We are entering the season of gratitude as Thanksgiving and the winter holidays draw near. However, the season may aggravate stress and grief for many people, especially those who are single, struggle with mental or physical illness, or may have lost a family member.
For those who are grieving, embracing and expressing gratitude might be difficult. What is more, work-related stress might exacerbate their emotional distress. Cultivating mindfulness and gratitude in the workplace could help your workers get unstuck and start healing.
Taking care of your employees' well-being is also an excellent tool to increase motivation and productivity, reduce employee turnover, and grow your business success.
But why are gratitude and mindfulness so powerful, and how can companies use them to nurture employees' mental health and well-being?
Why Does Gratitude Matter?
Gratitude is about focusing on the good things in one's life and truly appreciating what one has.
When we make an effort to be grateful, we're taking a mindful moment to recognize and appreciate people, experiences, and things that contribute to our happiness and well-being.
Many studies have shown that practicing gratitude can affect our thoughts and feelings, improving our mood, relationships, and self-perception. Research shows that grateful employees are more productive, responsible, and efficient.
Being mindful of the positive things in one's life can enforce resilience and an optimistic mindset during difficult times or when faced with significant life transitions.
For instance, for an employee still grieving a spouse's death, it may be challenging to find happiness. However, helping them feel grateful for the moments and memories shared with their partner can promote well-being and support healing.
How to Help Your Employees Feel More Grateful
Here are some strategies for your company's HR professionals to implement to support all employees, especially those who struggle to be appreciative and conscious of the positive things in life.
Keep Your Employees in the Loop
Ensuring all employees know about the available mental health benefits and support is the first step toward nurturing your workforce's well-being. Use office correspondence and in-person meetings to reach employees and provide information.
Offer Various Mental Health Benefits
Consider offering an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), counseling, support groups, mindfulness sessions, and mental health training.
For example, as a company, you can use EAPs, engaging either internal mental health practitioners or external mental health specialists. EAPs also provide employees with resources and counseling tailored to their particular needs, whether it's grief counseling, family therapy, substance abuse or addiction treatment, or other therapy.
Also, you might provide mental health training for managers and employees as a helpful tool to identify the signs of mental health concerns and develop strategies to support each other at work.
For instance, you might offer sensitivity courses for managers and HR personnel. Empathy is a crucial leadership skill, so fostering empathetic and compassionate leadership ensures a strong emphasis on caring for employees. Sensitivity courses can help train your management to treat each employee with empathy and readiness to support those in need.
Finally, encourage workers to use leave days when experiencing mental health concerns and provide paid mental health days to communicate the value of self-care and well-being.
Offer Flexible Work Arrangements
Keep in mind that work flexibility can be extremely helpful for those who are dealing with personal challenges.
Flexible work hours or working from home can be a great strategy to promote work-life balance, prevent burnout, and nurture employees' well-being and satisfaction.
Challenge the Stigma
Encourage an open conversation about mental health issues to foster an atmosphere of stigma-free workplace. Promote diversity in the workplace to help employees feel validated and valued.
Introduce Wellness Programs
Stress reduction strategies such as mindfulness at work can significantly promote employees' emotional, mental, and physical well-being.
For example, practicing mindfulness throughout the day at work might help employees with anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns. Mindfulness can significantly reduce negative thoughts, stress, and anxiety while boosting memory, attention, and focus.
Encourage deep breathing exercises for employees who feel stressed at work.
Additionally, you may promote gratitude by encouraging workers to regularly share what they are thankful for in the company's gratitude journal or at staff meetings.
Mindfulness and gratitude are essential components of self-care and well-being. However, feeling grateful may be challenging for some employees, particularly those going through significant life transitions, illness, or bereavement.
Cultivating mindfulness and gratitude in the workplace can be an excellent strategy to support your employees' mental health while boosting their motivation and morale, improving productivity and employee retention, and creating a healthy work environment.
HR Coach is Here to Help
HR Coach is on a mission to improve the workplace culture, to help improve productivity and to ensure businesses have a solid foundation. Our deep understanding of people – how they think, feel and act - allows us to specifically tailor programs that help us improve engagement, retention, and morale. Get in touch with us to learn more!