How Xait Champions Mental Health and Well-Being in the Workplace

How Xait Champions Mental Health and Well-Being in the Workplace

Reidun Risøy Heyerdahl
20. Oct 2021 | 6 min read

How Xait Champions Mental Health and Well-Being in the Workplace

Cultural and organizational groundwork set the foundation for the mental health and well-being of employees within an organization. And it begins with top management. 

Soon after Covid-19 hit, concerns about a potential mental health crisis started to emerge. Quarantines and the switch to remote work left a lot of employees feeling anxious, lonely, and depressed. 

Now that we're back at the office, mental health awareness is more relevant than ever. Companies need to adopt long-term, effective programs for addressing mental health and well-being at work. As Forbes points out, mental health is no longer just a matter of personal wellness; it’s now a business metric as well.

Cultivating and sustaining mental health and well-being in the workplace boosts productivity. It values and promotes a diverse workforce. It’s crucial to attracting and retaining committed employees. It’s simply the right thing to do.

Here are four actions Xait takes to promote health and well-being within our workforce.

1. We Instill Mental Health Awareness From the Top Down

At Xait, our C suite knows that employees’ well-being at home affects how they perform at work. At our company, we actively promote an open culture in which employees can talk openly about the issues they are facing. Whenever one of our employees goes through a crisis of any kind, we need to be able to catch it so that we can address it and offer support. In some cases, offering our ear is all we can do.

By allowing employees to voice their challenges and struggles, we increase employee trust. It gives workers a sense of worth and hopefully also makes them feel less burdened by life. The result is better performance.

On a daily basis, we encourage our employees working from home to go for a walk or jog (and to put it on their calendars). This is top management’s way of saying, “Xait wants you to thrive, and a big part of that is prioritizing your health.”

 

2. We Treat One Another With Respect

At Xait, we treat our employees with respect. This should be obvious, right? Surprisingly, many employers are not doing this.

According to employees, being treated with respect by leaders is more important than any other leadership behavior. 

If employees are treated with respect in the workplace, they are likely to work harder and more effectively, and they will also feel less stressed. Conflicts and misunderstandings are more common in workplaces where respect is lacking, and employee attendance and engagement are lower.

Isn't it true that big ideas often come from collaborative meetings? When employees, teams, and departments are respectful of one another, they will share ideas, form relationships, and improve overall performance.

3. We Foster Emotional Security

Whenever I take part in a job interview, for instance when we hire trainees, I always ask the candidate: What do you expect from your leader? What will you need to succeed? Everyone answers ‘security’. As in workplace security – an environment where employees feel empowered to take risks, ask questions, pose new ideas, and make mistakes.

Individuals who feel emotionally secure at work are more likely to trust themselves and others. A culture of trust is necessary for team cohesion and individual autonomy, both of which encourage employees to be creative, explore new ideas, and feel confident. A safe work environment will lead to employees developing and proposing innovative solutions. 

Above all, employees who feel safe at work will experience fewer “Sunday Scaries”.

4. We Have Created a Workplace Wellness Committee

You may be wondering what a wellness committee does. Its main role is to communicate, participate, motivate, and support the organization’s workplace wellness program in order to: 

  • Create a healthy workplace and a culture of wellness 
  • Foster collaboration and enthusiasm among employees 
  • Provide a communication “link” between employees and management

The newly-formed Xait Wellness Committee, which has been established to provide wellness information and activities for our workplace wellness program, is made up of a peer group of employees. In essence, the committee member becomes a wellness "champion" responsible for promoting Xait's goal of helping teammates remain mentally healthy. Members of the committee provide crucial "word-of-mouth" advertising, which helps to build strong awareness and participation. 

Our wellness committee members represent a cross-section of our employees, both in terms of nationality and personality types. In this way, we can get input and ideas from different perspectives to better understand and meet the health and well-being needs of our employees.

 

In occasion of the World Mental Health Day 2021 we decided to start the day with a relaxing "X-HALE" yoga session, watch the video below:

YogaDay2021-1

 

Conclusion: Xait’s cultural foundation and organizational structure serve as the basis for our employees’ well-being

What promotes good employee mental health and wellbeing? At Xait, our answer is: An organization's culture and operational processes set the foundation for it.

By putting mental health at the center of our business, we will not only improve the lives of our employees, but we will also grow as a business. 

We recognize our long-term commitment to mental health and wellness has a positive impact on workers and their families, as well as our organization's bottom line. Also, mentally healthy employees tend to stay with their current employer, which reduces turnover and hiring costs.

Creating a mental health-friendly workplace culture doesn't happen by chance, it begins at the top. In order to create an environment where talking about mental health is not only acceptable but encouraged, the C suite must take the lead.

 

 

Reidun Risøy Heyerdahl

Reidun Risøy Heyerdahl

Reidun Risøy Heyerdahl is HR & Office Manager of Xait. She brings 20+ years of experience in organizational development, team collaboration and change management in both public and private sector companies. Reidun has a heartfelt passion for humans, both professionally and privately. As a board member in the Association for Parents with Disabled Kids, she advocates for strengthening the rights of children with disabilities. In her spare time, Reidun loves reading books, mountain hiking and spending time with her family.

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