When it comes to the overall health of a workplace, it’s important to take both physical and mental factors into consideration. The way an employee feels, thinks, and behaves can impact everything from communication to productivity, so helping to improve their mental health is one of the most important steps an employer can take. Not only will providing mental health support help improve someone’s well-being, but it also helps to improve the overall health of the company or organization. That, in turn, also helps productivity and can help keep business and marketing strategies at their best.
It’s important to remember that there isn’t one “right way” to create a mentally healthy environment, as every workplace is different. There are several different factors to consider, from the employees doing the work to the type of work being done to the individuals running the company. But while every situation is different, the one factor that remains consistent across the board is the importance of treating mental health in the workplace.
We’ve broken down some of the key factors to take into consideration when treating mental health in the workplace, as well as have highlighted a few of the more prominent things that can influence the mental health of individuals working in more creative roles.
Treating Mental Health in the Workplace: Work/Life Balance
One of the easiest ways that you can help to treat mental health in the workplace is by promoting work/life balance. It can become easy to praise employees who come into the office early, stay late, or work extra hours at home to manage their workload. This can be detrimental and can lead to issues like burnout, which in turn affects productivity and the quality of work your employees produce.
One way to combat this is to encourage your team to take vacation time so they can unplug from the office and pursue their hobbies or interests. Another great way to promote a good work/life balance is to host some team-building events both in and out of the office. This will help encourage your employees to interact with one another in a more casual fashion that isn’t directly related to work.
In our marketing agency, we host a monthly “Team Lunch” that encourages employees to take an hour out of their day to enjoy a delicious lunch from a local restaurant with one another.
This lunch provides our crew with a reason to come together and provides management with an opportunity to touch base and see where everyone is at. We also encourage our employees to champion fun team-building events throughout the year as well that Hiilite will financially support.
Reduce the Stigma: Have an Internal Marketing Strategy for Mental Health
As we become more and more conscious of mental health and the effect that it can have on employees and the workplace, one of the most important things that you can do is to continue to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health. There are a few easy ways to do this, including:
- Openly discussing mental health and acknowledging that everyone struggles with their mental health from time to time (management should be the first to open up to help others feel comfortable)
- Support your employees’ efforts to improve their mental health through avenues like using group benefits for therapy and taking time off
- Talk about mental health, stress management, and self-care during meetings and in emails to help reduce the stigma associated with mental illness
- Encourage employees to make their wellness a priority by adding incentives to your systems and operations (you could even come up with an internal marketing strategy for it)
While some of these may seem obvious, keeping them top-of-mind can help create a more positive and understanding work environment for employees who might be struggling with their mental health.
Additionally, encouraging employees to do what they need to do to help their mental health, whether that be taking a mental health day or creating a flexible work schedule so they can attend therapy sessions help make it clear that employees won’t be penalized for working on their mental health.
Understanding the Dangers of Creative Burnout
The treatment of mental health is important across all workplaces and in all industries, those working in more creative fields, such as marketing, often face some more unique mental health challenges related to their work. One of the most prevalent is creative burnout. It can happen to anyone at any time, and while it’s normal for creativity to come and go, it can sometimes be a struggle to get that creative spark back. Here are a few symptoms of creative burnout to look out for:
- You feel stuck
- Feeling physical symptoms of stress (headaches, stomach aches, muscle pain, etc.)
- You don’t enjoy creativity
- Feeling temperamental
If you or your employees are struggling with creative burnout, there are lots of great ways to tackle creative burnout and kickstart your creativity again. The first is to simply take some time away from the project that is causing the burnout. This can be as simple as taking a walk on your lunch break or taking a day off to focus on yourself and your own wellbeing.
Another great way to combat creative burnout is to exercise your brain’s creative muscles. For writers that struggle with creative blocks, this could mean doing a fifteen-minute freewriting exercise. Sometimes all it takes to get that creative spark back is to simply change pace and focus on something else for a moment.
How Imposter Syndrome Can Creep Into Your Workplace
Another huge factor that affects many creatives is imposter syndrome, and it can manifest itself in several different ways from not feeling like you don’t deserve praise for the work you’ve done or feeling like a fraud in the creative industry. Oftentimes, it’s people who are high achievers and perfectionists who experience these feelings because of the pressure they put on themselves to be the best they can be.
Imposter syndrome can be hard on those working in creative fields because it can very quickly squash your creativity and can lead to creative burnout. It’s important to remember that you are not your thoughts; the mind is a powerful thing, and we are often our harshest critics, so it’s important to be gentle with yourself. There are a few different tips for coping with imposter syndrome that can help quiet the little nagging voice inside your head that might be telling you that you’re not good enough. These include:
- Acknowledging your thought patterns
- Talk it through with others
- Embrace whatever creative stage you’re in
- Accept that you’re not perfect
The last point is likely one of the hardest pieces of advice to take, especially when reflecting on yourself, but it’s true! Nobody is perfect, we all make mistakes, have flaws, and experience failures from time to time. Being conscious of imposter syndrome and being able to recognize it when it comes into play is essential for being able to combat it and not let it take a toll on your mental health.
Regardless of what industry or work environment you’re in, keeping both your mental health and the treatment of others’ mental health in mind is crucial to creating a positive work environment. Employees who have access to mental health resources and know that they are supported in their own individual mental health journeys will help to create a more enjoyable, productive workplace.