In the field of organizational psychology, team management methods involving successful and problem-free communication between employers and employees are widely advocated. It was believed that the main goal of any organisation is accomplishing certain goals, and reaching for a satisfactory result for both the employer and the employees. However, the topic of mental health in the work process is covered to a lesser extent. It is only in the last few years that employers, leaders and managers have begun to understand how important mental health is to the achievement of organizational goals. What’s more, we live in a time when people try to develop as much as possible to think in a direction that positively affects not only the individual separately, but also the whole society. In this line of thought, the topic of mental health problems is starting to gain more and more popularity in the field of the work environment.

The basis of good cooperation between the two parties – employer and employee, is the mental health of each of the users in the work process. To achieve fulfilling and satisfying results, it is important to have an understanding between both employers and employees, which largely includes tolerance. Tolerance is the key to successfully working with people with mental health problems. There are already examples of a small number of organisations hiring people with mental health problems. We hope their example will be contagious to other companies and organizations. However, it is important to be clear that hiring and working with employees with mental health problems requires a little more patience and effort.

Managing a team of people doesn’t just rely on allocating tasks among them. A leader’s organizational skills are reflected in the principles and moral values he upholds. Support and confidence for workers going through mental health issues are extremely important both for the work process and for full functioning outside of it. To oversee a cohesive and motivated team, they need to feel valued and supported when they need it.

A key element is the ability of workers to talk about their mental health with employers. All too often in practice, one may experience fear, shame or embarrassment when talking about their mental health. This can only make matters worse. To ameliorate this problem, employers are advised to reassure each employee at the start that mental health is as much a priority for the company as physical health. If employers take the initiative, through small but progressive steps, to reassure employees that each of them will get the support needed, over time they will begin to feel more confident about seeking help for their mental health. And the sooner such reassurance is provided to them, the smaller the chances of developing more serious mental problems. If employers take the initiative, through small but progressive steps, to reassure each of the employees that they get the support needed, over time they will begin to feel more confident about seeking help for their mental health.

Here are some successful strategies and approaches for getting an employee to talk about their mental health issues:

  • Go to a quiet and peaceful place, without a lot of background noise and other people. Sit in one place, facing each other, so that you feel equal to each other.
  • Ask pointed questions and listen to the other person without interrupting and without asking questions that you think would make them uncomfortable.
  • Don’t make suggestions!
  • Do not dig further if you see that the other party does not feel comfortable answering the given question.
  • Validate feelings and emotions! Do not judge, do not make facial expressions and gestures, and communicate with dissatisfaction.
  • Reassure the person that anything shared with you remains confidential. He needs to know that he can trust you.

All these procedures apply to both workers and employers, with minor differences. For employers, the pressure is many times greater and the requirements for it are greater. Workers need to be aware that their employer, like them, is a human being and may have difficulty dealing with their mental health. Which, in turn, can lead to absenteeism, attention deficits and reduced focus on the work process. Whether the individual struggles with a mild form of anxiety, depression, or emotional burnout or suffers from a more severe clinical pathology, the approach is expected to be similar. Society sufficiently imposes a different attitude (be it positive or negative) on people with mental problems. That is why when a person is at work (the place where he spends most of his daily life) he would like to feel equal with each of the other colleagues. Separating them by mental health is like separating them by gender, race or religious beliefs.

The success of a company is not measured by the number of sales or achieved targets. Success is measured by everyone in the organisation being satisfied with the work done at the end of the day, which cannot be possible without prioritizing mental health.