What Employers Can Do to Improve Their Workers’ Mental Health

When we think of the things that cause stress and depression, work is often one of the main culprits. We may be dealing with deadlines, we may be unhappy because of the way we are treated by a boss or co-worker, or we may think we are being treated unfairly in terms of pay and benefits.

Employers who deal with several workers may not be aware of how their actions are affecting each employee. And while it’s difficult for leaders to pay attention to everyone on their team, there are actions they can take that will pay off in a big way.

This article will discuss what employers can do to create a workplace environment that’s conducive to good mental health.

Why Should Employers Take Steps to Improve Employee’s Mental Health?

Employers may want to create a less stressful atmosphere in the workplace out of the kindness of their own hearts, but these efforts can also pay off in boosting bottom lines and improving business. Here are some examples of how caring for your employees’ mental health can pay off.

Less Sick Days: When employees call in sick, employers lose productivity. Statistics show this can result in a $530 billion loss per year.

Sickness is usually related to physical health, but it can also be caused by mental health. Mental health may cause physical illness, or employees may call in sick because they are too stressed out to deal with work.

Employers that take steps to create a low-stress environment for their workers will benefit from fewer workers calling in sick and reduced sick day expenses.

Increased Loyalty: When employees feel like their employer cares about them, they will be more loyal to the company. This will pay off in increased productivity. It also means they are likely to stay at the company longer.

Businesses with loyal staff will have a lower turnover rate. They will not have to deal with a time and money-consuming process of looking for, onboarding, and training new talent. They will have a reliable staff that they can count on.

Better Customer Service: A less stressful environment means employees are in a better mood. This will result in a higher level of customer service. Happy customers will be likely to stay loyal to the business and continue purchasing their products and services.

What Can Employers Do to Boost Employees Mental Health?

So, what can employers do to boost employees’ mental health? Here are a few ideas.

Provide Spaces Where They Can Relax: When the stress of the workday gets to be too much, employees need an outlet for relaxing or blowing off steam. Employers can provide these outlets in the form of spaces for meditation, game rooms, fitness centers, and more. After workers spend time meditating or working out, they will be ready to return to their tasks with increased focus and an improved mood.

Include Mental Coverage in the Health Care Plan: People with mental health issues are often reluctant to reach out because they don’t have the money to afford the care they need. Employees can make it easier for them to get help by providing mental coverage in their health care plan.

The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act requires coverage for mental health conditions to be just as accessible as coverage for other medical issues. Employers can find out more about the act to ensure their workers are offered a comprehensive insurance plan.

Communicate to Reduce Stigmas: Stigmas can also get in the way of people reaching out for mental help. Many people don’t open up about their mental health issues because they aren’t sure what others will think of them.

Employers can reduce stigmas by mentioning emotional well-being often and encouraging workers to take advantage of the benefits and resources they are offering. In-office workshops can be helpful as well.

Train Managers: Make mental health a part of your company’s culture by making emotional wellness training mandatory for your company’s leaders and managers. This will help them become more aware of and more invested in their team member’s well-being. Make sure they know what to do if they see signs of stress, depression, and substance abuse in the people they supervise.

Establish an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to Support Mental Health in Workplace: An EAP provides workers with access to mental health professionals via phone and in-person visits. It may include sending out mental health newsletters and posting notices in breakrooms. It will make it easy for employees to know where they can go when they need help.

Conclusion

Work can be a major source of stress for some employees. Employers can do their part by providing safe spaces to openly address mental health and by providing workers with resources that make it easy to reach out if they are having issues. A combination of efforts will create a more productive workplace and lower mental illness rates overall.

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Dr. Alddo Molinar is an anesthesiologist, based in Martins Ferry, OH, who received his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School.

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Alddo Molinar

Alddo Molinar

Dr. Alddo Molinar is an anesthesiologist, based in Martins Ferry, OH, who received his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School.

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