According to research done in 2019, 15% of working adults have mental disorders. It’s also said that poor working conditions increase the possibility of mental health. With such statistics, it’s important to factor in mental health in the workplace, despite the industry.
In the plumbing industry, mental health issues are well documented and prevalent due to the long, irregular working hours. There’s a lot of exhaustion that can cause an imbalance in a person’s mental wellness.
Luckily, talks surrounding upholding mental wellness in the workplace is a trend in a lot of industries today. One of the ways to promote mental health at work is by identifying the challenges relating to mental health and getting solutions.
In the plumbing sector, particularly, these challenges and advice are:
It’s said that most workers fear opening up about any issue they’re facing to the top management due to fear of being reprimanded. In other situations, some workers worry about the image they’ll portray once they admit to facing challenges. They believe it might interfere with their work relationship with the management, leading to frustrations.
The solution to the fear of reprimand or poor working relationships is practicing an open-door policy in the workplace. Here, you have to create room for free but respectful communication among the workers, despite the job position.
It’d help to encourage the top management to be more approachable instead of instilling fear among workers. Also, talk with your workers and assure them there’ll be no negative consequences for them speaking up about their problems.
Emphasize how the open-door policy will improve their mental health and overall well-being. Doing so encourages them to practice more open communication. You can back Fergusons Plumbing and Beyond Blue here, along with others, as they emphasize promoting mental health by encouraging open communication and support.
Poor listening skills are the other problems facing the plumbing industry. Yes, you might have put in place policies to promote mental health. But the question is how effective is your strategy?
The issue arises when management barely listens to the cries of their workers. You might find a worker talking to a manager about their work problems. At the same time, the manager isn’t in the room. Instead, their mind is thinking about company operations, which they perceive to be more important. The result is futile efforts toward mental health.
The ideal solution is to ask the managers to be in the room as much as possible and actively listen to their juniors’ mental issues. Where they can help, for instance, by adjusting a few things at work, encourage them to do so.
Practicing the same thing with all workers, whether juniors or managers, is important. Put systems in place to help managers deal with their mental health issues.
Another solution to poor listening skills is hiring a mental health expert whose sole purpose is improving workers’ health. Such an expert will actively listen and won’t drift away from the discussion and start thinking about company operations. They also know the right things to say to a plumber facing mental health issues.
As the introduction states, most plumbers work for long hours, with others working overnight. At times, they’ll work irregular hours depending on the project. The main cause is that plumbers are paid by the hour in most states. The longer they work, the higher their income is.
Overworking leads to fatigue, which increases stress levels. In extreme cases, anger is likely to be an issue too, especially due to inadequate sleep.
As management, consider setting regular working hours, e.g., an 8 AM to 5 PM. Suppose a project needs fast completion and you have to work more than 12 hours daily. It’d help to have the plumbers work in shifts. No plumber should work for the 12 hours straight. The aim is to reduce fatigue.
Plus, since working hours are tied to wages, it’d help to create another technique that determines the amount payable. Consider setting the pay according to working days instead of hours. It eliminates situations where plumbers feel compelled to work overtime, despite fatigue. And there will be work-life balance, promoting mental health.
In most cases, plumbers fulfill their responsibilities solely. It’s often the case due to the work nature. Working independently increases the chances of a plumber always thinking about their problems as they work.
According to Ralph Waldo (a philosopher,) you become what you think about all day. Hence, by focusing on your problems all day, there’s a high chance of them controlling you, resulting in mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.
One sure way of reducing solitude with your plumbers is by encouraging teamwork. As management, allocate two or more plumbers to work on a project. The three will talk and share light moments as they work. In the end, there’s less focus on one’s problems – reducing the possibility of mental health issues.
The other ways to discourage solitude are holding regular team building sessions and having communal lunches, among other ways. Doing this creates friendships such that the plumbers can talk among themselves and help each other through problems.
Mental health enables people to fulfill their roles with peace of mind. The result is minimal stress and happiness, which brings wellness.
The discussion above puts its focus on the plumbing sector and mental health. It has highlighted common causes of mental health issues and proceeded to give solutions to them. By adopting this guide in your plumbing company, you’ll better meet your clients’ needs, and your workers will always be productive since they have minimal stress.