Even a quick scan of news headlines reminds us that our modern, fast-paced world is filled with stressors – and work is a significant contributor.
A recent survey by The Conference Board reveals that half of the workers report their mental health has deteriorated since the pandemic, with 58 percent citing increased work hours or workload as taking the most significant toll. And 84 percent of employees report they can’t stop thinking about work.
As the need for mental health support increases, more companies are looking for ways to address employees’ needs. Still, many companies – especially smaller and mid-sized – aren’t sure where to begin. As long-time partners to mid-sized companies, we’ve learned that this work doesn’t have to be complicated.
We believe you can significantly impact employee mental health support in the workplace by taking just a few steps.
How to improve employee mental health support in the workplace
Step #1: Review your practices
Examining your workplace culture is the first step to supporting employees’ mental health. Do you have any written or unwritten rules that actually create stress for your employees? Maybe it’s an attendance policy or the expectation that people are available after hours.
If your culture doesn’t support work/life balance and flexibility, more employee mental health support services won’t help. We know this step may be uncomfortable but addressing the proverbial elephant in the room allows you to build trust with your team.
Step #2: Ask for input
This is an area where you don’t want to make assumptions. Create a simple survey to determine what employees think about your current wellness programming and whether it includes enough mental health support. View this step as an essential way to destigmatize mental health-related conversations at work and signal commitment to employee wellbeing.
Step #3: Provide solutions
Once you know what employees need, it’s time to fill any gaps in what you offer. This may mean updating your existing resources or investing in new resources or partnerships. In either case, we recommend offering:
- Multiple programming options – maybe your employees want help setting healthy boundaries or managing anxiety through mindfulness. In contrast, your leaders may want help building empathy or navigating sensitive conversations. Ensure your programming covers as many mental health-related challenges as possible so that targeted help is available when employees need it.
- Several ways to participate – as you know, different people discover, learn and grow in different ways. That’s why it’s critical to include programming that people can complete in different ways, like self-guided activities, small working groups, and more extensive workshops. If you’re able, consider offering onsite, one-on-one support as well.
Step 4: Create a feedback loop
Once you’ve rounded out your mental health support, keep talking openly about mental health. Show your employees it’s okay to use the services yourself. Teach your leaders to navigate mental health conversations and encourage them to check in with their teams often. Finally, plan to re-survey employees regularly to understand their needs and adjust your support as needed.
Your employee mental health support could become your competitive advantage
IThe stress of the pandemic has left many people struggling with their mental health and searching for a better quality of life. As companies try to attract talent against this backdrop, it’s essential to understand that many people want less stressful jobs and more employee mental health support.
We owe it to our employees and leaders to take a hard look at whether our cultures support employees’ wellbeing, to ask people how we can better support them, to add programming that can keep pace with people’s evolving needs, and to have ongoing and candid workplace conversations about topics like stress and burnout.
Companies that offer this level of employee mental health support will ultimately have a competitive talent attraction advantage against those that do not.
Onsite employee mental health services
At NeoPath Health, we believe there’s a better way to deliver healthcare to your employees and their families. For over a decade, we’ve helped mid-market companies design and build onsite primary care clinics.
In response to the current mental health crisis, NeoPath Health now offers our customers onsite mental health services powered by Good Human Work. Good Human Work provides licensed therapists who deliver emotional, relational, and organizational health services.
Wondering whether an onsite employee clinic is for you? We should talk.