How can startups create a workplace that puts mental health first?

Working for a startup can be a very exciting experience. There are so many rewards to being surrounded by motivated, innovative, and creative individuals, but working for a startup can also introduce a number of challenges …  particularly for employees focused on building their professional portfolios and advancing in their careers.

Long hours and uncertainty. Tight timelines and limited resources. Shifting priorities and new responsibilities, sometimes without clear guidance. Ambiguity and frequently changing strategic direction. Startups require employees to put in extra hours to meet tight deadlines and achieve ambitious company goals, while also expecting a high level of self-direction. While this may be exhilarating to some, it can be challenging for employees who thrive in structured environments. It’s no wonder that so many startups see staff suffering from fatigue, burnout, and the stress that comes from a compromised work-life balance.

There are many benefits to working in a startup environment, but there are also challenges:

  • More established organizations offer their employees mentoring or support, but limited resources and funding and a lack of infrastructure can leave staff mentally and physically exhausted.
  • Office politics can take on distinct characteristics. Employees constantly feel compelled to  prove themselves and demonstrate their worth to secure promotions, raises, or a larger role within the company. The high stakes environment coupled with competitive co-workers intensifies stress levels and anxiety.
  • The need to be popular and well-liked is particularly intense within a startup environment’s small social setting. Employees exert pressure on themselves to navigate social dynamics, build relationships, and gain the support and influence of colleagues, and this can lead to loss of confidence. The added emphasis on technical competence and intelligence creates more pressure and anxiety.

Fortunately, there are things that startups can do to decrease employee stress levels.

One of the most important steps that startup companies can take is to provide their employees with greater autonomy and direction. These are crucial for fostering a work environment that is mentally healthy. When employees feel empowered and have ownership over their work, it leads to increased job satisfaction and overall well-being.

Another way to provide direction and promote startup employees’ mental health is by aligning their goals with the tasks they perform each day. When employees understand how their work contributes to the startup’s overall mission and vision, they’re more likely to feel motivated and engaged. Clear communication of expectations and objectives helps employees to prioritise their work and make meaningful contributions. This process begins in the hiring process.

Finally, offering each team member training in how to “shift” their state of mind on demand can significantly contribute to employee well-being and productivity. Shifting fosters a more peaceful, confident workplace culture and healthy work environment. Once learned, shifting into a better mental state can be incorporated into each employee’s daily schedule, and can even be employed to build more cohesive teams.

Here’s how your team can shift throughout the day…

  • Daily Shifts can be delivered to your inbox as a great way to find centre/balance before starting your work day.
  • On-demand Shifts can be accessed through the OnePerfect Shift app and personalised to reset yourself throughout the day.
  • Shift Therapy is coming soon to offer live therapist guided resets throughout the day, particularly before/after undertaking crucial tasks.

Startup companies face daunting hurdles: employee wellbeing shouldn’t be one. By paying attention to your employees’ mental health and giving them the gift of shifting their mental state on demand, you can create a positive work environment that supports their satisfaction, and that will contribute to your success.