The Importance of Mental Health in Organizations
Since the pandemic, trends such as Great Resignation and quiet quitting have drawn attention to the importance of mental health in the workplace. The link between work and mental health is crystal clear, now more than ever.
Mental health in organizations is becoming an extremely important issue these days. As society advances, pressures and demands in the workplace also increase, which can have a significant impact on employees’ mental health. This phenomenon not only affects their well-being, but also has direct implications for the results and success of companies.
Organizations that recognize the importance of mental health and implement practices that promote the mental well-being of their employees tend to reap the benefits of a healthier, more productive and more committed workforce. In addition, they demonstrate a commitment to care and respect for their employees.
It is crucial to understand how companies can support and promote the mental health of their teams:
- Awareness: It is essential that organizations recognize the importance of mental health and promote the issue. This means educating their employees on the subject, reducing the stigma associated with mental problems and encouraging them to seek help when necessary.
- Healthy work environment: Creating a work environment that promotes mental well-being is very important, offering suitable working conditions, minimizing stress, supporting a healthy work-life balance and promoting a culture of mutual support and respect.
- Access to resources: Organizations should provide access to mental health resources, such as employee assistance programs, access to mental health professionals and mental health leave policies. This can help employees deal with emotional and psychological challenges.
- Preparing managers: It is important that leaders are prepared to recognize the signs of mental health problems in their teams and know how to offer appropriate support. Management training can play a key role in this.
- Inclusion policies: Promoting inclusion and diversity in the workplace is also related to mental health. An inclusive environment can reduce the stress and anxiety associated with discrimination and prejudice.
- Mental health promotion programs: Offering mental health promotion programs, such as relaxation activities, yoga, stress management talks and other initiatives, can help improve employees’ overall well-being.
- Open communication: Establishing open and confidential communication channels for employees to share their concerns is key. This can include hotlines, counseling services or an environment where everyone feels comfortable talking about mental health issues.
Here are some statistics on mental health in organizations (source: spill uk): More than half (52%) of employees do not feel there is enough support for their mental wellbeing from their employer; 70% of managers believe there are “structural” barriers to providing mental wellbeing support in their reports; Only 38% of HR respondents say their direct managers are prepared to have sensitive conversations about mental health; Initiatives aimed at improving mental health in the workplace can generate a return on investment of up to 800%, due to higher productivity, less sick leave and lower staff turnover; Having better mental health initiatives in place can save UK businesses up to £8 billion annually; The initial investment of £80 per employee in promoting wellbeing initiatives at work will result in a net return of around £600, due to a reduction in presenteeism (when an employee attends work even though they are ill) and absenteeism; Employees are now more interested in using digital tools to support their mental health, compared to the pre-pandemic period (47% compared to 35%); 63% say that when people are kind, it has a positive impact on their mental health and the same proportion agree that being kind to others has the same effect. Encouraging open conversations about mental well-being creates a kinder and psychologically safer working environment.
Article by Sérgio Almeida, in partnership with Vida Económica.