When we talk about employee safety often we are speaking of their physical wellbeing. As employers, we work hard to prevent on the job accidents or injuries as a matter of course. But what if you knew that one of the biggest threats to your employee’s overall health was mental? Workplace stress is one of the leading causes of heart disease and stroke, and yet employers don’t often consider this when making safety protocols for their team. This holiday season, when stress can run higher than any other time of the year, what can you do to keep your employees’ mental health in check? Let’s take a closer look.

Keep an eye out for unhealthy coping mechanisms.

Are you noticing that your staff binge eats unhealthy snacks in the afternoon or directly after engaging in stressful work? This might be the sign of a coping mechanism. If you’re concerned that members of your team might be turning to alcohol or unhealthy habits to cope with the stress on the job, you may want to take a look at their workload and make changes.

Initiate a mental health awareness campaign.

You can also create a campaign in the office to bring awareness to mental health issues. You may not be an expert, but there are resources available, possibly through your health insurance provider, that can be useful for your team and provide support.

Encourage your management staff to share experiences.

Good managers lead by example. If your senior staff is struggling or has struggled with stress, mental illness, or depression, you don’t have to keep this hidden from your team. Talking about these experiences lets everyone know they’re not alone.

Develop a companywide social network.

Sometimes that feeling of not being alone is all it takes to help people better manage their stress. This is true of seasonal stress and depression as well. Create a network within your company where your staff can talk to one another about their experiences to help everyone better process what they’re going through.

Offer stress management education and support.

Finally, in additional to initiating an awareness campaign in your office, prove your team the tools they need to make healthier choices this holiday season and throughout the year. Offer healthy snacks. Bring in relaxation experts to help with mindfulness, offer the perk of a massage therapist or yoga instructor.

Do you want to alleviate stress in the office this holiday season? Contact Harvard Resource Solutions to learn how we can help.