I came across this blog post recently and wanted to share it because I think it’s a really important message. We talk about mental health at work, and we talk about engagement and meaningful work as if they are different things. They aren’t.
Manoel, rather than viewing mental health as something we send our folks out to a therapist to deal with or give them some time off to deal with, is viewing it holistically. As he says:
Mental well-being is not only about being happy or completely stress-free. The WHO defines mental health as ‘a state of well-being in which an individual realises his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to his or her community’.
Consider this in the context of your workplace. We’ve been asking ourselves about whether our team is depressed or over-stressed but have we considered whether they have a clear definition of their role and good communication with their manager and team members? Those are not things we can refer an employee to an Employee Assistance Program to get treatment for. These are areas where it’s our culture, processes, and personalities are inflicting a mental health cost on our employees, causing them to be less than they otherwise could be, which is hurting the team overall because not everyone can contribute the way they should, and want to.
All of these things are interwoven. The people who work for you are human, that’s how we are. We aren’t just a worker for eight hours and then everything else for the rest of our time. We are human 24×7 and our wellbeing affects us in the workplace. The workplace also impacts our well-being.
That can be messy. If you don’t want to deal with the messy parts you won’t get the great parts that come from us being human either.
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