How to better manage anxiety in the workplace

How to better manage anxiety in the workplace

A recent study in Australia found that 1 in 5 Aussies have had to take time off work due to stress, anxiety, depression or other mental health reasons. Unfortunately, this can be a part of too many jobs and your organisation likely needs to do more to ensure your employees can maintain a strong, positive mental disposition when dealing with their daily duties.

Indeed, this study — called the State of Workplace Mental Health in Australia — also found that a mentally healthy workplace is a priority for 91% among employees and 89% of management. Moreover, more than 7 in 10 people from both of these groups believe organisations that value mental health are more likely to enjoy high levels of productivity.

Don't let work anxiety derail your employees.Don't let work anxiety derail your employees.

So what can you do to support your employees' mental health more effectively? We have some ideas:

Encourage employees to be more attuned to their feelings

One of the big issues that many people face when it comes to workplace mental health is that they don't know the warning signs that they are being ruled by stress or anxiety. WebMD noted that these symptoms can include not just feeling tense, irritable, worried and so on, but also if they (or others) notice their performance dropping, becoming less engaged with their work or otherwise trying to avoid coming to the office. 

Empower them to confront the issue

When these issues start to arise, your employees should be able to feel comfortable reporting them to a co-worker or manager. According to Medical News Today, some may not bring up feelings of stress or anxiety for fear of harsh consequences — including job loss — which only contributes to a cycle of worry and doesn't help anyone. Instead, they should feel encouraged to come forward with any issues they may be having, so that all involved can find a reasonable solution together.

Focus on tangible solutions

When stress and anxiety are mounting for an employee, it can be easy for them to feel as though they're all alone — even if that's not the case. For that reason, when talking about these issues, managers should strive to help their employees understand the reality of the situation and, if necessary, provide them with assistance or additional resources that help lighten the load. In most cases, there are plenty of options that can help alleviate these feelings within existing organisational structures.

As such, sitting down with an employee to understand the issue and find a potential solution can be a huge help in getting them back on track, in terms of both their mental health and in their role as a part of your company.

For more help on this front, turn to the experts at ICML. We teach a course in Managing Anxiety and Stress that can help support your broader organisational efforts, and these sessions can be tailored to your exact needs. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for your company and all its employees.

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