As a leader, there has never been a more important time to reevaluate your commitment to your staff, and the value your organization places on their well-being. Conversations about mental health and wellness no longer take place in the shadows. Mental health benefits no longer come a distant second to physical health benefits so many of us have made available for decades.
And with good reason. According to Mental Health America, depression, for instance, costs companies over $51 billion in absenteeism and productivity lost. Approximately 70% of adults report at least one symptom of stress, such as a headache or feeling overwhelmed or anxious.
Not only does providing wellness benefits help the bottom line, it makes good business sense when hiring and retaining qualified employees. But more than that, if you are like me and know the value of having a healthy team surrounding you and care about those who help you succeed, it’s just the right thing to do.
Provide Benefits and Resources
From Employee Assistance Programs to guided meditation, giving employees ways to address their mental health is just as important as any of the other benefits your company or organization provides. Have these resources available, make sure everyone is aware of them and encourage participation.
Talk about the importance of wellness and allow conversations to come from all directions — not just executive level down. Make sure your team feels like they have permission to talk to their managers about their challenges, make suggestions and that employee wellness is valued.
Like the old adage about the oxygen mask when flying: you need to make sure yours is secure before you can help someone else. Check on your own wellbeing and make sure you are leading by example and with sincerity.
While we can’t prevent issues surrounding mental health and stress in the workplace, by making sure employee wellness is embraced we can create an environment that supports everyone on our team and encourages them to be their best self — and that benefits us all.