The importance of employee mental health and wellbeing has never been greater. Forget the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ukraine conflict, even the ongoing financial struggles thanks to the cost of living crisis; whichever way you look at it, people are stressed and when employees are struggling, it will undoubtedly impact their working lives.
Figures from the World Health Organisation reveal that anxiety and depression is costing global businesses around $1 trillion, while two-fifths of British employees say that work has made them sick. It’s clear that employers need to step in and help their staff feel better about themselves.
There are certainly many advantages for employees and businesses to having a robust mental health and wellbeing scheme in place. In fact, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel (CIPD) investing in employee wellbeing can lead to increased resilience, better employee engagement, reduced sickness absence and higher performance and productivity.
A holistic approach to employee wellbeing
Employers that offer 360 degree wellbeing support which considers mental, physical and emotional health shows employees that they are serious about helping their people. Having access to private healthcare, counselling and even discounted gym membership can really have a positive impact on your people’s outlook – and ultimately boost both engagement and improve the employee experience.
Beat the burnout
For many, getting to the point where time off work is the only option can be prevented by putting some simple health benefits in place. At My Staff Shop, Spectrum – a digital healthcare platform, offers clients an optimum wellbeing package that their people can benefit from. This includes online exercise sessions, meditation and mindfulness sessions, and even healthy eating plans, recipes and food diaries developed by nutritionists. The aim is to encourage health habits that will incrementally boost wellbeing and improve quality of life both in and outside of the workplace.
That said, HR needs to be proactive in promoting and facilitating any wellbeing offerings. Here are just some of the ways HR can help boost employee health in the workplace:
● Implement an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP). This can be a life-line for struggling employees with access to free, confidential and tailored advice from trained medical professionals when it is needed most, 24-7, 365 days a year.
● Break the mental health taboo: employees are usually happy to discuss physical issues that might
affect work, but providing opportunities for regular check-ins to discuss any emotional or mental health issues can provide an opportunity to open up in a non-judgemental space, HR can then sign-post them to resources or professionals that can help.
● Offering financial education so your people can better manage their money at a time when belts are
tightening – this can be as simple as explaining their payslip, explaining pensions, recommending saving apps and offering debt-management advice.
● Discounts on regular items like fuel, food and leisure are always going to be welcome and even
offering salary sacrifice schemes to off-set spending will help employees better manage their finances.