Historically, companies have struggled to champion employee wellbeing at work. It took center stage last year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Research tells us that a change is coming. Employee wellbeing is slowly emerging as one of the top 10 global human capital trends as we shift towards an expansive future of work.
Each year, millions of workers around the world are affected by mental health illnesses. The pandemic magnified the importance of employee wellbeing at work, and organizations got a glimpse of the uncertainty and stress faced by workers from all walks of life.
Research notes that about half of working adults globally say they have experienced increased anxiety around job security (56%), stress due to uncertainty in work routines (55%), and feel isolated working from home (49%) or have difficulty achieving a work-life balance (50%) as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
The global cost of employees experiencing mental distress through lost productivity, absenteeism and turnover is estimated to be around $2.5 trillion annually.
Companies must lead by example, actively forge a culture where employee health is at the center stage, and share perspectives on the steps they are taking to support employee wellbeing at work.
Why Is Employee Mental Health Important?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), $1 put in the treatment of common mental health issues can result in the return of $4 in increased productivity. This tell us that mental health issues have a significant impact on the performance of workers around the globe. Only in the US, 1 in 5 adults experiences mental health problems each year.
This is a number that should concern all of us. In all countries in the world, the global pandemic due to COVID-19 has raised the question of employee satisfaction at work.
Now when most of us work remotely, we can see the difference between corporate work and work from home. We should be more relaxed and more organized at home but this is not the case. We are still lagging behind when it comes to the rights of workers.
The crisis with mental health is also important for all of those who do not have jobs. Job seekers and those who have been unemployed for long are even more depressed and anxious and they seek ways to break this cycle.
Many companies now offer part-time jobs and better conditions that can improve the mental health of the workers. You do not have to work full time and you do not have to be at the place of your work. Things can be done remotely from the comfort of your home or from the favorite café where you have a stable internet connection.
What HR Can Do to Improve Mental Health of the Employees
There might be a manager who is over-demanding or an employee who increases the stress level within the company. HR can talk to them and offer some resolutions that will be beneficial for everyone.
At the same time, HR can communicate with each employee about the ways they see their workspace. HR can see if there is anything that should be improved to diminish the stress level in the present moment.
HR should also get the support of specially trained mentors and psychologists who will give training to the employees that will help them relax and feel less stressed.
All of these methods can make miracles in an organization where employees do their everyday duties.
If we pay attention to each employee and their health, we will create an atmosphere where workers will be more motivated to show their full potential and offer the full range of their productivity skills.