Depression is one of the leading causes of disability across the world. According to the statistics, 44% of depression, anxiety, and stress were reported that caused 55% of leave requests during the workforce; thus affecting the business’s productivity, back in 2018.
Not only this, one out of every five Americans is suffering from mental health issues, where depression causes a major disorder. Blue Cross Shield diagnosed that depression as rising fastest among millennials than among any other generation. This causes a loss of productivity at the workplace. A survey stated that the US accounts for a loss of $44 billion due to the poor productivity of the workforce.
Mental Health At Workplace
On average, the major part of the day an adult spends is at the workplace. Every day he has to go to the same place to handle new challenges. Many even spend years working at the same firm, meeting the same faces, and handling things with the same enthusiasm. Now, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, a large number of Americans are working from home, and simply don’t have the same productivity or energy levels. This causes fatigue and depression that not only affects their mood but has many severe side effects on their level of productivity.
Considering the damaging effect of depression on a company’s growth, employers are now paying attention to focus on the good mental health of their employees. In the 2017 Behavioral Health Survey, around 88% of US employers initiated to make behavioral health their main priority.
From organizing healthcare awareness seminars to offering health coverage to employees, companies are now turning towards finding the root causes and assisting their workforce to overcome depression for better business growth.
Common Signs of Depression in the Workplace
How are you going to find out whether your workforce is suffering from depression or not? Would you wait for them to come over and share it with you? Do you think everybody is so open to sharing what he or she is going through? Well, here are some common signs of depression that you can look for to have a healthy team.
- Lack of Attentiveness
If you find your teammates lacking attentiveness and being distracted over every other happening, note that down, as that could be a sign of depression. When a person finds difficulty in concentrating and focusing, it means he is suffering from some underlying depression.
- Sudden Decrease In Performance
A sudden downfall of performance is a clear sign of a mental issue. If an employee who used to perform well starts throwing off his tasks or causes unusual delays that means he requires a consultation.
- Loss Of Confidence
Lack of confidence is one of the clearer signs of depression. When a person is suffering from a mental issue, he begins to feel insecure and finds faults in his doing, thus blaming himself for every wrong. It causes a poor level of self-confidence.
- Negative Thinking And Lack Of Socializing Abilities
A depressed employee would be more inclined to causing troubles within the team. He would indulge in gossiping and try to find the negative aspect of everything. He would lack socializing abilities and would stay aloof.
Apart from these common symptoms to detect depression among your employees, you can even check their appearance. Observe how they dress up and maintain their personality. Watch for anger issues as well along with counting their sick leaves in a month.
If not cured or diagnosed early, your company will be going to suffer a great loss as employees suffering from depression causes the following negative impacts:
- Increased Leave Requests
- Incorporating Behavior
- Arguments and Disagreements
- Incomplete and Delayed Submissions
What Employers Should Do To Deal with Depressed Employees
If you think you can just walk towards your employee and straight away ask if he or she is depressed or not, then you need to know something crucially important here. Conventional employee engagement strategies are extremely effective but not when mental health issues are involved.
As per the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, employers cannot directly obtain any healthcare information or details from their employees. You may open a lawsuit against your company if you do so. So, just be careful about what you must do. Here are 5 major steps you can take to assist employees dealing with depression.
- Spread Mental Health Education
The best thing you must do is to make your employees aware of what depression is and how important it is to overcome. They must take their mental health seriously. They should be aware of the possibilities to seek a diagnosis and treat it before it gets worse. You need to educate your employees to show empathy to each other and to be supportive.
They can find it openly acceptable to share if anyone is struggling with any sort of mental issue. Hiding it and feeling insecure about it, causes disorder in life, this is something you need to tell them. If you think you cannot conduct it on your own, seek help from a professional who can interact with your employees and educate them.
Do Not Cage Or Restrict Your Employees Too Much
If you think, there is a room to exhibit creativity or flexibility then let your employees handle things in their own way. Avoid micromanaging your staff or nagging them over every petty thing. Sometimes, when an employer restricts his employees they get demotivated to work. Even though they are passionate about their job, they feel discouraged to work at that place. So, if not the personal issues, sometimes the workload and attitude of their employers too causes depression.
If your employees are working on your terms and if they are showing dedication and enthusiasm, they deserve a break as well. If they request a day off or want to go for a short trip, let them go. You must facilitate your team with the resources they want. Whether it’s in the form of sick leaves or requirements that can lessen their workload. They should enjoy working with you and in the office, instead of feeling helpless.
Maintain Open Communication
Communication is the key to handling every matter. You need to maintain an open environment through which you can engage and indulge your employees. You need to let them open up about their issues and create harmony among every teammate. They should adopt professional behavior to handle other teammate’s issues and to show support. You must communicate that your firm is there to show every support and be flexible enough to help and assist employees who are suffering from any issue. In this way, your employees will stay devoted to the company as well.
Modify Policies And Practices
You cannot follow the same set of policies every year and for every employee. As the nature of work differs in every department so does the need for dedicated and relevant policies. Make your working environment more flexible and easy so. You must improvise your policies and practices based on the working environment and the enthusiasm of your employees.
It is easy to hire someone or to terminate an employee, but a good leader knows how to organize and manage his team. If you have a good resource who values his job, you must take initiative to value his needs as well. You must be supportive enough to identify the issues and help your employees overcome them. That’s how a company can prosper at a maximum level.