5 Workplace Behaviors That Impact Employee Mental Health

Even companies with the best intentions can sometimes take a wrong turn when trying to do right by their employees. Damaging habits and behaviors can inadvertently get absorbed into company culture; and when this happens, it can send the wrong signal about a company’s priorities and values. One of the biggest challenges lies in finding the sweet spot between business needs and employee welfare and happiness. Naturally, you want a high-performing team; but not at the expense of employee well-being and mental health.

Here, we take a closer look at some common workplace conventions—and the ways that they might be inadvertently undermining your mental health objectives.

    1. Having a “hustle” culture

It’s great to be productive, but over-emphasizing hard work and profitability can be a slippery slope to toxic productivity. It can lead to individuals attaching their feelings of self-worth to the amount of work they’re doing, and feeling like performance metrics are more important than their mental well-being.

Similarly, celebrating employees who stay late—or even lightly teasing those who start late and leave (or log-off) early (or on time)—can subtly contribute to a culture of overwork and performative busy-ness. Left unchecked, this can result in resentment and burnout among other employees who feel compelled to prove their own commitment to work .

A small fix:

Instead of celebrating regular overtime, try opening up communication about ways to include breaks and downtime throughout the day. You can support this with anecdotes about the healthy mental habits of people in the team (assuming they are open to sharing). For example: “Hey guys, Dave’s found a clever way to schedule regular breaks into his day around meetings!”

Also be sure to address long hours and overwork if you see a rising trend in the company, as it could be an indicator of unachievable work expectations.

2. Sending work emails or messages after hours

It happens to us all: maybe you only received a response on something late in the day, or you had an out-of-hours brainwave.

Sending the occasional evening or weekend message is fine, but doing it regularly implies that after-hours work is expected—which could pressure people into feeling they have to respond immediately.

The same goes for emails sent at the end of a working day with next-day deadlines (or, for example, Monday morning deadlines for work given out on Friday). These practices put a hefty burden on the recipient, which adds to stress and can contribute to burnout.

Now, it gets a bit harder to draw a line when you take into account the increasingly globalized world of work, which necessitates out-of-hours communications due to different time zones. But even in these cases, it helps to be explicit about expectations when sending messages, especially when you know the recipient is either about to log off or has signed off for the day.

A small fix:

If you need to send emails after hours or on weekends, be sure to add a note about how the email can be read or dealt with on the next working day. This takes pressure off the recipient and assures them that they won’t be penalized for not responding on the spot.

If you have a global team, it also helps to establish clear working hours for different countries, and to be clear about the fact that nobody is expected to read or respond to emails out of hours.

Also, no matter where in the world you or your recipient are, be sure to schedule enough time for them to deal with the task during their office hours! And remember—they may have other pre-existing work on their plate that might need to take precedence.

3. Only engaging in “shop-talk”

It’s easy to find things to talk about around the water cooler in the office. But take those organic run-ins out of the equation, and what you’re left with is often work chat and little else.

Working from home has made it harder to bond with colleagues. The natural tendency is to get work done and to only chat about the process, rarely (if ever) about other things.

This removes a big social aspect from work, which can take a significant mental toll on employees and affect their enjoyment of work. This is especially apparent for employees who don’t already have solid work friend groups, either because they’re new or because their friends have since left the company.

A small fix:

There’s so much more to people than just who they are at work. To get some non-work conversations going, design interactions that aren’t work related.

You could set up a monthly ‘coffee roulette’ to group random employees up for a chat. This can help to break the ice a bit and link up individuals who might not otherwise speak during work hours. Or you could arrange sharing sessions where people are encouraged to talk about their challenges and triumphs from life outside the workplace.

Another alternative is to set up interest groups in the company, to help like-minded employees find each other and bond over a shared interest in certain hobbies or things.

4. Only having group chats and check-ins

Big group check-ins and catch-up meetings are important. But group settings can pressure people to put a good spin on things, or cause them to feel like they’re being irrational or weak for struggling when everyone else seems to be doing well. 

This could result in problems being missed and getting out of hand, which in turn can take a big toll on mental health and well-being.

A small fix:

Some people may not be willing to speak candidly to a large group, so be sure to set aside time for employees to speak one-to-one to a manager who can  address any problems that may arise. It’s also important to make sure everyone understands that they won’t be penalized or looked down on for speaking up about any issues they may be having.

5. Not talking about mental wellness

Perhaps the biggest way your company might be undermining mental health is simply by… not talking about it.

Some managers may not feel equipped to have these conversations, or may not be sure about the etiquette or convention around holding these conversations. But by not broaching these topics at all, employees may feel like they can’t speak out about things they’re struggling with.

The result is a rose-tinted veneer that may be hiding deeper problems under the surface. And studies show there likely are problems. According to the CDC, 1 in 5 employed adults in the U.S. experienced a mental health issue back in the previous year, with 71% of adults reporting at least one symptom of stress. That number has likely shot up now.

A small fix:

Be candid about mental health and encourage people to share their burdens and struggles—especially leaders. You can help by actively promoting good habits like mindfulness and meditation, proper work-life balance, and reaching out for help when necessary.

By being more honest about struggles and mental wellness challenges, managers can reduce the stigma and create a more open culture where people feel able to admit they’re struggling.

As a company, it’s important to be careful about the ripple effects that even small actions—or, in some cases, inaction—may have on employees. The simple fact is that the signals you send may be reinforcing unhealthy habits.

That’s why it’s so important to be aware of deeper currents that run in your organization and to proactively address any harmful behaviors.

By staying aware and making a few small tweaks and behavioral changes, you can hit the reset button when necessary and encourage good habits that protect employee mental wellness.

For more tips on how to build a more inclusive workplace culture that supports your employees’ mental well-being and happiness, check out:

By: https://www.calm.com/

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TEDx Talks

Is Mental Health important​ in the workplace? Tom explores all things related to workplace mental health, including mental health in school workplaces, in this insightful video. Tom helps employers figure out mental health at work. He reviews workplaces, trains managers and writes plans. Since 2012 he has interviewed more than 130 people, surveyed thousands and worked across the UK with corporations, civil service, charities, the public sector, schools and small business. Tom has worked with national mental health charities Mind and Time to Change and consults widely across the UK. He lives in Norfolk and is mildly obsessed with cricket and camping.

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3 Ways To Identify A Toxic Coworker And Set Healthy Boundaries

It only takes one toxic worker to wreak havoc and negatively impact an entire workplace. Toxic coworkers not only make work dreadful and unpleasant, but they harm the productivity and morale of everyone around them. They create unnecessary drama, erode the culture, undermine the values of the company and destroy trust within the team.

According to a Fierce Inc. study, four out of five employees currently work or have worked with a potentially toxic coworker. Randstad conducted a study exploring why employees leave their workplace and found 58% have left or are considering leaving due to negativity, office politics and disrespectful behavior.

It’s easier said than done to not allow the toxicity of one person to affect your own work especially if you have to work closely with them. Working with a toxic coworker is a powerless and draining experience. Furthermore, it’s not always easy to identify a toxic coworker especially if you consider them to be a friend.

If you feel drained or negative after interacting with them, this could be a sign they’re toxic. Toxic behavior can manifest through words, body language, disrespecting boundaries, hoarding information, purposely undermining others, not following through on promises or commitments, insults and rumors, to name a few.

Here are three ways you can identify a toxic coworker and set healthy boundaries.

Their Victim Syndrome Prevents Them From Taking Responsibility MORE FOR YOUForget About San Francisco And Silicon Valley—Miami Is Planning On Becoming The Next Great Tech HubMeet Canada’s Best Employers 2021Building The Resilient Organization

Employees with a victim mindset will always talk about how much they hate their job, their boss, their team or the company. There’s a difference between having a bad day and someone who revels in creating misery for others. Dan Bailey, president of WikiLawn Los Angeles Lawn Care, explained, “the more people they can get to share in their discontent, the better they feel.”

Despite being disengaged, toxic coworkers will make excuses for their performance when given constructive feedback with the belief that it’s a personal attack against them. Moreover, they hold grudges and never lose a chance to share how they’ve been wronged even if those situations have been rectified.

Those who are new to a company are prone to being swept up into the negativity as they’re eager to make friends and unaware of a toxic persons patterns. For this reason, it’s important to do pulse checks to see if this is a cultural thing or a person thing.

Here are some coping strategies to help you bounce back from a toxic encounter and stay mentally strong:

  • Surround yourself with uplifting coworkers who take responsibility and learn from their mistakes
  • Seek out your company’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) or professional help to learn how to better manage the situation and have a safe space to talk about it
  • Talk to your HR department and keep the conversation based on facts rather than an individual’s personality. Be prepared to provide specific examples of incidents
  • Incorporate social activities you can look forward to after work
  • Practice gratitude and meditation

They Gossip More Than They Knowledge Share

Gossip is the root of many internal company problems. It breeds negativity and spreads quickly. Yasir Nawaz, digital content producer at Pure VPN, said, “toxic colleagues drain your energy and are a constant source of demotivation at work. The worst part is you may not realize you’re in the company of a toxic colleague until it’s too late.” He added, “there’s one sure-fire way to identify one; someone that constantly talks about others behind their backs.”

Melanie Musson, insurance specialist for Buy Auto Insurance asserted, “gossip doesn’t help build a stronger team; rather, it tears down teamwork. Chances are, if they gossip to you, they’re also gossiping about you.”

Another warning sign a colleague is toxic is if they refuse to share knowledge with you that prevents you from being able to do your job. As a victim of a former toxic coworker and boss, I know how detrimental their impact can be not only on my work and mental health, but also to the team and overall workplace. In my experience, my former coworker excluded me from meetings, team activities and withheld information that prevented me from being able to do my job well and used it against me.

Musson explained, “toxic people put themselves first. They really don’t care about others and use others’ misfortunes as a way to move forward at work. If a team member is struggling, the toxic coworker may take the opportunity to show how they excel in that same area.”

Eventually, I set a boundary with her where I started documenting every incident before confronting her. Then, I worked around her to find the information I needed and limited my interactions with her altogether. Be aware, setting healthy boundaries will often push toxic coworkers to react negatively. However, those who are the happiest and most productive are the ones who set healthy boundaries and those who aren’t used to having boundaries set with them are likely to take offense.

Here are boundaries you can set with a coworker that gossips:

  • Empathize and redirect them to focus on what’s working or to speak with their manager
  • Refuse to participate by excusing yourself from the conversation when they start gossiping
  • Focus on positive gossip that celebrates others instead of participating in negative gossip that hurts morale
  • Communicate your boundaries letting them know you don’t like to talk about office politics
  • Surround yourself with people who would rather share knowledge than spread gossip
  • Use key phrases such as “this sounds like a rumor and I don’t want to hear it”, “I’d rather engage in conversations that are positive and uplifting” or countering with “is that a fact or gossip?”

They Use Passive Aggressive Comments Rather Than Compliments

Matt Satell, CEO of Prime Mailboxes said, “toxic employees are often those who purposely undermine the capabilities of others so they can stay ahead of their competition.” They thrive on finding fault, negativity and holding people back.

Here are a few examples of passive-aggressive behaviors and comments:

  • Giving the silent treatment
  • Responding with sarcasm or disguised insults
  • Blaming others
  • Rejecting feedback and others perspectives
  • Making excuses
  • A cynical attitude
  • An air or superiority

Nich Chernets, CEO of Data for SEO said “in my experience, toxic people tend to complain a lot, even in the situations when everything is good. They’re looking for an audience that will constantly listen to their problems. In the long run, these people bring a lot of negativity to the work process and burden others with unnecessary things.” John Stevenson, marketing specialist at My GRE Exam Preparation added, “in turn, this creates an environment where other members of the team cannot work at full capacity because they’re too busy watching their backs.”

You can cultivate positivity through uplifting interactions with other colleagues, listening to motivating podcasts and finding the good in the work you do. It’s easy to lose motivation when a toxic coworker undermines your abilities and believes their role and contributions are more valuable than everyone else’s.

Here are some ways you can remind yourself of your hard work and contributions:

  • Keep a running document of your achievements and wins
  • Copy and paste recognitions from emails, client/manager reviews and Slack comments into the running document
  • Reference the document for a motivation boost

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Heidi Lynne Kurter

Heidi Lynne Kurter

I’m a Leadership Coach & Workplace Culture Consultant at Heidi Lynne Consulting helping individuals and organizations gain the confidence to become better leaders for themselves and their teams. As a consultant, I deliver and implement strategies to develop current talent and create impactful and engaging employee experiences. Companies hire me to to speak, coach, consult and train their teams and organizations of all sizes. I’ve gained a breadth of knowledge working internationally in Europe, America and Asia. I use my global expertise to provide virtual and in-person consulting and leadership coaching to the students at Babson College, Ivy League students and my global network. I’m a black belt in Six Sigma, former Society of Human Resources (SHRM) President and domestic violence mentor. Learn more at http://www.heidilynneco.com or get in touch at Heidi@heidilynneco.com

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Jennifer Brick

Toxic Coworkers | How to Deal with Toxic People at Work // Do you have a toxic coworker? Or even worse, several toxic workers. Nothing make a toxic work culture faster than having these difficult coworkers and having to deal with toxic coworkers every day. If you have toxic work colleagues, you need to know how to cope with toxic coworkers. You can disarm toxic people in the workplace, and while it won’t totally heal a toxic work environment, it can make your day to day in a toxic workplace slightly more tolerable. In this video I will show you how to deal with toxic coworkers – it’s six simple strategies that will disarm toxic person at work and help you survive until you can escape the toxic environment at work. I’d love to know which strategies you would implement or how you have dealt with toxic coworkers in the past. ****************** Stop settling for mediocrity, it’s time to glow up your career. Attend the free LIVE workshop on December 2nd at 12pm EST. glowupyourcareer.com ************* Think I might be the right Career Success Coach for you? Learn more & apply: capdecasolutions.com/coaching Accelerate your job search, get Hired in a Hurry hiredinahurry.com ****************** More videos to help deal with difficult coworkers and toxic workplaces: TOXIC WORK ENVIRONMENT: 14 Signs Your Workplace is Toxic (and How to Cope) https://youtu.be/GEJBaigzUcA​ COWORKERS ARE NOT YOUR FRIENDS https://youtu.be/XjhF3xQE1lM​ How to Work with People You Don’t Like https://youtu.be/x1S5EPX0Jik​ HOW TO HANDLE DIFFICULT COWORKERS | Dealing with difficult people at work https://youtu.be/R-nI-IpQYbo​ POSITIVE ATTITUDE AT WORK (HOW TO STAY POSITIVE AT WORK) https://youtu.be/wVKUB0-ZHvM​ ****************** SUCCESS HABITS & RESOURCES Join my private community, the Strive Squad (it’s free!) https://www.facebook.com/groups/striv…​ I’m all about productivity tools, great books, and sanity savers in general. Browse my favorites in my Amazon Store: https://www.amazon.com/shop/jenniferb…​ Get your bookworm on when you’re on the move. Audible is my OBSESSION, and it helps me read an extra 1-2 books per week. Get 30 days free: https://amzn.to/39d3U3W​ Try my 30 books in 30 days challenge, and make it easier with Kindle Unlimited (your first month is free!): https://amzn.to/3ftIBMB​ Being the best means you keep your knowledge up to date, for this I love Skillshare! Get a free trial: https://bit.ly/3l3oTbJ​ What Am I Wearing? I hate wearing the same thing twice and I love saving money, so 95% of my wardrobe is from Rent the Runway. Wanna try it (and save $30): https://bit.ly/3995mnT​ ****************** LET’S HANG! I post more content and videos on LinkedIn – follow me there https://linkedin.com/in/jenniferbrick​ Daily career glow-up videos on TikTok https://www.tiktok.com/@jenniferbrick…​ You can also follow me on: Instagram: http://instagram.com/capdeca​ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ccJenniferbr…​ Twitter: https://twitter.com/jennifer_brick​ Sometimes I write stuff for Thrive Global https://thriveglobal.com/authors/jenn…

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Collaborative Tech: Must-Haves For Workplace Flexibility

Cubicles and 9-to-5 schedules are becoming relics of the past in today’s highly competitive labor market, where top talent demands a new paradigm.

The Capital One 2019 Work Environment Survey found that 61 percent of professionals expect their next employer to offer flexible hours, and 54 percent expect the ability to work remotely.

“Flexibility to work outside traditional business hours and the four walls of the office is no longer just a nice-to-have for today’s professionals–it’s an expectation,” says Stefanie Spurlin, vice president of workplace solutions at Capital One.

To meet those expectations, business leaders must make smart technology choices, especially in the area of collaboration. Employers must provide solutions that make it easy for employees to stay up-to-date with what’s happening in the office and to collaborate with their coworkers while they are traveling or working remotely.

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSibTbzQ4YO2lFxmk1jBHkLJQH_ap7OJ0HuC9udcNbvP4a_rFZ9&sVideo meeting and conferencing solutions, real-time collaboration tools like chat services, and internal mobile apps are becoming the office products of the new workplace, as ubiquitous as fax machines in the pre-digital age.

“The goal is to find tools that build connectivity across geographies and locations, allowing teams and individuals to work as if they are sitting together,” Spurlin says.

While pursuing those objectives, business leaders must also keep in mind the type of work being done, especially the distinction between synchronous (people working at the same time) and asynchronous (people working at different times) work, says Anita Williams Woolley, associate professor of organizational behavior and theory at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business.

“When you think about project-based work, there’s usually some combination of the two involved,” she says.

The Time Zone Challenge

Employees working in different time zones often have limited opportunity for real-time communications. This geographical divide drives a need for technology solutions that enable workers to clearly record what they’ve done and organize information so their coworkers can find it easily and pick up where they left off.

“Documents should allow threaded discussion in the text by enabling comments and allowing users to ask questions so colleagues can come in later, look at the document, and catch up easily,” Woolley says. Robust document storage and threaded conversations on chat platforms are also important.

Whether employees are separated by thousands of miles and multiple time zones or just a couple of floors in an office building, technology plays a critical role in helping them to maximize their job performance. When asked which technologies would improve job performance and success at work, 75 percent of respondents in the Capital One 2019 Work Environment Survey cited video meeting or conferencing capabilities and 74 percent mentioned real-time collaboration tools.

“Putting the proper technologies in place to help people connect just as easily with their colleagues when working remotely as if they were in the office together gives employees the freedom to work away from their desks without feeling like they are sacrificing interaction with their coworkers,” Spurlin says.

Helping Leaders Meet Management Challenges

Technology also helps business leaders meet the challenges of managing a multi-geography workforce. When employees are working in multiple locations, extra effort on the part of managers may be required to make sure those employees feel connected.

As Spurlin explains,“they should feel empowered to approach the manager digitally, perhaps via chat or a quick text, the same way an employee in the office may swing by a manager’s office to ask for a few minutes to check in.”

https://i0.wp.com/onlinemarketingscoops.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/lgo_ab_triton.png?resize=774%2C235&ssl=1

Making video rather than phone calls–the default means of connecting for check-ins or status meetings with employees working in different locations–is one way business leaders can leverage technology in this effort. Doing so ensures that valuable face-to-face meeting time is regularly scheduled.

“People management is one of the things that is really changing as the workforce becomes more and more distributed, but technology enables managers to bridge any gaps and facilitate different management styles or needs,” Spurlin says.

Flexibility is an increasingly important consideration for today’s employees when evaluating job opportunities and comparing prospective employers. Eighty-one percent of respondents in the 2019 Capital One 2019 Work Environment Survey cite flexible schedules as one of their top two reasons to stay with a company.

“With that in mind, companies can gain an edge by putting technology solutions in place that will help to foster a collaborative work environment and better work-life integration for employees,” Spurlin says.

By: Capital OneView

Source: Collaborative Tech: Must-Haves For Workplace Flexibility

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The Top 10 Fears That Hold People Back in Life, According to a Psychotherapist

Whether your fears involve your relationship, career, death, or discomfort, staying inside your comfort zone will ensure you live a small life.

In fact, as a therapist, I see a lot of people work so hard to prevent themselves from ever feeling anxious that they actually develop depression. Their efforts to make themselves stay comfortable inadvertently backfire. They live boring, safe lives that are void of the risk and excitement they need to feel fully alive.

Here are the top 10 fears that hold people back in life:

1. Change

We live in an ever-changing world, and it is happening more rapidly than ever before. Despite this fact however, there are many people who fear change, and so they resist it.

This can cause you to miss out on many good opportunities that come your way. You run the risk of being stagnant and staying stuck in a rut when you avoid change.

2. Loneliness

The fear of loneliness can sometimes cause people to resist living alone or even to stay in bad relationships. Or, the fear of loneliness causes people to obsessively use social media to the extent that they miss out on making face-to-face connections.

And while it’s smart to ward off loneliness (studies show it’s just as harmful to your health as smoking), it’s important to surround yourself with healthy people and healthy social interactions.

3. Failure

One of the most common fears on earth is the fear of failure. It’s embarrassing to fail. And it may reinforce your beliefs that you don’t measure up.

You also might avoid doing anything where success isn’t guaranteed. Ultimately, you’ll miss out on all the life lessons and opportunities that might help you find success.

4. Rejection

Many people avoid things like meeting new people or trying to enter into a new relationship because of the fear of rejection. Even individuals who are already married avoid asking a long-time spouse for something imagining that the person will say no.

Whether you fear asking that attractive person out on a date or asking your boss for a raise, the fear of rejection could keep you stuck. And while rejection stings, it doesn’t hurt as much as a missed opportunity.

5. Uncertainty

People often avoid trying something different for fear of uncertainty. After all, there’s no guarantee that doing something new will make life better.

But staying the same is one surefire way to stay stagnant. Whether you’re afraid to accept a new job or you’re afraid to move to a new city, don’t let the fear of uncertainty hold you back.

6. Something Bad Happening

It is an unfortunate and inevitable fact that bad things will happen in life. And sometimes, the fear of doom prevents people from enjoying life.

You can’t prevent bad things from happening all the time. But don’t let that fear stop you from living a rich, full life that’s also full of good things.

7. Getting Hurt

Hopefully your parents or a trusted adult taught you to look both ways before you cross the street so that you wouldn’t get hurt. But, quite often, our fears of getting cause us to become emotionally overprotective of ourselves.

Your fear of uncomfortable feelings and emotional wounds might prevent you from making deep, meaningful connections. Or, it might stop you from being vulnerable at work. But, without emotional risk, there aren’t any rewards.

8. Being Judged

It’s normal to want to be liked. But, the fear of being judged can prevent you from being your true self.

The truth is, some people will judge you harshly no matter what. But, trusting that you’re mentally strong enough to live according to your values, is key to living your best life.

9. Inadequacy

Another fear shared by many people is the feeling of not being good enough. If you feel like you don’t measure up, you might become an underachiever. Or, you might become a perfectionist in an effort to try and prove your worth.

The fear of inadequacy can be deep-rooted. And while it’s hard to face it head-on, you’ll never succeed until you feel worthy of your success.

10. Loss of Freedom

A certain amount of this fear can be healthy, but it becomes a problem when it holds you back in life. For many people, the fear of the loss of freedom becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

For example, someone who wants to live a free life, might avoid getting a job with a steady income. Consequently, they might miss out on the freedom that comes with financial stability. So it’s important to consider what you’re giving up when you fear losing certain freedoms.

 

By Amy MorinAuthor, “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do”

Source: The Top 10 Fears That Hold People Back in Life, According to a Psychotherapist

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