If you're just joining the party, here's an excellent resource for a beginner's guide to podcasts. Podcasts are rapidly emerging - hundreds of thousands to filter through. You can get lost in algorithmic suggestions, search engines or a stockpile of colleague recommendations. Just when you find a nice podcast to couple down with, new episodic concepts are flooding our earbuds.
If you have a stake in your employees’ health (and most HR, benefits, and people managers do), you’ve probably already realized that poor mental health among your employees is a massive and complex problem. And the larger your company, the more people who are likely affected by it (we’ll look at some numbers a bit later).
Poor mental health clearly comes at a tremendous cost to the employee who is suffering, but also to your company as well.
Yet because of the complexity of this topic, it can be challenging to address mental health issues in a timely and effective manner. In a recent webinar, we covered this topic in detail. If you'd like to dive right in, you can watch the on-demand recording here. In this post, we'll discuss the barriers to addressing mental health in the workplace and offer a new paradigm for overcoming these barriers.
As an employer, you have a vested interest in your employees’ health. Not just because you work with them every day and care about them as people, but because healthy employees come to work more often, are more productive, and less stressed. Highly stressed employees, on the other hand, take almost twice as many sick days per year.
Many people want to make healthier lifestyle decisions, but don’t have time to do the research to separate fact from fad. It’s especially tricky now that we have information coming to us in all formats—TV shows, websites, and blogs, to name just a few.
Loneliness is more deadly than obesity and more common than most people think. The bottom line is this: untreated mental illness in the workplace is expensive. It costs as much as $1,600 per employee, per year and in terms of depression specifically, those who meet the criteria for the disease but receive no treatment for it use two to four times the healthcare resources of their colleagues. The result is higher rates of absenteeism and presenteeism, decreased productivity, more workplace accidents, higher disability costs, higher overall medical costs and ultimately, lower profits.
Of course, it’s not as if employers— specifically, Benefits and HR leaders— haven’t tried a variety of workplace programs to address the high rates of mental health issues. From EAPs to telehealth solutions to educational content and digital programs, employers have spent the money and taken the time to make big changes to improve mental health rates, always with the best of intentions.
Resilience has become the fastest growing wellness focus in corporate America this year. According to a recent survey from Buck Consultants at Xerox, 22% of companies already have resilience programs and 28% are planning to offer them soon. Why? Resilience, the ability to bounce back from challenges or persevere despite setbacks, may be the secret to long-term success. Resilience predicts success more accurately than IQ or conscientiousness, as described in a TED talk by Dr. Angela Lee Duckworth. Researchers at the University of Western Sydney found that resilience also boosts employee health and performance.
As an employer, you have a vested interest in the quality of your employees’ health. Healthy employees are in the office more often, they’re more productive, and they’re less stressed. Highly stressed employees, on the other hand, take almost twice as many sick days per year.