Managing Employee Mental Health and Well-Being as a Leader

Managing Employee Mental Health and Well-Being as a Leader

Now more than ever, tech teams are looking to their leaders to cultivate and embrace a workplace culture that prioritizes employee mental health. Recent studies show that workplace stress has reached an all-time high, with 62% of employees feeling extreme stress.

However, there are ways for both team leaders and workers to help improve the mental health of a team, even during challenging times. Research shows a high correlation between open communication and overall wellness in work environments. Many times, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel or completely transform your current strategy to have success.


Alongside your company’s employee mental health resources, here are five key strategies that can be used to help support employees in maintaining their health and wellness, all of which you can implement right away. 

Mental Health Strategies That Companies Can Implement Right Now

1. Create A Space to Talk

Less than 1 in 3 employees feel like their leaders communicate efficiently, and many employees simply need a safe outlet to communicate. Leaders should make a point to schedule one-on-one chats regularly with each member of their team. Group communication is also key. Start sharing tips, info and support via internal channels around mental health for employees, or even informal weekly morning coffee chats. To strike a good balance between work and personal topics, host executive office hours that your employees can sign up for if they need more one-on-one time.

This type of communication should be a two-way street. Encourage feedback, ask how employees are doing and most importantly, always keep the lines of communication open and authentic.

2. Have Fun

For fully remote teams, there are many ways to replace happy hours with virtual team bonding activities or games that are just as fun and engaging. Host a themed game night, virtual happy hour, trivia, cooking competition or even a costume contest! If you're stumped on where to start, check out this list of 52 virtual team bonding activities aimed at boosting employee morale and mental health.

For additional tips on how to keep your tech team thriving, check out our manager resources center. 

3. Encourage Activity & Wellness

Something as little as a 30-second break can help increase productivity by 13%. It's important to make sure everyone on the team takes the time they need to focus on well-being daily as a tool to thrive.

Leaders can share employee wellness resources for healthy habits like free workout apps, meditation opportunities and meal suggestions to help support a balanced lifestyle.

Additionally, leaders can provide opportunities and encourage teams to take active breaks to keep the team energized and productive, such as getting outdoors when possible.

Most importantly, while everyone takes breaks differently, be clear that however your team chooses, it’s fine to take a break for your well-being as an employee and individual.

4. Focus on Family

For those working in or working with someone in a remote environment, we can all relate to seeing kids in the background of conference calls, pets making a cameo appearance in stand-ups, schedules having to adjust for home-school programming and an overall new outlook on the concept of work/life balance.

Rather than fighting those realities, embrace them. Invite employees to bring their kids to meetings, meet the pets virtually and even send resources to fellow parents with young children to help them engage and understand projects their parents are currently working on. We’re all in this together, and families play a huge role in the health and well-being of every employee.

To that end, for those working in the office, having leaders encourage spending time with their families can be a great way to improve morale and mental health. If feasible, things like letting workers pick up and drop off kids at school can be a big boost to the office.

5. Offer Recognition

Last but certainly not least, give credit where credit is due. Highlighting exceptional performances and milestones in front of the entire team can make employees feel appreciated.

There are many different ways you can recognize an employee. Choose the method you think would make the most sense for your team and business. Remember to be consistent and continue to recognize milestones whether you have team members working in the office, in a hybrid environment, or fully remote. Celebrating things like work anniversaries and birthdays can go a long way. 90% of workers say after receiving employee recognition, they’re motivated to work harder.

25 Mental Health Resources to Help With Stress

Whatever tactics you choose to implement, it’s important to be empathetic and cognizant of the challenges your team is facing.

Creating a people-first culture for your employees will lead to more engaged employees. A positive workplace environment depends on the health and wellness of each individual employee, and that starts with every leader helping to provide the necessary tools to thrive.

Looking for your next opportunity? Contact your local Motion Recruitment today. Offices are located across North America, with recruiters that specialize in specific skill sets inside tech. Find out how we can put your career in Motion today.


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