Most business leaders underestimate the hidden costs of employee mental wellness, which can often lead to wasteful spending and poor results for the employee and the business.
Mental illness and related substance abuse costs employers an estimated $225 billion each year. More employees are absent from work due to mental health issues than physical illness or injuries, and one study estimated that workers who meet criteria for depression but are not receiving treatment utilize two to four times the healthcare resources of their peers. Employees working with untreated illnesses cost employers $1,601 per person each year.
There are many reasons why a workplace mental wellness program, supported throughout the workplace, can be great for everyone.
- It can help to create a happier, more harmonious workforce.
- Employees working together to help their co-workers deal with a debilitating disease is one of the most powerful bonding and team-strengthening exercises.
- It can help to improve individual and team performance and results, and at the same time reduce conflict and discord.
- It can help to reduce employee attrition and improve hiring and retention.
- It can help to cultivate a feeling of personal and corporate pride.
- It can help to lower healthcare costs.
- It can reduce absenteeism.
- It can help to lower legal exposure.
- It’s the ethical thing to do – and ethics is the new brand builder.
- It’s a powerful human caring story made for social media.
An Investment In Your Best. And Best Interests.
If you are willing to invest in a little more than employee awareness, the best part about mental health treatment is that it works.
One study found that after only three weeks of mental health treatment, the number of employees suffering from a diagnosable mental illness decreased by 50%. This same study indicated that after a little over four months of treatment more than 75 percent no longer experienced any work-related impairment.
In study by ValueOptions, employees who completed at least one session with a mental health provider reported decreased absenteeism, and a significant improvement in both productivity and overall mental health.
Your Employees Want It Too
According to a July 2018 workplace wellbeing survey from Peldon Rose:
- 95% of respondents stated their work environment is important for their wellbeing and mental health.
- 72% want employers to champion mental health and well-being.
- 64% say they have ‘poor’ or ‘below average’ mental wellbeing.
- Nearly three-quarters of workers say they want their employers to champion mental health and well-being in the workplace. This is rated as more important than equality (48%), sustainability (38%) and diversity (31%).
And talk about ROI. $4 is returned to the economy for every $1 spent caring for people with mental health issues.
“One of the best ways to create a culture that supports mental health is to ensure people experience their jobs in a meaningful and purposeful way. This can be achieved by giving employees autonomy and resources. If your team experiences support and independence, and that you trust them to do what they ought to do, they will generally be happier at work, which will reduce the risk of mental health problems.” Tomas Chamorro Premuzic, ManpowerGroup Chief Talent Scientist