What happens when employers ignore mental health in the workplace? Would there be a decline in employees’ work output?
Benenden Health reported that nearly 35% of UK employees took time off work due to mental health issues in 2019. In addition, a study conducted at the Center for Prevention and Health found that employers spend between $79 billion and $105 billion annually due to mental illness.
These are huge figures and they demonstrate how a poor mental state can affect productivity and increase a company’s health care costs.
Globally, companies are beginning to realize the importance of creating a mentally healthy work environment. For instance, a company named Akamai recruited a Corporate Wellness Program Manager to create, execute, and manage programs that would enhance employees’ productivity. They used programs that focused on Physical Activity, Nourishment, and Mental Balance and these programs improved the overall health of their staff.
What can employers do to create a mentally healthy workplace?
- Discuss mental health in the workplace. 71% of employers in the UK agreed that employees suffering from mental health conditions could not confide in their employers. Companies should welcome discussions on mental health issues.
- Employee Assistance Program.
- Encourage exercise and healthy eating habits.
- Motivation, respect, and support.
Although a mentally healthy workplace might not solve all mental health problems, it should have a significant impact.
What else do you think employers should do to improve the mental health of their employees?