Supporting Employee Mental Health is Good For Business

how to prioritize employee mental health

Employees deal with a variety of pressures at work and elsewhere. However, the notion of perks that promote well-being and mental health are often left out of conventional workplace models. The World Health Organization estimates that one in every eight persons suffers from a mental health issue. With 301 million individuals suffering from an anxiety disorder and 280 million from a depressive disorder, anxiety and depression are two of the most prevalent issues. Even yet, shockingly, 85% of mental health issues go untreated.

Nearly 80% of workers think that if they regularly focus their mental health, they may effectively avoid serious mental health issues or treatment on a clinical level. Employers that can satisfy these objectives and provide perks in line with them would probably find it easier to attract and keep workers. Additionally, these advantages might lessen the financial costs associated with mental health issues, including lost productivity and missed workdays. Employers that make a commitment to comprehending workplace burnout and putting mental wellness first will probably benefit from highly engaged workers who want to remain with the firm.

Why Prioritizing Employee Mental Health Matters

Employees experience stress, which has an impact on their productivity. This stress can be caused by a variety of things, including personal obligations, workplace changes, and economic uncertainty. The amount of assistance provided by the company affects how the workers handle that stress. The US labour force as a whole is presently over 50% burnt out. Burnout results in tiredness, disengagement, and lower productivity, which has an impact on the bottom line of the business. Employees understand the risk that such stressors pose to their health and wellbeing, which is more important. According to a Forrester study conducted for Modern Health, 80% of employees are more likely to stick with a company that offers top-notch resources for mental health care.

Resilience is the capacity to recover from adversity. Employers are more likely to retain top talent and boost organisational performance when they create benefits that strengthen organisational resilience by prioritising mental health.

How to Prioritize Mental Health in the Workplace

The complicated nature of mental health issues necessitates multisectoral services and solutions. Employers may reduce losses from low retention and mental health issues by using a diverse strategy to help and safeguard the mental wellbeing of their staff. Think about how using these strategies can help your company give mental health a higher priority.

Build Mental Health into the Culture

Employees may feel at ease being themselves in a psychologically secure environment that is fostered by an accepting organisational culture. Approaches include promoting teamwork that allows for measured risks and an atmosphere that respects failure as a necessary component of learning. Employers may minimise the stigma associated with mental illness, which often discourages workers from seeking treatment, by creating policies that promote employees’ mental health and offering readily available services.

Add Mental Health to the Benefits Packages

The benefits package you offer employees should be consistent with the fact that mental well-being is a component of overall well-being. A large group of employees’ diverse needs should be accommodated by mental health benefits that cater to the needs of the entire workforce. Accessible options for mental health care as well as perks like dependent care insurance and flexible work schedules that reduce personal stressors ought to be included.

Create Opportunities for Employees to Share

Employees contribute their whole self to work, including feelings and encounters both within and outside of the workplace. Give workers a safe, judgment-free method to express themselves when they’re feeling overwhelmed, burned out, depressed, worried, etc. By expressing their problems and worries, leaders may set the tone for such chances.

Offer Flexible Work

One of the top perks that job seekers look for in a new position is remote work. 87% of workers accept the option to work remotely when given the choice. Flexibility, however, encompasses more than a remote or mixed schedule. Allow for flexible scheduling when it’s possible so that workers can regularly tend to their personal needs and obligations.

Promote Healthy Habits

The same behaviours that support physical health also improve mental wellness. By establishing strict rules regarding overtime and weekend work, you can encourage healthy behaviours like getting enough sleep and not skipping meals. Enforce these rules to prevent your organisational structure from becoming overly dependent on willing employees during times of need.

Provide Resources and Support

All workers should have access to affordable mental health services to meet their needs both on the job and off. Employees may be more likely to use your benefits if you provide them with access to remote care or care that is culturally sensitive. You can gain a better understanding of the benefits that are being used by your employees by routinely reviewing measurable data.

Promote Learning and Development

Employees desire career prospects that will encourage them to remain with their employer. According to research, 40% of workers don’t perceive a clear route to promotion, while 68% of employees said they would remain with their company throughout their career if the employer made an attempt to upskill them. Employee engagement and retention may be increased by outlining a clear route for progression within your company.

Cultivate a Sense of Belonging

A job is more than just a position that pays you for the services you do. A workplace is a group of people who get together to work toward common objectives. Employees that feel like they are a part of this community are more likely to be committed to their work and effective in it. A crucial aspect of creating a feeling of belonging is psychological safety. In a poll of 1,000 workers throughout the world, 90% agreed that psychological safety is crucial for job innovation, error prevention, and productivity. Only 10% of businesses, however, give psychological safety at work a priority.

Create an atmosphere where all workers feel psychologically comfortable, accepted, and welcomed for all elements of their identities in a group setting to foster a feeling of belonging for all employees. Making ensuring that the company’s language, attitudes, beliefs, and perks are inclusive of all workers from different backgrounds and cultures can help achieve this goal.

Encourage Employees to Take Time Off

Not taking the time to disconnect, unwind, and take a break from work for a vacation that may renew energy and engagement after returning is a major contributor to burnout and tiredness. Even while many employers provide paid time off, staff members often feel uncomfortable using these advantages. The majority of Americans don’t utilise all of their vacation days, and even those who do often answer calls and check emails from the office.

Employees who take time off from work feel rejuvenated and less likely to experience burnout when they resume their jobs. Paying for time off is insufficient. The entire value of the benefits provided should be made clear to employees, who should be encouraged to take all of their paid time off. When business leaders and managers set an example by putting the workplace aside and taking frequent vacations, this tendency will spread from the top down.

Positive Impacts of Retaining Employees

According to a Modern Health study, 87% of employees want their employers to be concerned about their mental health, but only 66% think they are. Additionally, 81% of managers and 79% of non-managers agree that they would be more likely to stick around at a company that offers top-notch resources for mental health care. High employee retention is strongly correlated with high-quality mental health care.

Retaining employees has advantages such as:

  • lowering costs: An organisation must continually spend money on hiring, onboarding, and training due to high turnover. Every time an experienced employee leaves, there are increased costs.
  • Increased productivity: By keeping employees, your organisation will have team members with extensive industry experience and knowledge. Additionally, these seasoned workers form dependable teams that are used to cooperating.
  • A company with high retention rates creates a sense of belonging for its employees, making them feel like members of a community. A culture like this encourages a sense of community and pride in how an employee’s accomplishments impact the entire business.

Employees are prepared to defend their demands for easily accessible mental health care by leaving companies that do not meet those needs because their mental health is a top priority. On the other hand, businesses that prioritise mental health are aware of the additional advantages that mental health services offer beyond employee retention. Prioritizing mental health makes workers less prone to burnout and increases their level of engagement and productivity at work. Companies experience increased performance, innovation, and output as a result. Download our eBook, Employee Retention Strategies for Organizational Success, to learn more about the links between mental health benefits and retention.

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