This Is The Surprisingly Simple Way Bosses Can Help Improve Their Employees’ Mental Health & Work Performance
Although a pay raise or reduced working hours are probably what most employees desire most, not all bosses can afford to make these possible.
Despite this though, there are many ways employers can motivate their workers to perform better and even improve their mental health.
New Study Findings
As discovered by researchers from the Pennsylvania State University, even simple acts of kindness can boost morale within the workplace. Associate professor and one of the research’s first author Bu Zhong used the gesture of adding fresh fruit to workers’ lunches as one of the study’s variables.
Zhuong and his team focused on observing Chinese bus drivers whose job is not only physically but also mentally taxing.
Summarizing their findings in the International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics, the Zhuong said that when salary increases and reduction of workloads are not feasible, ‘small offerings’ can potentially lead to a huge difference.
In the end, the booster in the form of fruits only cost the drivers’ employers about 73 cents per meal but came a long way to counter feelings of stress and depression at work.
Throughout the study, the researchers performed three surveys at different periods of the experiment. This was done to monitor the changes in the participants’ mental health.
One was conducted before the study began, in the middle of it and after the experiment was done.The questionnaire they used was reportedly made by the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Another thing the researchers evaluated is the drivers’ confidence in completing tasks and goals in relation to their job. For this, they used a standard self-efficacy scale.
In the end, the study found that feelings of depression in the participants improved in comparison to how they felt at the beginning of the experiment. Self-efficacy scores were also found to be higher during the middle of the study period.
With a little kindness coming a long way, bosses in other fields can think of similar small gestures they can do in the context of their own work environment.
The Threats of Work-related stress
Stress is an important issue. Aside from affecting one’s job performance, work-related stress can have insidious impact on a worker’s physical and mental health. Stress usually ramps up when tight deadlines are set or when employees have little control over their work.
In the short-term, constantly stressed out employees may suffer from anxiety, have trouble sleeping and even get an upset stomach.
However, going through longer periods of stress can lead to the faster development of chronic illnesses and conditions such as heart disease, depression and a weak immune system.
All of these can then contribute to an employee making more mistakes at work and even alter their behavior.
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