Encouraging Emotional Wellness in the Workplace
Many corporate organisations have programmes in place to help push the physical component of health. While this approach is better than nothing, we also miss out on a crucial opportunity to positively impact organisations. Whilst it is important to keep our physical health in check, it doesn’t account for all the different elements of an employee’s wellness. And, it certainly doesn’t identify what affects a person’s life and happiness.
Employees are invaluable assets of our company. With that said, it is important that we ensure their mental and physical health are taken care of in order for them to perform well. The health and wellness of our employees usually have a direct effect on the productivity and profits of the company. With a deeper understanding on the effects of our employees’ well-being, the Emotional Wellness Programme was established. We sat down with Trainee Counsellor Tan Ming Mei to talk about the programme and the positive changes she sees in the long run.
Apart from running the emotional wellness programme (a pilot in-house support programme by Gamuda’s Women Empowerment Network), Tan Ming Mei is a senior job coach in Project Differently-abled and Enabling Academy supporting young adults with autism. As a psychology graduate, mental health has always been her field of interest with an understanding that mental health is equally as important as physical health.
“As I started working, I started to notice the gap between mental well-being and workplace. In Malaysia, more than half of the employees experience workplace stress and yet, it is still a bit of a taboo to even talk about it in the workplace,” she expressed.
With the Emotional Wellness Programme in place, the initiative hopes to provide a safe space for Gamuda employees to express their emotions and share their concerns whether it be work-related or personal. There are a few objectives Tan Ming Mei says she wants to achieve with this programme through some activities.
“We run mental health related workshops to raise mental well-being awareness amongst employees. This is so that we can debunk myths on mental health. We want them to understand that seeking help doesn’t mean you are crazy. It’s a matter of being able to express the things that you have suppressed. And hopefully, through this programme, we can improve employees’ quality of life. I want everyone to realise that it is okay to not be okay,” she shared.
At the moment, with the programme being extremely new, it is a bit too early to tell if the programme has indeed reduced employees’ stress levels. However based on many past studies, there have been many benefits shown with having a programme like this in corporate organisations internationally.
“It is a process that cannot happen overnight. So far, some employees have come forward to share positive feedback about the Emotional Wellness Programme. Gamuda is definitely working towards creating a healthier workplace. To the best of my knowledge, I have not heard of any companies that provide in-house programmes that support employees emotional wellness” Tan Ming Mei concluded.