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Did you know that over 2 in 5 (44%) of Australians experience a mental disorder at some point in their lives? And in fact, 1 in 5 in the past 12 months?

With many people suffering from depression, anxiety, and other disorders, the conversation of mental health within the workplace is something that business owners must address. Companies that promote self-care and cultivate a culture that creates a sense of well-being for employees have healthier, happier employees, which results in greater expansion and success for the business. 

What can you do as a business owner to cultivate a culture of self-care for yourself and your employees? Here are three tips to empower and equip your employees to have a strong sense of well-being. 

You do not need to provide all the answers.

A common point of view regarding leadership is that leaders are meant to have all the answers. The problem with this approach is that it does not allow you to include your staff´s take on things. Your staff members have a different perspective which can be of great value to improve how the business is run. 

When you let go of the need to deliver answers, you can start asking your staff questions and make room to express what they know. Talking at your employees, demanding them to have the same points of view as you, consistently reminding them of your expectations, insisting that they do things the way you have decided they should be done, disempowers, stifles creativity, and has an overall demoralising effect. 

Conversely, when you ask questions and are an empathetic listener, not only do you cultivate a culture of self-care, you also discover talents, abilities, information and awareness that each of your employees have. And when you incorporate this into your business, everything expands and grows. 

If asking questions is new to you, if being an empathetic listener is not something you have practiced, here are a few questions to get you started. 

  • How are things going for you? 
  • What are you noticing in the workplace? 
  • What is your perspective on things? 
  • What do you see that we could be doing differently?
  • What else can we implement?
  • Are there things you are good at or desire to learn more about that you would like to explore here? 

Ask, listen with empathy, and include your employee’s unique perspective, awareness, and abilities wherever possible. 

Prepare your employees to deal with difficult situations

Whether it be business or personal life, difficult situations can come our way. One of the greatest gifts you can give to your staff is to empower them to be resilient in the face of adversity. 

Resilience is not about putting up walls and barriers in an attempt to be strong. When you have the position of defense, you have already decided that what you need to defend against is stronger than you. True resilience starts by acknowledging that you actually arealready strong. 

Look at the times and events in your life when things occurred that were challenging – and yet you navigated through. Acknowledge the times where you mastered things that were difficult. Focus on these successes and you begin to trust that you are strong, you begin to trust you. 

The next step is to begin to receive more; more information, more awareness, more acknowledgement of how strong you truly are. All of this keeps you going, increasing your confidence that no matter what comes your way, you’ve got this. When you know this for yourself and you empower your staff to know this about themselves too, the entity of your business becomes unstoppable.

Get your happy on

Happiness, not performance, is the highest predictor of success. Stress is the number one impact on reducing your happiness and therefore the number one impact on your success. 

What creates happiness? Choice. It really is that simple. Happiness is a choice, and when you as the leader of your business value happiness, your choice becomes an inspiration, and you invite your employees to do the same. What different work climate would you create with that? How much more success can you have? 

What can you change in your business and how you create with your employees that would invite the joy and play factor? 

Can your conversations be targeted more towards exploring with your employees, rather than having come to conclusions right away? Forcing answers limits new perspectives. Exploring allows us to see new perspectives and ways of doing things. 

What if business and creation was done for the fun of it, not for the necessity? Your point of view creates your reality. If you create business for the joy of it, how much more successful would you be? 

To increase your happiness quotient, daily ask this question, “What can I choose today that invites more happiness?” This is an adventure, an ongoing journey, and the question is about gaining clarity and discovering what is true for you. 

As you discover what makes you happy, choose those things. Keep adding more of what brings you joy. Your happiness will increase and infuse that joy into the work environment, thus increasing success. 

Businesses that cultivate a culture that promotes mental health and well-being are businesses that thrive. They create an environment of nurture, empowerment, joy, and resilience. They encourage the expression of each individuals’ unique capacities. These elements allow everyone to work together in a way that is beneficial to all; where everyone and the business become simultaneously greater. 

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Susanna Mittermaier

Susanna Mittermaier

Susanna Mittermaier is a psychologist, the founder of the revolutionary new approach, Pragmatic Psychology and author of the International Bestselling book, “Pragmatic Psychology: Practical Tools for Being Crazy Happy.” She is also an internationally accredited Access Consciousness Facilitator and one of the leading trainers for Access Bars in Business.

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