Supporting the mental health of your employees is vital. This does not only benefit their well-being, but it also can prevent your business from running into problems that can hinder its success. It’s not always clear when someone is struggling with their mental health, and with 48% of people stating that they would be embarrassed to ask for a mental health sick day, it’s crucial to break the surrounding stigma to ensure that your employees feel comfortable to openly discuss this.
Elliott Smith, the co-founder of Love Your Employees, the UK’s first employee benefits and well-being marketplace, discusses the importance of supporting employees’ mental health.
“It’s important for businesses to recognise that there is more beyond the word ‘employees’. Mental health isn’t visible, so it’s essential that leaders raise awareness and support mental health to ensure that staff feel receive the help that they need. By breaking the stigma and recognising what your staff might be facing beneath the surface, the business itself can avoid the potential costs by improving their well-being.”
What exactly is the price to pay when businesses don’t support the mental health of their employees? Here, we delve into the topic and discuss the impacts of work performance.
What is the cost of poor mental health in the workplace?
Employees are, of course, an essential part of the business. It’s important for leaders to acknowledge and appreciate their staff by considering their mental health, so that they can avoid severe consequences.
Absence due to mental health illness has resulted in a loss of 70 million working days annually in the UK, costing businesses around £2.4 billion each year. This money could not only be saved but it could also be taken full advantage of by investing time and money into well-being strategies that promote positive mental health.
Poor mental health doesn’t only result in sick days – if your employees feel that their well-being isn’t being cared for, they may not be around for very long. Nearly 25% of people have left their job due to mental health issues, as well as 31% of people stating that they would consider leaving their job within 12 months if stress levels in the company did not improve.
The more employees that leave your company, the higher your employee turnover, which is costing businesses in the UK £8.6 billion each year – and this can impact the recruitment process. Those on the job hunt may have found the perfect role at your company, but high employee turnover will suggest to them that they might warn them off. Thus, the recruitment process can be very difficult, and in worse cases, you may have to resort to hiring people that aren’t as suitable for the role as you would like, in order to fill the position.
Your employees can be present at work while suffering from mental health issues that are costing the business. Staff members who are facing issues may still attend work but their productivity levels aren’t likely to reach their full potential. This is otherwise known as presenteeism, and it could cost your business £4000 per employee in lost productivity each year.
The impacts of poor mental health in the workplace
44% of work-related mental health issues were related to depression, stress, and anxiety. But businesses can tackle this by addressing mental health in the workplace, which can increase productivity by 12%.
Staff who are struggling with anxiety will face many difficulties, one of them being a loss of concentration. Therefore, day-to-day tasks do not only become a challenge, but multi-tasking also proves difficult. Additionally, the number of tasks completed by employees may decrease due to stamina being affected.
Depression can have many impacts, but fatigue due to low energy levels is one that can get hinder productivity. Staff dealing with depression can find it challenging to complete their work, similar to anxiety. As well as this, it can cause accidents due to a feeling of disconnection and the loss of cognitive functions.
High stress levels can lead to a lack of focus and poor time management. Consequently, employees can fall behind on work if they are not as productive as they need to be within the timeframe of the working day.
The impacts of these particular mental health issues are very challenging for employees while simultaneously costing businesses, with presenteeism being a common factor. Awareness is essential for leaders to ensure that staff who are showing signs of reduced productivity can receive the help required and to prevent productivity from reaching a dangerous low.
Love Your Employees has teamed up with Syndi, a digital platform that helps organisations and businesses provide mental health support with personalised recommendations. Based on an assessment score, individuals will receive three mental health app recommendations, as well as an option to receive weekly check-ups to keep improving. This partnership demonstrates a great way for organisations to showcase their awareness to employees and how to take action as a result.
It’s clear that without implementing a mental health support system, both the employees and the business can face damage. Not to mention, the well-being of staff can have drastic effects that emphasise their importance in the workplace and their contribution to your success. How has your business been affected by mental health issues?