May 16, 2022
Debbie Herbers, President / COO, Projetech
As we enter the Mental Health Awareness month of May, it is vital to recognize how important company culture is to health. When an organization has a psychologically safe culture, employee well-being and job satisfaction are improved.
In the United States, the average working week is about 40 hours, which translates to employees spending around 30% of their lives at work. This means that on average, about 25 to 30 years of their life is spent working – and another 30% is spent sleeping. Therefore, the workplace needs to be part of the solution in improving mental health.
Mental well-being is one of the most valuable assets that any company can have, which is why Projetech works to develop a culture of support and good work/life balance for its team members.
Here are some of the ways we try to alleviate stress and improve mental health in the workplace:
We encourage human interaction to try and make it easier for introverts to participate and feel included. Projetech has a large kitchen area as the heart of our HQ. We have catered lunches and a game cabinet to encourage our employees to interact with each other on their comfort level. For some, that is an intense game of ping pong, while for others, it is a relaxing game of chess.
Projetech does not tolerate any form of bullying and we try to screen for empathy traits when hiring. We encourage wide-open communication lines between employees of all levels and have regular HR check-ins with each person on our team. We also have a “Let us Know” button on the Home page of our SharePoint system, where info is treated in a confidential manner if someone isn’t comfortable communicating face to face. Additionally, we provide an Employee Assistance Program benefit that offers confidential, no-cost counseling.
We recognize that every person has a life outside of work that can be stressful, which is why we offer flexibility in scheduling, and employees in almost all roles can work from home if they want/need to. We also have an open-door policy for family members and acknowledge employee milestones. We love getting to know employees’ children, significant others, and pets. We have celebrations for work anniversaries, marriages, graduations, and new babies. You’ll find at least one dog at our office most days and we love seeing little ones joining our internal video calls.
We offer options for physical well-being because it can impact mental health. This is why we have standing desks for those that are interested, a walking workstation, and a traditional treadmill in the heart of the office. We are also located in a walking-friendly neighborhood and our employees have been known to have walking meetings on nice days.
Incorporating humor and fun activities into everyday work life is a big part of our company culture. While telling jokes certainly isn’t a cure, laughter does have a series of benefits ranging from soothing tension to improved immune systems and even pain relief. We have a team that meets regularly to brainstorm ideas for activities with the only goal being to make people smile. Some examples are math & spelling bee competitions, ice cream truck visits, Easter egg hunts, and more!
Finally, we come together to show gratitude and support our community. Research has shown that when practiced over time, feeling thankful acts as an overall mood booster and kind actions can boost mental and spiritual happiness. To facilitate this, Projetech promotes giving back to the community through a series of initiatives. We work with the Cincinnati Adopt A Class mentoring program by visiting a local first-grade class monthly. Nothing can lift moods more than spending an hour with a room full of curious six-year-olds! We also come together to provide Thanksgiving meals in our community and invite local first responders for appreciation lunches at our office.
Last year, Projetech was named a finalist for the 2021 Best Places to Work Awards by The Cincinnati Business Courier. While it is awesome to have been given a pretty trophy for that, the real importance is that the voters for the award are employees. We hope that is an indicator that our efforts in making Projetech a safe and welcoming place are working, and we will continue to prioritize the health and happiness of our team.
NAMI’s message for Mental Health Awareness month in 2022 is “Together for Mental Health.” In that spirit, we’d love to hear any ideas about how we might better support good mental health at Projetech.
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