Looking out for employee mental and emotional well-being is not just the right thing to do, it gives businesses a clear competitive advantage. As we are now well-aware, mental health disorders are pervasive in the workplace.
60% of the employees that participate in the Mind Share Partners study reported symptoms of a mental health condition.
Consequences of mental health problems in the workplace:
- Absenteeism: Poor health due mainly to stress and burnout that translates to frequent short periods of absence.
- Performance: Drop in productivity and poor decision-making. Lower control of work and planning management.
- Relationships: More conflicts with the coworkers and less fluent communication.
- Changes in attitude and behavior: Loss of motivation and commitment to work.
Impact of mental health in the workforce
Mckinsey’s “Mental health in the workplace: The coming revolution” reveals that mental health disorders are expensive. They create serious disease (health), increase healthcare costs, diminish productivity, and increase turnover.
Diagnosis is crucial here and one surprisingly, a higher proportion of employees suffering from mental health problems don’t receive treatment. Mark Olfson, professor of psychiatry at Columbia University, found that 62% of people with mood disorders, 76% of people with anxiety disorders, and 81% of people with substance use disorders did not seek out or receive treatment due to high costs, coverage limitations and the social stigma associated.
The fact that the majority of people do not raise their hand, raises crucial questions for all organizations. How do we proactively identify mental health issues? How do we make sure we show up for our people and facilitate treatment
There is a study of Harvard Medical School that has shown how by being actively identifying at-risk employees and providing treatment, an organization can improve employees' mood, reduce turnover and improve their productivity around 2.6 hours of extra work per week that are worth around $1,800 per year (based on average wages)
While the employers' cost per intervention is around $400 per treated employee. Confirming that for every $1 spent on mental health, it returns $4 to the business. That is a 300% ROI.
This study shows how investing mental health pays off with healthier and happier employees that have higher productivity and engagement, in turn benefiting the company. The cost in ensuring sound mental health should be seen as a safe and profitable investment.