3 Tips for Employers to Support Employee Mental Health
Mental health and wellness is a critical part of any workplace culture. In order to maintain a healthy, productive environment, it is important for employers to understand the importance of mental health and provide resources for their employees. There are some simple tools employers can use to begin improving employee mental health.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in five American adults experiences a mental illness in a given year. That means that your company is likely to have employees who are struggling with some form of mental illness, whether they are aware of it or not.
It is crucial that employers take steps to create a mentally healthy workplace culture. This includes providing education on mental health and wellness, offering resources and support services, and creating an open dialogue about mental health issues.
What is employee mental health and why is it important
Employee mental health is an essential part of a productive and healthy workplace. Here are three reasons why it is important for employers to understand employee mental health and create a supportive environment for their employees.
1. Employees with mental illness are more likely to miss work.
Mental illness can have a significant impact on employee productivity. Employees who are struggling with a mental illness are more likely to miss work or arrive late. In fact, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, employees with mental illness miss an average of four days of work per month.
In today’s labor shortage market, it’s essential for recruiting efforts for employees to address the mental health and improve employee mental health to best attract, retain, and develop staff.
2. Mental illness costs businesses billions of dollars each year.
Mental illness also has a significant financial impact on businesses. The World Health Organization estimates that mental illness costs businesses billions of dollars each year in lost productivity. In a landmark case study by Aetna, found that mindfulness increased job effectiveness. Employees gained an average of 62 minutes per weekof productivity each, which Aetna estimates is worth $3,000 per employee per year.*
3. Mental health and wellness is essential for employee productivity.
Mental health and wellness is essential for employee productivity. A healthy, productive workforce is crucial for any business. In order to maintain a healthy workplace culture, it is important for employers to understand the importance of mental health and provide resources for their employees.
The question most frequently asked is how leaders create a culture that stands out when employees have the option of staying employed or applying at a competing organization? It starts with supporting the full spectrum of workers’ mental health needs. And even if you’re not harming employees’ mental health, it’s still your responsibility. In an article from Headspace, 81 percent of global employees agree that employers have a responsibility to help them manage their mental health.
How to get started creating a mentally healthy workplace culture
1. Understand the importance of employee mental health
The first step in creating a mentally healthy workplace culture is understanding the importance of employee mental health. Employers should take the time to learn about mental health and the impact it has on employee productivity.
Giving employees a reason to stay involves more than increased pay and company get togethers. When polled, employees are most often looking for careers that help them feel more “meaning” and “purpose” in their lives. A sense of belonging and care from an employer usually rates at the top of every employee’s list. Understanding that effective mental health strategies support the recruitment, onboarding, and retention of employees helps teams grow and thrive.
2. Create a supportive environment for employees
Employers should create a supportive environment for employees by providing education on mental health and wellness, offering resources and support services, and creating an open dialogue about mental health issues.
Leaders in an organization should be encouraged to proactively take mental health and wellbeing workshops, and learn simple but pragmatic tools to help them deal with stress, anxiety, and overwhelm. By starting with the leaders first, employees are more likely to follow suit and embrace wellbeing also. In 2022, 57 percent of CEOs report that talking about their mental health actually makes them a better leader.
3. Promote employee well-being
Employers should promote employee well-being by encouraging employees to take care of their physical and emotional health. This can be done by promoting healthy lifestyle choices, such as exercise and proper nutrition, and practicing how to be more mindful.
Employers who take steps to improve employee mental health will see significant benefits in terms of employee productivity, mental health costs, and employee retention. By creating a supportive environment for their employees, employers can help reduce the stigma around mental illness and improve the overall well-being of their team.
At a time when mental health and wellness are becoming increasingly important in the workplace, it is more important than ever for employers and companies to take steps to improving employee mental health and well-being. This can be done through employee education programs, employee benefits such as paid leave or telework options, or by hiring inspirational speakers who can share their own experiences with mental health and offer practical tips on how to maintain and improve one’s mental wellness.
Want to learn how to apply these mental health boosting practices to your team? Consider booking Klyn Elsbury’s Mindful Leadership workshops for your next meeting or retreat. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire.