Work-related stress and burnout have been on the rise for the past several years. One of the main reasons for this is mobile devices, which have made it easier for work tasks to follow people home and even on vacation.
Mental health jobs are no exception. And, perhaps no one understands and commiserates with those facing a lack of work-life balance more than mental health professionals.
Add the distressing mental health issues associated with COVID-19 for everyday people and health professionals, and you might imagine how important finding ways to reduce stress is for your organization’s mental health professionals.
To provide a work-life balance to improve employee retention amongst your existing mental health workers, or to attract those who wish to advance their mental health careers within your practice, try these three tactics.
Much of the time, your mental health team members work with patients who need their counsel at a range of times. Your health professional might not have time in any predetermined schedule set by your facility to speak with the patient, causing stress for both parties. If your practice has meetings or other obligations at certain times when your mental health caregiver might offer counsel, consider allowing for schedule adjustments.
You might also consider enabling your professionals to work outside the traditional 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. paradigm and design a schedule, such as a second shift, that might help them work with their patient load more effectively without taking on too much. Since these are often high-level employees with specific educational qualifications and backgrounds, it’s wise to do what you can to retain mental health professionals.
Your mental health professionals likely feel similar degrees of stress, at least with work-related situations. You can help them bond to encourage more support when times are rough. Introduce team-building exercises that offer solutions to common issues that create work-life imbalance problems.
Such activities allow you to express that you care about your workers’ mental health and well-being as much you care about your patients. Without your mental health workers, you couldn’t help your patients, and it’s a good idea to remind them that you understand and acknowledge that.
Facilitating team-building activities also helps you create and foster a positive and welcoming company culture that makes your workplace more inviting for prospective mental health workers.
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Today’s employees’ idea of wellness differs from that of previous generations of workers. While a fair salary and health benefits are still valuable, they are not the only considerations for mental health professionals when accepting a job or staying with a company.
Further, COVID-19 has caused more workplace worries among employees working in-office or remotely. Each situation comes with its own stressors, so find ways to create the right balance.
Here are a few ideas to consider for improving workplace wellness:
Letting your mental health professionals know that you care by offering bonding, counseling, and team-building opportunities help you build a supportive environment that leads to better employee retention and talent attraction.