The balancing act: exploring the limits of employer support for mental health

Estimated read time 4 min read

Rhino Entertainment’s chief people officer, Marie Theobald, discusses why taking a holistic approach to enabling employees’ wellness, where a balance between productivity and fostering a culture of resilience and support, can lead to a more sustainable workplace where individuals thrive
The post The balancing act: exploring the limits of employer support for mental health first appeared on EGR Intel.  

In the fast-paced world of today’s workplaces, mental health has become a crucial topic. As individuals, with our own set of personal challenges, we often ponder how much support employers should provide in navigating these struggles. It’s clear from research that mental wellbeing directly impacts performance, making it imperative for businesses to integrate mental health support into their HR strategies.

Additionally, particularly the post-pandemic era, there has been a noticeable increase in resignations across industries where employees cite burnout or mental health issues as primary reasons for leaving their jobs.

The question then arises: where does our responsibility as business leaders begin and end? Recognising the high demands that our industry and other similar ones bring with them, we must confront the challenge of balancing organisational goals with individual wellbeing. The relentless pressures in our industries drive the push for higher performance, often at some expense.

However, the matter is not merely about offering sympathy; empowering individuals with resilience and the tools to navigate life’s challenges are far more effective. In a landscape where productivity often takes precedence over wellbeing, providing appropriate support and fostering resilience emerge as crucial mental health initiatives.

Invest in mental health

Responsible organisational leadership is key in this regard. Businesses, driven by their pursuit of success, must also recognise their responsibility to enable balance. It’s essential to understand that when individuals are pushed to the brink of burnout, productivity inevitably suffers. Therefore, supporting mental health and allowing employees the necessary time to recharge isn’t just an act of kindness; it’s an important investment in business sustainability and talent retention.

However, the drivers of mental health problems extend beyond performance pressures and work/life balance. While everyone encounters life challenges, several workplace factors can negatively impact mental health. These may include inadequate resources, disorganisation, ineffective project prioritisation, lack of autonomy, toxic environments and weak social connections. As leaders, we must identify and address these aspects, supporting our teams and implementing improvements.

A holistic approach

Navigating the intricacies of modern workplaces requires a shift away from narrow productivity driven paradigms towards a more holistic outlook. This entails implementing employee assistance programmes, organising wellness initiatives and, crucially, fostering a culture where individuals feel empowered to openly discuss and seek help for the challenges they may be facing.

Yet, the responsibility for mental health doesn’t solely rest with organisational leaders and businesses. While organisations can take significant steps to support employee mental health, employees themselves must take ownership of their work and personal challenges by speaking up as a first step, seeking and accepting help and taking the necessary steps to address unbalanced situations they may face.

Ultimately, achieving better mental health in the workplace requires a fundamental shift in our collective mindset. In essence, finding the right balance entails fostering a culture of both empathy and resilience. By setting a narrative where success is not achieved at the expense of wellbeing but in harmony with it, we are able to cultivate a more sustainable and compassionate work environment conducive to achieving shared goals.

With a blend of an academic background, 15 years of strategic and operational talent management expertise across various industries, and a passion for business and personal growth, Marie Theobald, chief people officer at Rhino Entertainment, is dedicated to creating transformative strategies that shape people’s development and cultures within organisations, which align to strategic commercial growth.

The post The balancing act: exploring the limits of employer support for mental health first appeared on EGR Intel.


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