Did you know that in 2020 claims for workplace mental health support rose by 24% in Canada? Additionally, roughly 35% of short term disability claims are due to mental illness. These statistics are significant. As employers, you care about your workers well-being as workplace losses cost employers about $20 billion in 2020. This is a significant amount of money and reinforces the reality that employers must understand employee mental health and invest in improvements for the workplace.
Employees with good mental health are more productive, creative and innovative, meaning that your company will be more productive, creative and innovative as well.
Employees with good mental health are more productive, creative and innovative. In turn this means that your company will be more productive, creative and innovative as well. Employees with good mental health will be happier coming to work are less likely to quit, and in turn, the company will have to spend less on training for new employees. With such obvious benefits, employers should be investing readily into their employees’ mental health. And not all solutions have be costly. Here are some simple solutions that can help.
Ways to invest in your employee’s mental health include:
- Benefits – provide benefits that cover mental health services. This can be available through a health spending account.
- Resources – provide resources for your employees to utilize, such as counseling, this can be as simple as a poster in the lunchroom with counseling services and their contact information.
- Employee Outlet – have a person that will listen to the employees concerns so they know that their problems are being heard. This can be a manager, safety rep, or the HR department.
- Training – provide training to employees and managers to spot the signs that someone may be suffering from mental health issues.
- Physical environment – an employee’s physical environment can greatly impact them. Try and focus on things like natural light, access to a quiet workplace, air quality, and temperature.
While all these can help improve the mental health in your employees, your managers should be trained to know the signs of deteriorating employee mental health. If these signs are appearing, then there may be issues with mental health.
- Change in appearance – people are putting less emphasis into their appearance, or it looks like they have not been sleeping.
- Change in mood – people who are usually mild-mannered start having outbursts, or people who are outgoing and are always making conversation start keeping to themselves.
- Withdrawal from social situations – people start keeping to themselves more than usual, or people start going out for lunch when they normally would not.
- Schedule changes – people who are normally on time are starting to show up late, taking longer breaks, and leaving early.
While all this is helpful for the employees on the job site, many workplaces are now remote. So while people are free to set up their home offices the way they would like to and they do not have to worry about commuting, mental health issues can still be a problem for remote employees.
Mental health awareness for remote employees include:
- Change in work performance – If the amount of work getting done is decreasing, or work is increasing where it would appear that they are working extended hours when it is not required.
Change in work schedule – when people who usually work 8-4 start working early in the morning or late at night.
- Change in behavior- It might be harder to notice in a remote setting but if the tone of emails starts to change this may be hint that something is not aright.
While if you start seeing these signs it does not immediately mean that there is an issue, however they can be an indicator that something has changed in your employee. At the end of the day, it is essential for both your employees and your business to invest in mental heath in your workplace.
Workforce Compliance Safety offers mental health awareness training, check it out here.