According to the National Institute of Mental Health Disorders, it’s estimated that 26% of Americans ages 18 and older suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. Which means at least 1 in 4 of your employees may be struggling with their mental health.
How can you have a positive company culture, let alone an effective business, unless you have happy and mentally healthy employees? Implementing an employee mental health program can greatly improve your workplace. And while these programs can come in many forms, no matter what type of program you choose, the key benefits are the same.
Discover below why it pays to invest in employee mental health programs, as well as examples of these programs and what to keep in mind when implementing yours.
Benefits of employee mental health programs
1. Increased productivity
Happier employees with higher morale and more likely to be productive in their day-to-day workplace, which over time results in an overall increase in your business’s productivity.
2. Increased morale
Employees who are less stressed—and better equipped to handle stress—are likely to be more engaged at work. They’ll also feel more valued by your organization. Making the effort to put programs in place that benefit your employees shows you care.
3. Lower absenteeism
Mental health issues affect all parts of a person's life—including sleep and every other aspect of physical health. This can result in higher absenteeism and lower employee engagement. With the right employee mental health programs in place, you’ll not only aid your employees with improving their mental health and other aspects of life, you’ll also experience lower absenteeism at your workplace.
Examples of effective mental health programs and strategies
Here are a few examples of employee mental health programs and ways you can implement them at your organization:
- Offer sufficient training. When employees and managers are properly trained, they’ll have more confidence (and competence) on the job. Clear expectations on what their job entails and how to do it will lower stress levels at work.
- Encourage employees to use their vacation time. Create a company culture that values work-life balance. By encouraging employees to use their vacation time, they will have more time to recharge and avoid burnout.
- Offer mental health leaves. For employees who desire more intensive care, offering mental health leaves—and discussing them with employees—allows employees to feel comfortable taking the necessary steps needed to improve their wellbeing.
- Choose a health insurance plan that covers mental health services. The key is to make mental health services and solutions more accessible.
- Create an Employee Assistance Program with helpful resources. With an employee assistance program, you can offer additional resources, including onsite counseling services, tele-therapy, screenings and more.
What to consider when implementing an employee mental health program
1. Don’t expect immediate results. Improved mental health in the workplace is a long-term game. After all, you can’t expect employees to find a solution to their struggles overnight—just as you don’t expect that for yourself. Seeing significant productivity and morale increases, as well as lower absenteeism will take time. Furthermore, finding the right solutions for your organization can require some trial and error.
2. Use proactive measures. Effective employee mental health programs don’t solely focus on improving poor mental health, they work to foster a positive company culture that values and builds upon strong mental health.
3. Start with the most pressing issues. If you’re starting an employee mental health program and you have limited resources, start with the most pressing issues of your organization. Dealing with a burnout issue and long work hours? Hold a training session with your leadership team and get them well-versed on how to handle stress and other mental health issues with their teams. Encourage your leadership team to openly discuss the importance of vacation time and signing off work on time.
Improve employee mental health and morale at your workplace
Employee mental health is important. Getting started on creating an employee mental health program and fostering a positive culture can be difficult. If you’re interested in integrating a mental health plan into your workplace or if you want effective strategies on creating a stronger company culture, reach out today for a no-obligation discovery call.