Prioritizing Mental Health: The Importance for Employees and Organizations
Mental health is crucial to our overall well-being, yet it’s often overlooked in the workplace. Prioritizing mental health benefits individual employees and creates a more positive and productive work environment. According to a survey from McKinsey Health Institute, 60% of employees have experienced at least one mental-health challenge, a statistic consistent with other global research.
The pandemic has forced many organizations to shift to remote work, and while it has its benefits, it also comes with its own set of challenges. As we navigate the new world of remote work, it’s more important than ever to thoughtfully address mental health concerns and provide resources for employee support. One of the biggest challenges is the lack of in-person social connections with peers. Humans are social creatures, and the isolation that comes with remote work can exacerbate mental health issues like anxiety and depression. It’s more important than ever for organizations to recognize the importance of creating meaningful connections that not only create a sense of belonging but help to build relationships among coworkers.
However, it’s important to note that mental health concerns aren’t unique to remote environments. Workplace stress and burnout have been prevalent long before the pandemic, and organizations must prioritize mental health support regardless of their work environment. This includes creating a culture of openness and destigmatizing mental health issues so that employees feel comfortable seeking help when they need it.
Making employee mental health a priority benefits individual employees and can improve productivity, increase retention, enhance company culture, and even reduce healthcare costs. As an HR professional who may have the ability to impact how mental health is supported in your organization, how are you considering the following:
- Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs). Or access to other mental health resources, such as confidential counseling services to employees.
- Company culture. Is yours one of openness and inclusion? When employees feel comfortable discussing mental health concerns with their managers or HR, it helps destigmatize mental health issues and encourages employees to seek help when needed. Also, creating an inclusive community establishes a well-rounded work culture and positively impacts your employer brand and its attractiveness to future talent.
- Work-life balance. Work-life balance is essential for good mental health. Organizations should encourage employees to take breaks throughout the day and prioritize their personal lives outside of work.
- Training and education. Many employees may not be familiar with the signs and symptoms of mental health issues. Resources such as the Center for Workplace Mental Health provide tools and information that create broader awareness of the warning signs for mental health conditions.
- Mentorship. Providing a trusted resource can help guide employees through workplace difficulties. Often, those who assume the role of a mentor have their own experiences that an employee can relate to and learn from without judgment.
At reacHIRE, we believe that mental health should be a top priority for all organizations. We encourage HR leaders like you to take steps to create a supportive environment that recognizes the importance of employee well-being. We know that an empathetic community of like-minded colleagues can drive a stronger sense of belonging, retention, and career advancement. Contact us to learn how we can help your organization through growth opportunities and community support.