With recent findings showing that there has been an increase of 25% in the cost of poor mental health to employers compared to 2019, bringing the cost up to £56bn in 2020-21, it has never been more important than right now to focus on the mental health of your employees.
If that costly number wasn't shocking enough, there are a whole host of benefits associated with supporting mental health in the workplace, both for employees and for companies.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at why supporting the mental health of employees is so important and share 6 ways you can support the mental health of your employees and create a more wellbeing-conscious workplace.
Why Is Supporting Mental Health In The Workplace So Important?
Employee wellbeing, and more specifically, the mental health of your employees, is incredibly important in determining not only their individual happiness, engagement, and performance, but the performance and productivity of your company as a whole.
When employees are happier, feel supported, and are living in a good state of mental health and wellbeing, they are more likely to be engaged with their work and therefore, more productive.
In fact, studies have shown that productivity increases by nearly 20% when employees are happier at work.
Furthermore, when a company genuinely supports and cares for their employee’s mental health, retention rates increase, top talent becomes more accessible, and brand awareness is even promoted via employees.
It’s not only essential to support your employee’s mental health because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s crucial to support employee wellbeing for the sake of your company’s productivity and success.
6 Ways To Support Your Employee’s Mental Health
Here are 6 of the most effective ways you can support the mental health of your employees and improve your workplace culture.
1. Promote A Work-Life Balance: Encourage Your Employees To Take Time Away From Work
Whilst work-life balance might be a constantly spoken about topic, it’s important to take it seriously and actually take action when it comes to supporting your employees to have a better balance between their work life and their home life. You are responsible for setting and communicating work-life boundaries and making sure your employees don’t take their work home with them at the end of the day!
- Clearly communicate the expectations you have of your employees outside of work.
- Limit the usage of work-related apps, such as Slack, after work hours.
- Don’t ask employees to work outside of their set hours or days.
- Promote breaks during work hours.
- If you notice an employee working overtime, make sure you check in with them about their workload so that it doesn’t impede their time outside of work.
2. Actively Create a Mental Health Conscious Workplace
Although this might sound like a simple thing to do, creating a mental health conscious workplace requires effort and a lot of action. You shouldn’t simply say or imply, “we care about mental health” - you need to actively show your team that you care about their wellbeing.
How to create a mental health conscious workplace:
- Promote discussion about mental health regularly.
- Providing mental health resources such as a third-party therapy.
- Have an open-door policy (virtual or physical).
- Allow and promote your team to take mental health days.
- Don’t just ask your employees how they are, but build a relationship with each and every one of them and check in with them regularly.
3. Use Personalised Employee Benefits To Let Employees Support Themselves
Since everyone is unique and therefore has different ways of looking after their mental health and supporting their wellbeing, one of the best ways to look after the mental health of your employees is by providing them with personalised employee benefits that allow them to take exactly what they need from a benefits platform or programme without having to ask for what they need directly.
How to provide these mental health benefits to employees, with Juno:
- Book a demo to discover what Juno could do for your team today.
- Allocate your wellbeing budget and sign your team up.
- Allow and promote your team to support their own mental health using the wide range of services, experiences, and brands that we have on Juno.
4. Advocate Nature Walks And Outdoor Exercise
Research has shown that spending time in nature reduces stress levels, anxiety, and depression. Therefore, promote your employees to spend more time in nature, both whilst at work (or on their way to work) and outside of work to help them experience the wonderful benefits of spending time outdoors!
Additionally, if you can support your employees to get active whilst they’re in nature, you will be supporting their physical health at the same time (which is directly linked with the mind and boosts feel-good chemicals that ward off mental health conditions).
Ideas to promote your employees to spend time outside:
- Promote lunchtime walks.
- Run a cycle to work scheme (or provide incentives to promote them to walk to work).
- Plan picnics in the park.
- Start a running club or provide yoga classes outdoors.
5. Show Recognition To Your Employees
For most of us, work is a huge part of our lives, and we want to be recognised and celebrated for what we do. If you are not showing recognition to your employees, they may begin to lose sight of their role or associate going to work and the company as a whole with negative connotations. Over time, this may lead to stress, hopelessness, anxiety, and even depression. Therefore, you have to show your employees recognition.
- Create an impactful employee recognition programme.
- Give your team members time off.
- Express authentic and unique gratitude regularly.
- Show appreciation for your team member publicly (if appropriate).
- Provide flexible, personalised employee benefits.
6. Promote Flexible Working
Flexible working doesn’t just allow employees to work when and where works for them, but it also improves their work-life balance and can be incredibly impactful when it comes to supporting their mental health - it gives them time and location-independent access to mental health resources and practices that are important to them.
How to allow flexible working for your employees effectively:
- Get together with your team and ask your employees what they need.
- Create a flexible or hybrid working programme depending on your team’s needs.
- Communicate clear expectations that you have of your team.
- Regularly check in with your team whilst running this new work policy and make sure the team continues to be connected and social via optional chats and meet-ups.
Ready To Support The Mental Health of Your Employees?
These effective ways to support the mental health of your employees can help you not only help your employee's to be happier and healthier, but can also make impactful change to your workplace culture.
If you're ready to discover how Juno can support your team's mental health and wellbeing, speak with an Employee Wellbeing Expert now.