As Mental Health Awareness Month draws to a close, we’d like to seize this opportunity to underscore the critical importance of continuously evaluating the culture your company cultivates and champions. Below, we’ve outlined three key practices your company may inadvertently be engaging in, each of which can have adverse effects on your employees’ mental well-being:

Promoting an Overworking and Burnout Culture: Constantly pushing employees to work long hours, weekends, or beyond their capacity can lead to burnout. 76% of respondents in a Mental Health America and FlexJobs study agreed that workplace stress affects their mental health, and 75% experienced burnout. When employees feel overwhelmed by excessive workload and pressure, it can have detrimental effects on their mental health. It is reported that a higher percentage of women leaders (43%) feel burned out compared to men at their level (31%). Burnout can manifest as fatigue, stress, anxiety, and even depression. Additionally, a culture that glorifies overwork can create feelings of guilt or inadequacy in employees who are unable to keep up, further exacerbating their mental health struggles.

2. Lack of Work-Life Balance Support: Failing to support employees in achieving a healthy work-life balance can contribute to stress and dissatisfaction. When employees feel unable to disconnect from work or are constantly expected to be available, it can lead to feelings of resentment, exhaustion, and ultimately, burnout. Employers should promote boundaries between work and personal life, encourage employees to take breaks and vacations, and provide resources for managing stress and maintaining overall well-being. And when employers promote the breaks, they have to actually mean it – a survey found that 54% of respondents said they were unable to, or did not believe they could, fully unplug from work while using paid time off.

3. Poor Communication and Feedback Practices: Ineffective communication and lack of constructive feedback can negatively impact employees’ mental health by fostering uncertainty, frustration, and self-doubt. When employees feel uninformed about company decisions, disconnected from their team, or unsupported in their professional development, it can erode their morale and sense of belonging. Employers should prioritize transparent communication, regular check-ins, and constructive feedback to foster trust, collaboration, and a positive work environment. Retention is 34% higher among employees who have opportunities for professional development.

The outlined practices, though often unintentional, can significantly compromise the mental well-being of our employees. From the insidious effects of overwork and burnout culture to the absence of support for work-life balance and the detrimental impact of poor communication, each aspect demands our attention and proactive intervention. Let us commit to fostering environments where mental health is prioritized and boundaries are respected. By doing so, we not only nurture the resilience and vitality of our workforce but also fortify the foundation for a healthier, more sustainable future.