According to Prudential Financial, during the past year, 21% (1 in 5) of adults in the US experienced mental illness. These numbers suggest that the problem of mental health is real. Moreover, these issues can lead to a variety of physical health problems too, including heart disease and many others.
Often these problems start with health in the workplace. Due to poor organizational culture and lack of mental health awareness, employers often get their employees trapped alone in their issues, and this problem needs to be solved.
In recent years, we can see a growing trend for stress management education, work-life balance, and overall mental well-being in the workplace. Numerous studies confirm that the poor mental health of employees has a devastating effect on every particular company’s performance, as well as on the entire global economy.
Indeed, struggling with mental health issues, employees across all industries and verticals simply don’t have the physical capability to work productively. They can’t complete their day-to-day tasks, maintain adequate social connections, cooperate with their co-employees, and do many other basic things. Needless to say, this can have a strongly negative effect on the daily functioning of the company.
But why is it really so important to promote mental health awareness in the workplace? The short answer is yes. But it’s vital to dig deeper in order to see the real value.
In this article, we will give you 8 strong reasons why every company should provide mental health support and awareness to its employees. Let’s dive in!
Reason 1: Promote Mental Health Awareness for Better Employee Education
There are many mental illnesses that your employees can face in their lives. Some of them, like anxiety, substance abuse, and depression, are more frequent. Others, like obsessive-compulsive disorder and other mental health conditions, might be less frequent. But they all are there and they all interfere with a person’s daily functioning both in their personal life and in the workplace. And the biggest problem is that the symptoms of different mental health disorders are always quite hard to spot.
Some of the most common symptoms of mental illness include:
Change in behaviors;
Absenteeism or presenteeism;
Low energy levels;
Quick mood changes, etc.
A person who demonstrates at least one symptom from this list might be struggling with severe mental health conditions. But the truth is that most of these symptoms will go unnoticed in the workplace until they acquire the roughest form, when addressing them is already quite hard.
The only way to change this and ensure that you and your team can recognize the signals of mental health issues is to provide quality education on this matter. If you do this, you can ensure that your employees recognize when their teammates are struggling and that you will be able to react to these problems promptly.
Another benefit of quality workplace mental health education is that it provides all individuals in your team with handy available resources, services, and tools they need to address their own problems. For everyone, it will be nice to have the needed knowledge and resources at hand when they experience hard times.
Also, by providing such education, you will reduce stigma and encourage employees to be open about their conditions. Respectively, everyone will be able to ask for help when they need it.
Reason 2: Employee Mental Health Boosts Performance and Productivity
As was already mentioned, job performance is the first thing affected by mental illness or overall poor mental well-being. According to studies, employees who suffer from different mental illnesses tend to lose concentration. As a result, they find it harder to carry out daily activities, multi-task, meet deadlines, etc. Eventually, the pressure gets so high that their productivity drops to nearly zero. Respectively, employers observe decreased performance, fail to meet set goals, and lose revenue. And this is the first reason to incorporate new mental health policies in your company.
By supporting mental health in your employees and promoting mental health awareness, you can help your employees manage stress better and significantly improve their work-life balance.
As a result, you will find a positive change in every employee’s personality. According to human relations theory, improved well-being leads to higher morale. Your employees will feel safer and less anxious on a daily basis. Also, it’s known to lower the levels of turnover and absenteeism. Instead, it ensures higher engagement and better productivity across the entire team.
Reason 3: Companies That Promote Mental Health Improve Communication
The second strong reason for companies to support employee mental health is that it will lead to better communication within the entire organization. And there are two ways it can help.
First of all, it’s not a secret that bad mental health conditions affect one’s social connections a lot. According to numerous studies and reports, people who have mental health issues get problems in relationships with their partners, children, friends, relatives, and co-employees. They often start feeling social anxiety and trouble communicating with others, which is why they become more isolated. In the workplace, this can lead to rising absenteeism. Not willing to stay connected with their teams, some employees may prefer to skip work. Or even if they show up, they might start avoiding any kind of interaction, which will harm the cooperation in your team.
There is also another side to mental health counseling and awareness in the workplace. Apart from helping socially isolated employers fit back in, it can also help you strengthen the bond and trust in your team. When you put emphasis on workplace mental health, you form a completely new way of communication.
By spreading awareness, you will also encourage employees to share their personal experiences and talk about things that matter. Respectively, you will reduce stigma, embrace honesty and openness, and create a positive and safe space where everyone is valued and heard. This will help your employees develop stronger bonds, which will also affect their ability to collaborate effectively in the workplace.
Reason 4: Workplace Mental Health Reduces Business Costs
Most employers know that employees value medical benefits a lot. Solid health insurance is often one of the most attractive reasons that can make talents choose a particular company and stay with it. However, when talking about quality health insurance, most employers think mainly about physical health coverage and often forget to address mental health concerns. And this is in vain because providing mental health support is crucial for employee productivity and satisfaction.
According to a study posted on BigHealth, employers that don’t provide their employees with unlimited access to workplace mental health services, resources, and other related perks can expect to spend up to 300% more on healthcare.
Businesses across all industries and verticals are facing significant financial losses caused by poor mental health in their staff. The World Health Organization revealed that the global economy loses $1 trillion every year due to depression and anxiety.
The problem is that companies pay for the poor mental health (and physical health too) of their employees both directly and indirectly. The direct costs involve relevant medical services, diagnosis, and treatment of physical and mental health conditions. Indirect costs, on the contrary, are not as “visible” and can involve things like productivity, absenteeism, and other results of mental health disorders.
By providing coverage for employees’ mental health concerns, you can reduce the financial loss of your company. And by destigmatizing mental health and promoting awareness about different mental health issues, self-care, stress management, and related topics, you can minimize the loss even more. This way, your employees will stay healthy and happy, which will positively affect your company’s finances too.
Reason 5: Well-Being Leads to Higher Profits
It’s not hard to guess that the improved productivity of employees will help your company gain higher revenues. The more resourceful and happy your employees are, the better they do their jobs, and the better your company performs as a whole.
Based on this, we can say that investing in your worker’s well-being is an investment in the growth and profitability of your company. According to studies, employers that support employee mental health can gain $4 of ROI on every $1 spent.
Despite these strong facts, many companies still don’t find supporting mental health of their employees important enough. They often believe that mental well-being is an individual problem of every staff member that should be treated through self-care. But the truth is that when you hire someone for your company, you should think not only about their job performance or how quickly they can learn skills vital for you but also about how well they can handle the workload mentally. It’s the company's role to promote stress management, educate on well-being, and help their employees remain in a positive mental health condition. And if you accept this role, your efforts will pay off in the form of higher productivity and profits.
Reason 6: Workplace Mental Health Promotes Retention
When you build your workplace culture around wellness, you make your workforce feel safer and more stable. Your employees will see the benefits that you offer to them and will value their jobs more. As a result, they will stay more loyal to your company and will remain in your company for longer.
There are many ways to ensure employee retention through wise mental health policies. For example, you can provide free benefits and perks in the office, establish more reasonable work hours, encourage employees to adopt behaviors that stimulate self-care and well-being, create team relaxation activities, etc. employer-sponsored programs, offer free gym access, provide subsidized clinical screenings, integrate a solid employee assistance program, and so on. By implementing all these things in your company, you will make your employees happier and much more relaxed. As a result, they won’t consider their workplace as a stressful and bad place and will be happy to spend their time there.
All these perks that you offer will distinguish you from other employers and help your staff members recognize the benefits they get while working for you. As a result, they will want to stay with you, so you will improve your staff retention and turnover.
Reason 7: Mental Health in the Workplace Improves Reputation
The trend for workplace mental health is growing fast. Nevertheless, companies that are known to recognize and adequately address the mental health conditions of their employees are still rare. Thus, such companies are valued by employees more than any other.
By taking a genuine interest in your employees’ mental and physical health and providing them with extra support, you demonstrate that your business cares not only about numbers and job performance but about people too. This is definitely the right direction to follow these days.
This will give you positive views and respect not only from your employees, but also from potential employees, partners, and even customers. As a result, your company will gain a solid reputation in the industry, which will positively affect your future growth and success.
Reason 8: Promoting Employees’ Mental Health Awareness Creates a Better Workplace
A healthy workplace is a safe space where everyone is valued, has a voice, feels comfortable, and is happy. According to studies, companies that have a healthy organizational culture and workplace tend to generate higher revenues and receive a variety of other perks. And promoting mental health awareness is one of the steps to creating such an environment in your company.
When you emphasize mental health in the workplace, you empower your team with everything they need to stay happy, healthy, and feel safe. All these factors are crucial for mental well-being. And if your employees will be able to link their well-being to the workplace they work at, this is the ultimate definition of a healthy work environment.
Raising Mental Health Awareness in the Workplace With Eleviate
The reasons we shared with you earlier should encourage employers across all industries to spread more awareness about mental disorders, stress management, and mental fitness in the workplace. Now that you are aware of these reasons, you might be wondering how to promote mental health in the workplace yourself. And we have the answer!
Eleviate is the number one tool for employers who care about their employees’ well-being. This app offers corporate solutions for mental health awareness and productivity in the workplace. Eleviate features everything you might be looking for in a mental health app. There is a huge collection of meditations, mental health practices, and even physical exercises. Also, there is a journal for keeping track of your mood on a daily basis.
With Eleviate, you can easily keep track of your employees’ conditions, spread mental health awareness, and boost your employees’ well-being with ease. As a result, your employees will increase their cognitive performance and bring you a 15% boost in productivity and plenty of other benefits for your company.