One in five Canadians will experience mental health issues. In the GTA alone, 1.5 million employees have experienced mental health problems, from depression and anxiety to stress and addiction, and everything in between. And this can have a big impact on your business and your bottom line. That is, unless you work to support employee mental wellness.
From mental health coverage and EAP to stress management workshops and exercise programs, a growing number of employers are beginning to prioritize mental wellness in the workplace and implement initiatives to combat the problem. And for good reason. Here are the many reasons why it’s imperative to be proactive about supporting employee mental wellness in the workplace.
Reduce Illness and Injury and Related Costs
Mental wellness programs in the workplace can have a real impact on reducing the rate of illness and injury. Employees with higher stress levels are more likely to become sick due to a poorer immune system and to take more time off related to mental health. And recently, mental health problems have also become the key driver of short-term disability claims.
By implementing initiatives that help employees improve their mental health, employers can significantly cut down on absenteeism as well as disability claims. Healthier employees are also more focused and careful, resulting in fewer accidents and dangerous incidents.
Poor mental health will impact employees’ work. An employee who is suffering from mental health issues will produce a lower volume of work, have less focus, and be less efficient. They’ll also be less eager to achieve results. Lost productivity due to mental illness costs Canadian businesses approximately $6.6 billion each year.
By improving mental health in the workplace, you can cut down on presenteeism and help employees work at their best. Implementing mental health initiatives can also help employees feel valued, which can lead to a more productive work ethic.
Improved Retention Rate
When you support employee mental wellness, you show your employees that you care about their health, which will enhance their job satisfaction. And with this comes a greater commitment to your organization and greater loyalty. According to a study in Harvard Business Review, 45% of employees state that wellness programs would encourage them to stay at their current workplace.
When you improve your retention rate, you cut the costs and avoid the consequences of high employee turnover.
When employees are engaged and motivated in your wellness program together, the dynamics in the workplace improve. Employees who are healthy and happy are more likely to contribute collectively to boosting morale and fostering a positive working environment. And when morale is high, employees work harder and perform better, which is great for business.
Save on Insurance costs
Not only will improving employee mental wellness save on the costs of lost productivity, but it will also lead to lower insurance rates. By enabling employees to get checkups and screenings to monitor their mental health and by educating them on the signs and symptoms of mental illness, you can prevent costly insurance claims. Prevention is far less expensive than treatment, after all.
A Hard Return
When employers focus on improving mental health in the workplace, everyone benefits. Companies save on the costs associated with lost productivity, absenteeism, disability claims, WSIB claims, and health insurance. Employees feel more valued and cared for and they become healthier and happier, which leads to improved job satisfaction, morale, and retention as well.
There is no doubt a great ROI associated with wellness programs. Supporting employee mental health is worth it for everyone involved.