The effects of a pandemic may not be complete over the years, but one thing is clear: you can’t ignore it. Employee mental health.
While in existence, it is no longer possible to ignore the rest of our lives. Productive at work.. The authors of a new treatise by Holmes Murphy, MindWise Innovations, and CSDZ introduce business leaders to the basics of behavioral health. Compassionate workplace culture..
“If you want to stay competitive, attract and retain talent, you need to discuss mental health and substance use,” says one of the authors, Lisa Desai, Psy.D. Says. Building a Compassionate Culture: Mental Health Initiatives in the Workplace Mindwise Chief Behavior Health Officer.
Leaders who fail to prioritize employee well-being can expect an increase in absenteeism and presenteeism-defined by Harvard Business Review “I’m working, but it’s not fully functional because of illness or other medical conditions.”
If you don’t think your employees have health problems with behavioral problems, think again. Depression alone costs the US economy $ 210 billion annually, and employers pay half that amount. American Psychiatric Association.. Even before the pandemic, mental health and substance use problems were widespread in the workforce.The· American Heart Association CEO Roundtable Report It turns out that three in four US employees suffer from problems that affect their mental health.
While it is important to recognize the need to address behavioral health in the workplace, there are barriers to implementing effective strategies.
- Employees hesitating to speak openly about mental health can hinder your efforts. Sharing information about personal mental health issues needs to mitigate the fear that workers will face career recessions.
- Human resource development professionals face the challenge of addressing employee mental health issues while protecting personal information. We have found that we can maintain privacy and confidentiality while promoting a culture that emphasizes mental health.
- Some leaders are unable to implement the program because there are no regulations that require companies to engage in mental health, but the cost of ignoring mental health continues to rise, regardless of government intervention.
Given the importance of addressing workplace mental health and combating these common barriers, there are many strategies that leaders can implement to foster a compassionate culture.
1. Post information about mental health resources
For those of us back in the office, posting a poster with a positive mental health message in the office or workplace is an easy way to support employee well-being.
Concerned about the impact of spiked sales on workers, drug distributor leaders have begun sharing Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and County Health Department information in small group meetings and workplace-wide posters. ..
2. Evaluate the health benefits of your business
Make sure your insurance plan includes mental health and substance use services. Can additional services help reduce the effects of chronic illnesses such as depression?
Equally important is ensuring that employees are not faced with the consequences of taking advantage of their behavioral health benefits. “Simply highlighting existing behavioral health benefits will help us value mental health and well-being and eliminate hesitation in using those services,” said another author of the paper. CalBeyer, vice president of labor risk and worker well-being at CSDZ, said.
3. Include mental health information in new employee orientation
Tell your employees about the resources they have been providing since day one. Emphasize the well-being or mental health benefits available to employees. A technology company has adopted a “buddy system” for all new employees to emphasize the importance of self-care and prevention of burnout.
4. Incorporate mental health into existing safety meetings
Incorporating mental health topics into safety meetings and training gives business owners the opportunity to model behaviors and conversations that they want their employees to feel safe. This, in turn, encourages your manager to talk about their own stress levels, struggles, or how they sought help.
5. Share resources with employee families
Send awareness information about mental health and substance use directly to the employee’s family. This expansion of communication demonstrates the company’s commitment to supporting employees 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. “Imagine the worries of a family member with mental health problems distracting employees. Knowing that you are there for them will help you focus and be productive. It helps a lot to recover, “says Dr. Desai.
Adopting these strategies helps to build a psychologically safe foundation for open communication about behavioral health. Psychological safety has a profound impact on workers, leading to greater openness to feedback, increased productivity, creative problem solving, and stronger team ties. These benefits directly counter the negative effects of absenteeism, presenteeism, and ultimately mental health and substance use on your bottom line.
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