Mental Health Matters – especially at work
Mental health is an important topic. Most recently, the mental health and wellbeing of the workforce has been a hot-button topic with the global coronavirus pandemic putting hardships on employers and employees alike. HR plays a critical role in tackling the stigma surrounding mental health as well as supporting employees with existing mental health conditions.
A Harvard study found that since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, 32% of workers felt that their job security has been jeopardized, 44% reported a decrease in household income and 40% had an increased workload. Adding these stressors on top of day-to-day stressors can contribute to increased levels of anxiety and depression among the workforce.
Read on to learn more about why mental health in the workplace matters and what you can do to help your employees.
Why does mental health in the workplace matter?
- Depression and anxiety can affect productivity, which can cost the global economy one trillion dollars per year, according to the World Health Organization.
- The CDC reports that depression can affect a worker’s abilities 20% of the time in laborious tasks and 35% of the time in cognitive abilities.
- Mental illness affects 1 in 5 adults in the United States.
1.What can you do to help your employees?
Nurture an Inclusive & Supportive Culture
Nurturing a culture of support and awareness for health and wellbeing issues is the first step to fighting the negative associations of mental health problems in the workplace.
Recent studies have shown that more than a third of workers do not seek help from their bosses or colleagues. This habit of silence can arise from fear of the consequences of reaching out such as disciplinary actions and dismissal.
Developing a work environment where employees feel safe to be open about their health and wellbeing – without fear of disciplinary action – is important to build trust between your business and staff. In addition to boosting morale, this also has a positive effect on productivity.
2. Management Training & Support
While 76% of managers consider their employees welfare to be part of their professional duties, only 22% have received training on this topic. They may be unsure of how to talk to employees, and what to do if an employee approaches them about mental health problems.
Basic training and development, as well as how to roll out a mental health support program should be provided to your senior management. Creating an in-house advocacy group that is passionate about health and wellbeing will give staff at all levels the opportunity to be involved with implementing initiatives and providing feedback on current support mechanisms.
3. Take a Proactive Approach
Having a company wellness program and managing it properly are two very different things, and the costs of mismanaging mental health issues can be huge. To be successful, you must ensure that your support programs are internally communicated on a regular basis, that they are easy to access and that they are running smoothly.
While health and wellness programs are great for inclusivity, it’s also important to keep sight of the individual. We recommend scheduling regular one-on-one meetings to ensure that managers are providing tailored, proactive support. If you don’t have access to such programs in your current benefits package, the experienced team at RAI Resources can help throughout the Greater Lehigh Valley area and beyond.
READ MORE ABOUT HR CONSULTING BENEFITS
Learn more about the advantages of investing in HR consulting for your small business by reading our previous blog posts by our team of HR professionals.
Hiring the right talent, managing your current workforce and building efficient human capital processes has increasingly become more of a challenge for organizations. An HR Consultant can improve compliance, reduce overall cost and defray risk. This alone is worth calling in an expert! If you need assistance with your HR functions, the dedicated team at RAI Resources is ready to help.
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