For decades, employers have been trying to contain costs through physical wellness programs aimed at preventing and managing a handful of costly diagnoses. Mental wellness has often been relegated the EAP and is reserved for crisis situations.
The truth is that day-to-day mental health is probably having more impact on profitability, and that effect is growing. Employee burnout and stress are at all-time high levels and younger generations are leaving their jobs in far higher numbers due to mental health issues.
Massive numbers of employees are considering quitting their jobs. Employers who can demonstrate a commitment to the holistic wellbeing of their people are poised to win the war for talent. 86% of workers believe a company culture should support mental health yet just 37% of employers feel they have a strong understanding of the mental health and wellbeing of their people.
Dr. Heather Bolton, a clinical psychologist and BABCP-accredited cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) therapist writes:
“…companies that offer a mental well-being solution that is easy for employees to understand and engage with, and that empowers employees to navigate their own path along mental well-being, are fundamentally adopting a mental health culture.”
More consistent check-ins and understanding that there is more than just happy or depressed, calm or anxious, and even sane or crazy is a good start. Making talking about feelings and mental health issues okay is also helpful.
It starts with the understanding of mental health as a spectrum. Sure, some people have diagnosed conditions, but all of us have a non-binary emotional experience that needs attention in the same way diet and exercise promote physical health.
Employers who can tackle the dominant stressors in people’s lives—finances, relationships, and work—are more likely to keep their people mentally healthy. Adding innovative resources to address those issues not only communicates that you care, but that you are actively participating in your team’s wellbeing.
Of course, adding benefits creates another problem—complexity. The path to employee wellness has three consistent steps:
- Identify and understand the challenges at a global and individual level.
- Provide resources that disrupt the patterns and practices that are creating or exacerbating the problems.
- Provide ongoing, personalized guidance to optimize those resources for each employee.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how we can help you convert your benefits into meaningful outcomes for your people, profit, and community.