Managing Work Place Depression; An HR Guide
We’ve talked about depression; the symptoms, causes and how to manage it as an employee at the workplace. On this episode, we would be talking managing depression as an employer or Human Resource Manager/Administrator. But first a recap;
What is depression?
Depression can be described as a common but serious mood disorder that directly affects how you feel, think, behave and handle normal daily activities. To be diagnosed with depression, the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks.
What are the symptoms of depression?
Some of the most common symptoms of depression include;
- Lack of concentration.
- A general lethargy or feeling of helplessness.
- Pessimism and hopelessness
- Loss of Interest
How do you make your workplace employee friendly with regard health issues?
- Encourage dialogue – create an open environment where the staff feel able to have a dialogue about their wellbeing, and even disclose a diagnosed mental health problem should they wish. Focus on the person, not the problem and ask open questions about their triggers for distress and what support they need.
- Do not make assumptions – allow the staff lead you to what the real problem without interference from you. Don’t try to impose knowlegde from past experiences on them as everyone is different.
- Respect confidentiality – mental health information is highly confidential and sensitive. Don’t pass on information unnecessarily because this breach of trust could negatively impact an individual’s mental health.
- Be flexible with your response – because mental health problems affect everyone in different ways and at different times in their lives, adapt your support to suit the individual. Developing a personalised action plan can help.
- Have a beneficial health insurance plan for staff – Sign up your company’s staff to the best health insurance plans and packages.
What to do if an employee is depressed?
- Flexible hours or change to start/finish time – make the time flexible for the person so they can work at the time they feel best.
- Change of workspace – You can move the staff to a more comfortable place with a calm ambiance.
- Make for provision for medical leaves and allow the staff a seamless integration back to the workplace upon their return.
- Minimize workload for said staff temporarily/permanently and assign support from other staff discreetly to help with this.
- If symptoms persists, get professional help covered by a reliable health insurance company
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