We have to admit that we have somehow normalized feeling crappy at work. We dread Mondays, we’re unapproachable before the first sip of coffee in the morning, and we lose sleep over deadlines. The list goes on. We say and hear these things every day that we are all used to our jobs taking a toll on our mental health.
We shouldn’t be.
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of mental health in the workplace. Amidst lockdowns, isolation, uncertainties, and work-life imbalance, we’ve seen more employees struggle to keep it together and stay as productive as they should be.
Now more than ever, organizations are urged to take mental health in the workplace seriously. Below are four reasons why companies should invest in promoting mental health awareness.
Doing nothing has its economic costs Globally, there is an estimated $1 trillion in lost productivity due to mental health disorders every year. Australia alone notes a $17 billion loss every year from lost productivity and absenteeism due to mental health issues. Major corporations, such as Unilever and Virgin, have long understood that addressing mental health makes business sense. This is why they’ve launched company-wide mental health programs that include coaching and digital platforms for tracking their physical and mental well-being.
Awareness will reduce the stigma around mental illness A study found that more than 80% of employees in Singapore refuse to disclose their mental health struggles due to the stigma and shame surrounding them. Promoting awareness about mental health can alleviate this problem. When employees become more informed, they come to understand that mental illness can affect anyone, including themselves. This will eventually change how mental health is talked about in the workplace.
It will encourage employees to seek help
With awareness comes the confidence to tackle their own mental health hurdles. The stigma surrounding mental illness keeps most people from seeking the help of professionals, as they fear that they may be seen or labeled a certain way once they do. Promoting awareness can help combat the stigma, and, in turn, give employees the confidence to take the necessary steps to address their own mental issues.
Healthy employees are productive employees
The employees’ ability to tackle mental issues with ease and the support of the company can significantly improve their mental health. And with it, employees’ decision-making and thinking, while relationships at work improve as well. All these can result in increased productivity and decreased absenteeism.
Raising mental health awareness in the workplace is an important step in creating a healthier workplace. And you can do more. Take concrete steps to ensure that employees work in an environment that is good for their mental health:
· Promote a culture of having effective, compassionate, and kind line management relationships.
· Offer flexibility in work hours and set-ups.
· Update policies and practices in reaction to changes, such as a global pandemic.
· Implement mental health leaves.
· Offer support to employees with mental health issues, such as routine counseling, free-of-charge therapy, and the like.
· Include employee well-being in your organization’s core values and assets.
ASEAMETRICS is an HR Consulting firm established to provide solutions to help companies solve talent-related business problems. They are an expert at providing technology-based solutions to help companies identify, develop, and manage the human resource for business success, today and in the future.
Integrated into the company’s high-impact services are advanced technologies through HR Avatar (for E-Testing), Udemy (for E-Learning and Competency Development), Arbinger (for E-Learning – Mindset Change), Withiii (E-Organizational Development), ESM (E-Strategy Management), and HopeChat VP (E-Psychological Services).