themselves and others. It creates a supportive and informed workplace culture, and it shows that you truly care.

How to Implement:

  • Provide regular training on mental health topics.
  • Include training on how to support colleagues who may be struggling.
  • Offer resources and materials for continued learning.

7. Creating a Supportive Environment

8 ways to boost a positive state of mindThis leads into every one of our points so far but we think creating a supportive work environment where mental health is openly discussed and valued will have the biggest impact on employees’ well-being. If you have made your team comfortable enough by encouraging open dialogue and reducing stigma around mental health issues then you can actively prevent problems from leading to burnout.

How to Implement:

  • Promote a culture of openness and acceptance.
  • Lead by example, with leadership talking openly about mental health.
  • Create peer support groups or networks.
  • Be proactive, not reactive. Nip small issues in the bud before they turn into burnout.

8. Access to Mental Health Resources

Providing easy access to mental health resources ensures that employees have the tools they need to manage their mental health effectively. This could include online resources, apps like Headspace, or partnerships with mental health organisations.

How to Implement:

  • Compile a list of mental health resources and make them easily accessible.
  • Partner with mental health organisations to provide additional support.
  • Regularly update and share these resources with employees.

By integrating these initiatives, you can create a workplace where employees feel supported and valued, leading to increased productivity, higher job satisfaction, and overall better mental health.

If you’re looking for more ways to support mental health in your organisation or want to share your success stories, we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with us here.

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