Mental illness is on the rise. In 2019, approximately 19.86% of adults in the United States experienced a mental illness, according to Mental Health America (MHA). Cognitive and behavioral health services, primarily driven by therapy and prescription medications, have contributed to rising healthcare costs. It is affecting businesses everywhere. Before the pandemic in 2019, the cost of mental health treatment and services reached $225 billion, up 52% from ten years ago. And it continues to rise.
As people have started to recognize the importance of behavioral health support, there must be an increased focus on mental well-being in the workplace and, more importantly, in areas where imminent workforce shortages will occur, such as the Sciences.
We spend most of our day at work seeing our coworkers more than our families. Our emotions and mental well-being determine how we interact with coworkers and management and affect the quality of work. By fostering mental well-being, your company can reduce the burden of rising healthcare costs. Here are a few ways to keep your employees emotionally well.
In today’s fast-paced world, companies exert more pressure on their workers, often leading to burnout. Limeade surveyed 1,000 full-time employees who started a new job in 2021, and 40% left their previous jobs due to burnout. And 28% of those left their jobs without securing another position. Burnout can harm employees’ mental health and family dynamics, leading to conditions such as anxiety, depression, and eventually quitting.
By implementing preventative measures to minimize burnout and promote mental well-being, companies must establish a positive work environment that encourages employee motivation and productivity. A better work environment will lead to a more engaged workforce, higher job satisfaction, and improved profitability for the organization. How do you do this?
Schedule meetings within traditional work hours. The worst thing you can do is have a department meeting at 6:00 pm on a Friday. Yes, it may be the easiest way to schedule, but how productive is this meeting? How does this affect the mental well-being of the employee? Is it a benefit for the company or a punishment for the employee?
Give employees a choice. The book Essentialism by Greg McKeown talks about getting the right things done, not doing it all. It’s about regaining control of our own decisions so we can channel our time, energy, and effort into making the highest possible contribution toward the goals and activities that matter. Otherwise, we give others implicit permission to choose for us.
According to a Pew Research Center study, 57% of Americans quit their jobs in 2021 because they felt underappreciated. And 35% of those surveyed highlighted this as a primary reason for leaving. Understanding how your employees want to experience appreciation in the workplace is essential. Realize this is a more than one size fits all approach.
There are multiple ways to do this based on the individual employee. I have found that the main categories include Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Gifts, and Quality Time. One employee may want a day off, while another may want a gift or lunch with the boss. Survey your employees so that managers know how employees like to be appreciated.
Employees whose contributions are appreciated feel ownership and pride and are willing to work just as hard on their next project. Appreciation and Recognition connect them to the organization, elevate performance, and increase their likelihood of staying.
Provide open communication where employees can discuss grievances before it becomes a problem. Offer a way to give personally tailored feedback. Surveys can gauge the company’s satisfaction level and are a great place to start. However, human interaction will provide more optimum results. If an internal team is not possible, hiring outside consultants with experience in retaining staff within your industry is best. Such experts can identify early signs of burnout and work-related mental health issues and provide the necessary tools to manage stress and workload.
Wrapping It All Up
Encouraging positive work-life balance, understanding how an employee feels appreciated, and fostering open communication and support can help reduce the risk of burnout and mental health issues. Better mental well-being will increase productivity and profitability. Adopting these measures can foster a culture of wellness and support, beneficial to employees and the company while keeping medical costs down.
The most-engaged teams are the most productive. With Inproma, you tailor your programs to retain great talent, show appreciation, and strengthen company loyalty.