Prioritizing your employees’ health in every way – mental and emotional as well as physical – has never been more critical. Taking a holistic approach that raises awareness and offers treatment and service options for mental health is more than worth your time, effort and company resources.
As noted by the World Health Organization, an estimated 264 million people suffer from depression and anxiety. And one of the biggest contributors to these conditions is chronic workplace stress, which can stem from:
- Unclear tasks or responsibilities
- Poor communication or collaboration
- Limited control over one’s area of work
- Unsuitable tasks for one’s experience or competency
- Unreasonable deadlines
- Lack of team cohesion or poor support from coworkers or managers
- Inflexible work hours, or
- Bullying or psychological harassment.
Fallout from Employee Mental Health Issues
Team members who suffer from mental health problems may be unable to complete job tasks or experience significant drops in cognitive performance. Symptoms such as fatigue, loss of motivation, headaches, chronic pain and feeling overwhelmed make it more challenging for them to show up for work and more likely to be victims of presenteeism.
- Presenteeism is lost productivity that occurs when a person is not fully functional at work due to an illness, injury or other condition. They are physically at work, but unable to fully perform their duties. They also may be more likely to make mistakes on the job.
Employees experiencing mental distress use, on average, $3,000 more in healthcare services per year than their peers. The cost of days lost averages $4,873 per person per year, and the cost of related turnover averages $5,733 per person annually. These numbers can vary greatly across occupations and locations.
Create a Positive Work Environment
Everyone at your company must be fully committed to supporting mental health, whether your employees are on-site, remote, or a combination of both.
- Foster a culture of awareness. Educate your employees and help remove the stigma and fear of talking about mental health issues. Let people know that you’re committed to a better, healthier workplace.
- Company leaders should be open about their own struggles. This is a powerful way to encourage others to share their feelings and experiences and it helps to normalize the conversation. Equip your management team with a mental health toolkit. Give them the resources, knowledge and skills to recognize and respond to red flags in their employees.
- Make everyone aware of the mental health services available through your health insurance and of your employee assistance program (EAP). Access and expense can be significant barriers preventing people from seeking help. Make sure your health coverage includes individual, couples and family therapy and services at affordable costs. Communicate the benefits of your EAP. Remind employees that help is always available.
- Prioritize work/life balance. Show employees how to set healthy boundaries. Pay special attention to those working remotely, as lines can more easily blur when you’re not physically separated from the office. Allow flexible scheduling, and make sure people are using their vacation days. Encourage them to unplug – they’ll return to work feeling better and more productive as a result.
For additional help promoting mental health and holistic well-being for your employees, partner with the workplace development experts at PrideStaff Fresno. Contact us today to learn more.