According to a major Canadian survey, 82% of organizations ranked mental health conditions in their top 3 causes of short-term disability and 72% for long-term. It is clear that Canadians, like many other countries, are grappling with a significant mental health epidemic. Especially with adults spending more waking hours at work than anywhere else, it’s essential that employers take an active role in creating a culture of mental wellbeing.
A positive and supportive work environment can help an individual have a sense of purpose and be more productive. However, work can also be stressful and contribute to mental health issues, which is why it’s imperative for organizations to prioritize the psychological health and safety of their employees. Businesses that set a strategic direction on improving mental wellbeing are often rewarded with countless benefits, as well as mitigate the risk of losing their employees. As such, our latest blog outlines the benefits of a mentally healthy work environment and how you can create a culture of mental wellbeing in your own workplace.
Investing in mental health resources for employees not only fosters a supportive workplace environment but also yields numerous benefits for both the employees and the organization as a whole. Firstly, it enhances employee wellbeing, reducing stress and anxiety, which in turn improves their overall job satisfaction and productivity. When employees are mentally healthy, they are more likely to stay engaged, motivated, and focused on their tasks, leading to increased efficiency and better work quality.
Furthermore, mental health support initiatives can significantly reduce absenteeism. By addressing mental health issues promptly, employees are less likely to take unnecessary sick leaves and are more capable of performing their duties while at work. This results in decreased healthcare costs for the organization and ensures a stable, productive workforce.
Investments in mental health resources also create a positive company culture, demonstrating that the organization values its employees’ holistic wellbeing. This, in turn, boosts employee morale and loyalty, leading to higher retention rates. Satisfied and mentally healthy employees are more likely to stay with the company, reducing turnover rates and the associated costs of recruitment and training.
Moreover, a mentally healthy workforce fosters creativity, innovation, and teamwork. When employees feel safe discussing their mental health concerns, they are more likely to collaborate effectively, solve problems, and contribute positively to the workplace atmosphere.
Implementing mental health resources and support within a business is crucial for fostering a mentally healthy work environment. To do so effectively, a company can take several strategic steps.
Firstly, raising awareness and reducing stigma around mental health is vital. Conduct workshops, seminars, or training sessions to educate employees about mental health issues, emphasizing the importance of seeking help when needed. It’s also important to encourage proper work-life balance by implementing policies that promote reasonable working hours, discourage excessive overtime, and encourage employees to take breaks and vacation time.
Organizations will also want to offer access to professional mental health services is another key step. This could involve providing health insurance plans that cover mental health treatments, offering counseling services through Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), or partnering with mental health organizations to provide on-site counseling sessions. Teletherapy services can also be considered to make mental health support easily accessible for remote or busy employees.
Additionally, creating a supportive and empathetic workplace culture is vital. Train managers to recognize signs of mental health struggles, as well as how to respond to those behavioral changes with confidential conversations and pointing them to helpful resources. You can also train some staff with Mental Health First Aid. It’s also imperative to encourage open communication channels, allowing employees to discuss their concerns without fear of judgment. Additionally, implementing peer support programs or mentorship initiatives enables employees to connect and share their experiences.
Lastly, regularly assess the effectiveness of mental health resources and gather feedback from employees. Use this feedback to adapt and improve existing programs, ensuring they meet the evolving needs of the workforce. By taking these proactive measures, a business can demonstrate its commitment to the mental wellbeing of its employees, leading to a happier, healthier, and more productive workforce.
To help with implementation, below are resources that you can use to help bolster mental-being in the workplace:
- LRO Staffing: How to Prioritize Your Mental Health While Working Remotely
- Canadian Mental Health Association: Work-life Balance – Make It Your Business
- Mental Health Commission of Canada: Manager’s Toolkit – Recognizing Declining Mental Health In Employees
- Mental Health Commission of Canada: Manager’s Toolkit – Protecting Their Own Mental Health
- Mental Health Commission of Canada: Providing Mental Health First Aid to an Employee
- Mental Health Commission of Canada: Mental Health Workshops
- Guarding Minds at Work
- he National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace