As vaccination rates rise, supporting employee mental health remains at the forefront of reopening workplaces and adjusting to a new normal.
According to an SHRM study, the Impact of the Pandemic on Mental Health, 2020:
- 41% of employees feel burnt out, drained, or exhausted from their work
- Nearly 1 in 4 (23%) of workers report feeling down, depressed, or hopeless often
Addressing employee mental health has many benefits. A recent study conducted by the Center for Workplace Mental Health found:
- Over 80% of employees treated for mental illness report improved efficiency and job satisfaction
- Lower medical costs, increased productivity, lower absenteeism, and decreased disability costs
- Every dollar invested in mental health treatment, there is a return of $4 in improved health and productivity
STEPS EMPLOYERS CAN TAKE
Here are a few steps employers can take to support employee mental health.
Enhance Mental Health Benefits. Take a look at your employee healthcare benefits. Does it provide adequate tools and programs to help manage stress and access additional support if needed? If not, it’s time to prioritize mental health in your benefits plan.
Make sure to include mental health benefits through an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). EAP services can be effective in helping employees, including their family member and dependents, cope with personal issues that may affect the health, mental and emotional well-being, and job performance.
Communicate Available Mental Health Benefits & Resources. While the need is growing, access issues remain a challenge. Studies show that many employees don’t seek treatment mainly because they are not aware of the mental health resources and benefits available to them. By being more proactive in educating workers about mental health resources, employers can help reduce the stigma about accessing those resources to get help.
Be Flexible. Every employee is handling change and uncertainly in a different way.
Help minimize stress and anxiety by being flexible with ways to help employees transition back. Address individual concerns and determine needs, such as flexible schedules and workspaces.
Encourage Self-care. Self-care and connection are more important than ever before. Provide wellness programs and activities to make participation more convenient.
Check-in and Connect. Never underestimate the impact of human connection. Reach out regularly to learn how employees are coping and determine steps to support the transition back to the office.
Create a Culture Where Employees Feel Comfortable Talking About Mental Health. Employees may feel burned out, drained, and exhausted.
Create a culture in your workplace where it’s okay to talk about mental health, issues, and treatment.
What is the State of Employee Mental Health in Your Workplace?
The pandemic is not over yet. Employers that value their employees care about their health – both mental and physical. That means taking steps to provide access to the right treatment, tool, services, and support.
Propel HR President Lee Yarborough was recently elected Chair of the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO) Board of Directors. She spoke with PEO Insider magazine to share where she thinks the industry is headed and how NAPEO can continue to grow.
Download a pdf version of the full interview: A Passion To Serve
About Propel HR. Propel HR is an IRS-certified PEO that has been a leading provider of human resources and payroll solutions for more than 20 years. Propel partners with small to midsized businesses to manage payroll, employee benefits, compliance and risks, and other HR functions in a way that maximizes efficiency and reduces costs.