Positive Mental Health Programming
Finding engaging activities to promote mental health and well-being in the workplace does not have to be challenging. Activities can be implemented for employees whether working in the office or remotely from home. Here is a list of mental health programming options to consider for improving well-being at your workplace.
Learning and skill-building activities: Stress management is an essential skill needed in today’s fast-paced work environment. Our ability to manage stress can profoundly affect our job performance and our interactions with co-workers, collaborators, and customers. Given the importance of stress management in the workplace, organizations should consider investing in learning and skill-building activities that teach practical strategies to cope with stress, adapt to change, and positively respond to adversity.
- Virtual Stress Management Workshops: Virtual stress management workshops offer an avenue to help employees learn techniques to positively cope with and respond to stress, leading to better job performance and overall well-being. These workshops are offered from the American Institute of Stress, and virtual learning platforms, such as Udemy and LinkedIn Learning.
- Resiliency Training: The workplace is filled with many stressors from tight deadlines to difficult customers. How people respond to these situations can dramatically impact project success, productivity, and organization culture. Resiliency training is a great way for employees to learn practical skills to help adapt to change, solve problems under pressure, manage conflicts, and innovate more effectively. Resiliency training may be offered by your wellness partners or through apps, such as Happify and MeQuilibrium.
- Mindfulness: Studies have shown that meditation and mindfulness can reduce stress, improve focus and problem-solving, and increase empathy. Organizations can promote mindfulness in the workplace by investing in mindfulness apps or hosting weekly mindfulness sessions. Mindfulness workshops may be offered by your wellness partners or through apps including Headspace, Calm, and 10% Happier.
Activities to combat social isolation: Whether working from home or the office, employees can be susceptible to feelings of loneliness and social isolation. These feelings can have significant effects on the workplace, such as low productivity, poor interpersonal skills, and high risk for mental health conditions. Organizations can help reduce the risk of loneliness and social isolation by adopting more inclusive policies, establishing regular employee check-ins, and promoting networking and team-building activities.
- Virtual Coffee Hour: This option offers a great way to connect employees who may be feeling socially isolated or alone when working remotely. It also provides networking opportunities for employees to interact across different organizational departments to share ideas. Prepared prompts can facilitate collaborative group problem-solving, and games and exercises can promote team building and strengthen organizational culture.
- Step Challenges: Exercise has been shown to help reduce stress, lower risk for mental health conditions, and improve overall well-being. Step challenges can be an easy and fun activity to encourage exercise regardless of work location. To help team building, break people into teams and set a challenge goal (e.g. 10K/day for one month). Apps can be used to track step activity and messaging groups can be created to facilitate communication between participants and even promote some friendly competition.
- Virtual Lunch: Throughout human history, meals have played a central role to bring people together to share food and socialize. A monthly virtual lunch can also serve a social role to help connect employees, expand organizational networks, share ideas, foster collaboration, and reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation.
- Practice gratitude challenge: In difficult times, it can be hard to remember our successes. Practicing gratitude has been shown to increase positive emotions, motivation, and resiliency, while reducing anxiety and depression. Consider holding a 21-day gratitude challenge, in which employees can turn appreciation into a daily habit. Other gratitude challenge ideas can be found at Ted.com