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How can we create a supportive workplace culture?

A supportive workplace culture begins with supportive supervisors. Workplace culture is influenced by managerial styles that differ in levels of communication, fairness, and support. Supervisors who support and provide their employees with guidance create a culture where employees feel equipped and motivated to perform their job well. Managerial styles that value the feedback and ideas of its employees increase engagement by empowering employees to discuss workplace policies and practices that improve workplace culture.

Asking for and incorporating employee feedback should be a valued practice at the supervisory level and at the workplace culture level. Companies create cultures of feedback by providing opportunities for staff at all levels to give anonymous feedback about their work, their supervisors, their coworkers, changes needed in the company, and evaluation of workload, stress, mental health, and burnout. A company can demonstrate that feedback is valued by transparently reporting the outcomes of the assessment and developing and executing a plan to improve the workplace as a response to feedback from staff.

Based on MHA’s Work Health Survey findings, a company should aim to achieve the following outcomes designed with employee mental health and a supportive workplace culture in mind:

  • The employer values, requests, and incorporates employee feedback into workplace policies and practices.
  • Supervisors and employees feel comfortable and have the ability to make recommendations that improve workplace culture and employee mental health.
  • Supervisors and employees understand mental health in the context of their work and are aware of and can easily access resources offered by the employer.
  • A mutual trust and respect exist between supervisors and direct reports as a result of fair and effective management policies and practices, such as:
    • Employees receiving regular feedback and support from supervisors;
    • Employees having some agency over their position regarding workload and expectations;
    • Supervisors recognizing and rewarding employees’ efforts; and
    • Employees having opportunities for professional growth.

If you are interested in a comprehensive assessment of your overall workplace, MHA has developed the Bell Seal for Workplace Mental Health, a certification program to recognize and guide employers that are creating mentally healthy workplaces.

If you are interested in a comprehensive assessment of your workplace culture, Mental Health America of Franklin County conducts a thorough and anonymous information gathering process to address an employer’s greatest staffing challenges through listening carefully to employee issues—from micro to macro. Then they compile their learnings to provide the employer with comprehensive, straightforward recommendations through its Occumetrics assessment.

If you are interested in a quick online assessment of your overall workplace, the American Psychiatric Association Foundation’s Center for Workplace Mental Health, MHA, and One Mind at Work have joined forces to connect employers with information and resources on workplace mental health. The Workplace Mental Health Assessment provides employers with what is needed to assess the workplace, raise awareness, end stigma, build a mentally healthy workplace culture, and improve access to mental health supports.

More Information:

How can we address mental health in our employee surveys?

What are the top five reasons an employee stays and leaves a job?

Is your company on the path to wellness?

Resources:

Bell Seal for Workplace Mental Health – MHA

Occumetrics - MHA of Franklin County

Workplace Mental Health Assessment – APAF

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