How to promote mental health within your organization?
La salud mental es parte importante del ser humano, la promoción dentro de una organización puede mejorar el desarrollo y la productividad de tus colaboradores. En este blog post te daremos un recuento de lo visto en nuestro webinar de salud mental impartido por las especialistas de Vauxoo Pilar Espinosa y María José Ruzicka, te hablaremos sobre qué es la salud mental, su importancia y que acciones puedes tomar para promoverla dentro de tu organización.

Mental health is an important part of being human, promoting it within an organization can improve the development and productivity of your employees. In this blog post we will review what was seen in our mental health webinar taught by Vauxoo’s specialists: Pilar Espinosa and María José Ruzicka. We will talk about what mental health is, its importance, and what actions you can take to promote it within your organization.

What is mental health?

Mental health is the balance between people and their sociocultural environment, including their emotional, personal, professional and physical well-being and influences how a person thinks, feels, acts and reacts in times of stress.

Why is it important to talk about mental health in companies?

This issue is directly related to the profitability of your company, since you can lose money by hiring collaborators who resign after a short time or take many days of disability due to their mental health. It costs because you have already invested time and resources in training. 

You must take into account that nowadays people do not choose to work only for the salary, they choose to work depending on how they feel in their work area, how other collaborators treat them and if they are being able to cover their personal objectives. Opening spaces where your collaborators can talk about those problems that affect their mental health creates a healthy work environment to which they will want to belong.

What has changed with the pandemic that has put the mental health of employees in a company at risk?

The pandemic was a collective stressor, there was not a single person in this world who was not in contact with this stressor. At the labor level, that physical barrier was removed where the work time was separated from personal time. 

Before the pandemic, people were physically in a certain place at the time of work and visiting any other physical space outside there was part of their personal time.

The pandemic eliminated this possibility and at a psychological level the brain becomes confused, since the space that a person previously associated with recreation or relaxation time is now also the space where they work, many people began to feel that they worked all day because there is no physical barrier.

Also keep in mind that many people lost family, friends and their jobs. Causing a great uncertainty in people.

As a business owner, how can I be aware of these health conditions, and what can I do about them?

The first step is to know what mental health conditions look like, mental health generally touches three areas: biological, psychological and social. When a person is affected or is going through a difficult time and his mental health is compromised, it can be noticed in one of these three areas, changing his performance for the worse.

  • On a psychological level, it could happen that a collaborator who was previously very proactive, punctual, enthusiastic, is suddenly no longer enthusiastic or is suddenly late or tired.

  • On a social level, someone begins to isolate himself or begin to stop visiting friends, family.

  • On a physical level, a person who carries a workload due to a lot of stress permanently for a long period of time is a time bomb, symptoms can begin to appear, since emotional stress is also reflected in the body in the form of gastritis, torticollis, etc.

If your company is small, it is best to be an empathetic leader, not only concerned and attentive to the role of each person in your company, but also on a personal level without being invasive and respecting the limits of your collaborators. Being more attentive to their attitudes and performance can give you an indication of whether they are experiencing a mental health condition.

If the company is already medium or higher, you will need to have a person dedicated to monitoring this part, if the collaborators have a condition, the people who will know it are those who work directly with that person, one of the things you can do is train your personal to be more empathetic and to open a space to talk about the problems, there are many companies where it is taboo to talk about your personal life or if you are going through a difficult time and that simply makes it more difficult for everyone. 

One of the first steps would be to open a space to talk about emotional problems if they exist, but the ideal would be to have a specialized area in human resources.

How does Vauxoo create healthy, high-performance work environments?

At Vauxoo we implemented several actions to take care of the mental health of our collaborators, which have helped us to generate a healthy work environment, we share the first three steps that we implemented:

  1. We generate openness. The first step is to create an openness in the work environment to be able to talk about emotional things or work problems. You have to take into account that working with people implies knowing that they have an emotional variability that you cannot control as a company. The best thing is to open spaces, that your collaborators know that is okay not be okay, it is easier to cope with a problem when you know that you can talk about it.

  2. Flexibility. The second step is to have some flexibility and worry about your collaborators, for example: when a collaborator is absent instead of taking drastic measures ask them: Did something happen for which you had an absence? Are there any personal problems you need to solve? They may be going through tough problems, and talking about it can lower their stress level. Just as your company demands loyalty, commitment and respect from its employees, your company must also be reciprocal with your collaborators.

  3. Hire psychologists. The third point is to hire psychologists, the pandemic showed us how important it is to have good emotional management, time management and the management of one's own goals. If there is a group of people who are experts in this, why not have them in your company?

If we could quote a part of what Pilar and Majo said in the webinar, what would it be?

An important part that was touched in the webinar is knowing how to identify when a person is not very well, it can be something physical, or it can be a subtle change, it is important to recognize it.

Sometimes people go to the extreme, they think that being bad is having a depression that keeps you in bed all day, or you have anxiety at a very high level that generates nervous tics and no, there are many levels, the culture of mental health management is to detect when something is taking you out of your center before you reach the point where those warning lights burst.

We also mentioned that sometimes having very high goals can frustrate you more therefore it is best to set realistic goals and take into account that people are not an algorithm, not because this week you were very productive you can expect exactly the same every week, it’s going to have a variability and that is fine. An example of this is what we did here at Vauxoo, we implemented flexible hours, we generated some rules so that employees could set their own hours and take advantage of their productive moments and family moments. We implement random standups or random meetings where several collaborators talk about a random topic that is not related to work, promoting coexistence between collaborators from different areas.

The type of promotion and internal strategies that you should do to promote a healthy environment for your collaborators will depend on the size of your company, however the most important thing when creating healthy spaces is to be willing to change, to create that flexibility at work and generate an opening so that your collaborators can have a balance in their life.

If you want to know a little more about what was discussed in the webinar, we leave you the video below:


At Vauxoo we are interested in your team and your company, learn more about us

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