Prioritization of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) provides many benefits for your company. Among these benefits is improved mental health for your workforce.
Each employee’s mental health impacts how they feel, react to problems and cope with challenges.
These are reasons why your organization needs to provide mental health support. Since your employees spend the majority of their time at work, their health impacts your company’s health.
Discover some ways your DE&I initiatives can improve your employees’ mental health.
Connecting Diversity, Inclusion, and Mental Health
Providing holistic, authentic, and effective benefits that support your D&I strategies impacts your employees’ mental health. This is especially true for your employees of color.
Employees with diverse backgrounds may face a lack of representation, microaggressions, or unconscious bias. These and other stressors impact your employees’ mental health.
Your employees need to feel psychological safety at work in order to perform their best. The more your D&I strategies lead to an increase in representation and reduction of microaggressions and unconscious bias, the more engaged and productive your employees should be.
Relating Inclusion and Mental Health
Your employees need to feel that they are valued and respected within your organization. This is especially important for women and people of color.
Many employees feel that their gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, or disability impacts how they are treated at work. This often results in experiencing barriers to inclusion. These experiences affect your employees’ mental health.
This demonstrates why your DE&I strategies and support for employee mental health cannot succeed independently. An employee’s race, identity, and sense of who they are cannot repeatedly be questioned or used against them without impacting their mental health. Such actions in the workplace negatively impact the employees and the company.
Steps to Blend Your DE&I Strategies with Mental Health Support
Focus on a range of topics that may impact your employees’ different life stages and situations. Include the spectrum of mental health and its potential impact on individuals. Acknowledge that each employee has different needs to feel supported by your company. Create policies and expectations to continually increase the support felt by employees at all levels.
Use different channels to provide support for your employees’ mental health. This may include digital content, group presentations, and individual conversations. Diversification lets your employees choose the most convenient avenue to enhance their mental health. Whereas one employee may benefit from practicing mindfulness to alleviate stress, another employee may need cognitive-behavioral therapy.
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