Who remembers the days when people showed up to work, whether they wanted to be there or not? Who remembers the practice of calling in to report a sickness? Or the courtesy of giving two weeks’ notice when leaving a job? Sure there are people who still abide by these customs, but, for the most part, they’re becoming few and far between. And that’s a big problem for businesses large and small as they really struggle to operate with skeleton crews. Many can’t and that’s why we’re seeing business closings, reduced hours, and poor customer service. What’s up? 

There are many reasons for the NCNS (No Call, No Show) attitude—poor wages, better offers, Covid fears, inadequate management skills, a yearning for personal fulfillment, little understanding of the importance of teamwork, indifference toward the individual employee, an inability to relate to standard work ethics, etc. 

A fair number of these fall under the category of “mental health,” which is where Dr. Lakeia Jones and AMRI Counseling Services step in and help large and small businesses. She recently gave a presentation at Lambeau Field for a Green Bay Packers event on the very topic of mental health and wellness in the work force.

Since then, she has “received numerous calls and emails from these corporations that were there saying, ‘We need your services within our business because we are losing people every single day due to mental health issues.’” Many of the callers, said Dr. Jones, “acknowledge the huge need, the turnover rate, and the amount of distress their staff is dealing with and the need to have something [such as an employee assistance program (EAP)] in place.”

Dr. Jones is the President, Founder, and Chief Executive Officer of AMRI Counseling Services. It provides quality mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment, and support services to businesses, individuals, and families.

While addressing the leadership in attendance during her Green Bay Packers presentation, Dr. Jones provided a number of tips to the business executives. She was kind enough to share those tips here:

Tip #1
Allow people [employees] to be open and transparent about what is happening in their lives, without repercussions. They should have someone to talk to—such as supervisors or executive leaders with a spirit of an open-door policy—about what it is they’re dealing with.

Tip #2
Allow the staff to have adequate PTO time. That means time off for reasons that aren’t just medically related. What happens without adequate PTO time? Employees will take it one way or another that’s unplanned. If management allows people time off to take care of personal things, businesses can plan better for who is going to be at work or not.

Find a way for staff to be able to speak up on things that are happening within a business and in a very confidential manner. This could be in the form of a survey, using something as simple as SurveyMonkey or another platform, so that staff can talk about or express their concerns. This is so critical. It’s also very important that the businesses not only hear from the staff, but actually have actionable steps and are willing to put some things in place to create real change. That is going to be key.

(See additional tips from Dr. Jones at the bottom of this article.)

One of the key components that can make or break good mental health is how people perceive things, explained Dr. Jones, and she provided this example:

An employee confides in her boss that she’s going through a difficult period. What is she to think when, the very next day, her boss asks her to have something done before she leaves for the night. The employee could ruminate that her boss has something against her, is sabotaging her, and doesn’t want her to succeed. Or, she could consider this: Her boss had this deadline just come across his desk from higher up and it requires completion that day. She is the best person for the job.

Good mental health in the workplace can mean a preventative approach. For example, having an EAP in place puts an employer a thousand steps ahead of the game…long before a situation might occur. Of course, implementing an EAP also says the company cares about the mental wellness of the people who work there.

Companies looking to provide better mental health within their work environment should consider AMRI. “Reasons why I feel businesses should pick AMRI Counseling Services is that we have been in business for over 17 years. We have a staff of over 55 dedicated and compassionate people, including our amazing office staff and clinicians. We provide not only in-office counseling services, but also telehealth through video and phone,” said Dr. Jones.

Telehealth is a huge plus for both employers and employees. “Many of your staff do not have to miss work for our services. We have clients who will schedule appointments with us during their lunchtime, before work, after work, or on a break,” explained Dr. Jones. “Also,” she added, “our office hours are very flexible. We have therapists who see clients early mornings, anytime throughout the day, and also in the evenings and on weekends, including Sundays.”

Dr. Jones provided these additional tips on how businesses can support their staff’s mental wellness:

  • Create and model a mentally-healthy work environment.
  • Be vulnerable and supportive of your staff’s mental health needs.
  • Build a culture of connection through check-ins. 
  • Have fun activities or events for staff to “play a little.” All work and never any play are not fun.
  • Offer flexibility and be inclusive.
  • Give positive recognition.
  • Communicate more than you think you need to. 
  • Invest in staff training and development.
  • Create a mental wellness program. 
  • Offer counseling and/or an EAP program.
  • Modify policies and practices that are geared toward reducing stress.
  • Measure to ensure accountability doesn’t have to be complicated.

Background Information
AMRI Counseling Services is a Licensed and Certified Mental Health/Substance Abuse Clinic that provides an array of quality services to adults, couples, adolescents, children, and families.  

Dr. Lakeia Jones, Ph.D., DSW, LPC, CSAC, CCTP, CEO is a licensed psychotherapist, licensed clinical substance abuse counselor, certified clinical trauma professional, and clinical supervisor. She is also an investor, clinical trainer, adjunct professor, speaker, advocate, and mentor to many upcoming clinical professionals and entrepreneurs.

IMAGEU R It: Join the Movement—Own Your Thoughts, Become Your Truth!
Dr. Jones is the author of “U R It,” a book that focuses on transforming thoughts and exploring how changing one’s thinking process will have a positive impact on improving the overall quality of life. Order the book here.

AMRI Counseling Services has offices in Milwaukee and Kenosha.

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