February 15, 2022
Given its prevalence, you can expect that employees at your organization are experiencing mental health challenges or mental illness. That’s why it’s so important that your organization creates a culture that supports employees’ mental health.
A study from the Mental Health in the Workplace Summit also found that mental illness is the leading cause of disability for U.S. adults ages 15 to 44 and that more workdays are lost to mental health-related absenteeism than any other injury or illness.
Mental well-being includes mental health but goes far beyond treating mental illness. One main roadblock that employees face when it comes to their mental well-being is chronic stress, which can lead to a lack of sleep, which in turn can exacerbate workplace stress.
It’s up to employers to implement various strategies in their organizations that are designed to support employee mental health. The following strategies are among the most common that employers across the country are focusing on:
- Create a Supportive, Stigma-free Environment in which mental health is openly discussed. For example, when employees hear their leaders talking about supporting mental health and even talking about mental health issues they’ve experienced, the negative stigma starts to fade away and employees begin to feel more comfortable talking about their struggles or asking for help when they need it.
- Tackle Workplace Stressors like a heavy workload, intense pressure to perform at high levels, job insecurity, long work hours, excessive travel, office politics and conflicts with co-workers. Work-related stress is more strongly associated with illness and health complications than financial or familial stress. Lowering stress can lower the risk of medical conditions and can help employees feel better on a day-to-day basis.
- The Risk of Employee Burnout Needs to be Addressed. When workplace stress isn’t addressed or is severe, employees are at risk of burning out and even developing chronic conditions that affect them at work and in their personal lives. Burnout is visible by employees being more likely to be unproductive, miss days of work and even leave the company.
- Evaluate Your Benefits Offerings. In addition to rolling out new initiatives to support mental well-being at your organization, you should look to the benefits you offer to ensure that they support mental health. Evaluate your current health plan designs. Do they cover mental health services? Evaluate your programs and policies. Do you have an EAP? Do you have a policy regarding workplace bullying or flexible scheduling? What about a paid time off policy that includes mental health days. Reviewing the offerings that your organization provides is essential to creating a culture that supports employee mental well-being.
By developing helpful programs and communicating with your employees, your business should be able to minimize the impact of poor mental health, which will result in happier, healthier employees. And this directly impacts the success of your organization.
For more information about promoting employee mental health, please contact Apex Benefits today.
Download this scorecard to assess your organization’s risk in how it addresses mental health today.
Licensed source: Zywave