You might have recently heard a buzz that mental health awareness is trending at the workplace. More companies are being attentive to the health and wellness of their team, because healthy employees are productive employees. However, talking about mental health isn't enough. Some business owners and HR directors are taking positive action to support and improve employee mental health and well-being. Since many are working from home full-time or part-time, the provision of mental health services, such as online talk therapy, is becoming more common in the workplace.
It wasn't so long ago that mental health simply wasn't talked about at work. When it was, people often found themselves ignored or marginalized. In fact, employees sharing about their mental health issues has been frowned upon and could put their positions and jobs at risk. Some of these ideas and attitudes continue to linger. It's up to us to make our employees see that we know times have changed. Not only do they have the right to talk about mental health, they should feel safe doing so.
Why is Attention to Mental Health Important in the Workplace?
In January, 2020, The Wall Street Journal reported that one-third of large businesses employing more than 5,000 people intended to provide their teams with on-site mental health support and counseling in the near future. While some employers believe they can leave finding mental health support to their employees as something to do in their personal time, this is misguided. For one thing, many employees cannot find the right kinds of support and therapy on their own, or what they find isn't covered by their employee benefits.
Mental Health Challenges Impact Employee Performance
Put yourself in your employees' shoes. Would you be at your most productive if you had mental health challenges that weren't being addressed? No, of course not. Once you consider this, you realize that poor employee mental health will adversely affect your business.
While large companies have been at the forefront of a new mental health focus, this is just as important for small and medium size businesses. Experts have shown that therapy and mental health support boosts not only employee performance and productivity but retention, as well.