The Michigan Dept. of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) established a dedicated workgroup to focus on mental health, trauma, and resiliency in the workplace. The workgroup recently released its findings. The report also offers strategies for employers to help build supportive workplaces by integrating employee mental health strategies that establish healthier workplaces, enhance employee wellbeing and promote resilient companies
Background for the Working Group’s Recommendations:
The LEO workgroup consisted of employers, workers, and professionals brought together to discuss how workplaces can implement supportive and empowering strategies, while also highlighting organizational opportunities for better workplace environments.
In sum, the report details the findings of the workgroup and key strategies for employers to help build supportive workplaces by integrating employee mental health strategies that establish healthier workplaces, enhance employee wellbeing and promote resilient companies. Here are five recommendations to help companies focus on overall wellbeing and strategies to reduce workplace stressors that may lead to crisis:
- Assess Workplace and Culture
- Consider Workplace Policies, Practices, and Procedures
- Recommit to Employee Assistance Programs
- Consider adding or expanding Employee Resource Groups
- Consider adding mental health to joint employer or employee safety committees
Additionally, the workgroup made recommendations for the State to consider in supporting mental health practices in the workplace. Among these recommendations are:
- Give preference for businesses incorporating employee mental health improvement strategies through the State’s procurement or grant processes.
- Offer financial support from the State for businesses to implement employee mental health improvement strategies.
- Develop a resource hub that allows various groups to access plans, policies, and other information that is being used by employers in Michigan.
- Continue workgroup efforts that identify specific workplace challenges and opportunities for specific industries (e.g., healthcare, manufacturing, education, service workers, and so on.).
- Develop Michigan-specific data tools for tracking progress on improving workplace mental health and safety.
Here is a link to view the full report from the Mental Health Workgroup. Also, there is a virtual meeting on Wednesday, June 8 at 2:30 p.m. to learn more about the details of the report. Here is a link to attend that meeting.
Too often, mental health is either ignored or becomes the focus for scapegoating the most recent tragedy. Hopefully, with this Report, that will begin to change.
In theory, building mental health strategies in the workplace makes sense in attracting employees, promoting a positive effect on employee wellbeing, and helping protect the employer’s bottom line.
In regard to this last point, much of the employment discrimination claims we see often stem from toxic to dysfunctional work environments. Correcting these environments or giving employees resources to respond could go a long way to reducing legal spending for workplace discrimination claims.
Use this link to contact Michigan attorney Jason Shinn if you have questions about this article or complying with Michigan or federal employment laws. Since 2001, Mr. Shinn has represented companies and individuals concerning the issues discussed above and other employment matters under federal and Michigan employment laws.