The statistics on mental health are staggering. A study by The Lancet predicts that mental disorders will cost the global economy $16 trillion in lost productivity by 2030. The study also forecasts 12 billion working days lost due to mental illness every year. Depression alone costs U.S. employers $44 billion per year in lost productivity. Add a global pandemic, and employees are left physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted. Employee mental health and wellness is more important now than ever before. While offering mental health and wellness programs requires some investment, the benefits outweigh the costs. Here are some of the ways an investment in mental health and wellbeing programs can pay dividends:
1) Build a strong company brand
Offering mental health and wellbeing benefits shows that you genuinely care about enabling employees to feel fulfilled personally and professionally. People find this type of thinking preferable in their employer. This reputation can help establish your company as an attractive choice for talented job seekers.
Wellbeing programs also build consumer trust. Customers increasingly base their buying decisions on how ethical your business is. Not just in terms of minimizing environmental impact or diversity and inclusion, but also how well you treat your employees.
2) Employee retention
Investing in programs that help employees manage mental health shows you care. Additionally, they will have mental health resources at their fingertips to deal with things like burnout or personal problems they may bring into the workplace. Employees will feel supported and valued. When they realize the value of the resources provided by their employer, they will be more likely to stick around. Therefore, you can save the time, energy, and resources needed to replace them.
3) Positive impact on relationships
Our mental health dramatically affects how we view ourselves and the people around us. Employees in a good state of mind tend to feel good about themselves and have more positive interactions with others. They also become more open about opinions that differ from their own. As a result, investing in wellbeing can strengthen relationships between individuals, co-workers, and managers. These strong relationships can lead to enhanced teamwork, innovation, and creativity.
4) Empowers employees
Employees feel empowered when they have direct access to relevant resources. With digital advances in the mental health field, you can offer online platforms that facilitate access to support groups or virtual appointments with mental health professionals. Programs like the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provide coping strategies or tips for various professional or personal challenges. By offering employees these tools, you’ll empower them to manage their own well-being. Employees will feel they’re in control and that help is there whenever needed.
5) Lowers business costs
Neglecting your employees’ mental health and wellbeing can cause a rise in absenteeism, presenteeism, and disability claims. This can place a tremendous financial burden on your company. Mental health issues can ultimately lead to physical health problems, which means increases in medical costs further down the line. By investing in workplace wellbeing programs, you’ll be able to avoid some of these costs.
6) Enhances productivity and performance
By providing your employees with the resources and tools to deal with the personal challenges that come their way, you make them feel valued and that you care for them. More importantly, they’ll become healthier, happier, and more resilient. Productivity will increase.
Most workplaces cannot afford to ignore workplace mental health and wellbeing programs. By investing in employees’ mental health and wellbeing, you build a positive workplace culture. You provide a safe space for employees to ask for help without fear of judgment or recrimination. It also gives employees the strength to overcome the challenges they face, focusing on their work and performing to the best of their abilities.