An estimated 264 million people suffer from depression and anxiety globally — one of the leading causes of disability. The impact of this disability is widespread across many aspects of an individual’s life — the one of the most significant being one’s ability to be productive.
This lack of productivity impacts the global economy, resulting in a loss of US $1 trillion each year. That’s a staggering amount because of symptoms from depression and anxiety. The Worldwide Health Organization (WHO) indicates how businesses can counteract this indicating, “Workplaces that promote mental health and support people with mental disorders are more likely to reduce absenteeism, increase productivity and benefit from associated economic gains.”
As the WHO suggests, improved mental health will not only prevent the loss of productivity, it will increase it through greater attendance, motivation, investment and overall interest. Healthy employees result in a healthy company. Consider the following ways to boost the mental health of your employees.
Increase physical fitness
The results of exercise boost your endorphins, and subsequently your happiness. Technically speaking, endorphins are released when an individual exercises; those endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce the perception of pain and instead trigger positive feelings. Depression and anxiety can’t necessarily be eliminated simply by exercising, but naturally it can go a long way in assisting how someone feels when they are regularly active. As a company you can encourage this activity by providing access to resources (i.e. onsite facilities, discounted memberships, corporate events, etc.) that make it easier for employees to fit fitness into their schedule.
Make resources and help accessible
In your workplace you likely have a combination of individuals who are at different stages of awareness and how it impacts them personally. As a company, offering on-going workshops, informational resources and access to local professionals can provide different levels of help to assist with the personal nature of each employees’ experience. Making mental health a priority also means making sure those who earn managerial and leadership positions are aware of how to identify the signs and symptoms of mental health challenges.
Strengthen belonging with others at work
As humans we all want to belong, in every aspect of our lives. When you consider how much time employees spend at work, a lack of belonging can lead to significant loneliness. Forbes addressed this topic specifically, “Strong social connections make people happier and physically healthier, which can translate into work performance. Employers who support social connections in the workplace and help employees form strong relationships with one another helps build a successful workforce.”
Provide the ability to grow and learn
One of the greatest indicators for employee retention is providing continuous learning and growth opportunities within the company. When individuals have a sense of progression it provides greater motivation to work hard and be invested in what they are achieving. As a company, create opportunities for on-going training, transparent communication and upward movement in position. If individuals feel like they are in a “dead-end” job, meaning nowhere to go but where they’ve always been, you’re bound to face discouragement, discontent and increased turnover.
Encourage volunteering opportunities and “giving back”
Our lives are busy and with work taking up a majority of the “real estate” each day, the thought of adding more obligations and activities in the schedule might overwhelm. However, the positive impact and results of volunteering can’t be denied. When companies help reserve time for their employees to get involved and “give back” they are not only helping the organizations being served, they’re helping their employees find the time and feel better doing it. HelpGuide provides evidence-supported information regarding mental health and has stated, “Volunteering helps counteract the effects of stress, anger, and anxiety. The social contact aspect of helping and working with others can have a profound effect on your overall psychological well-being. Nothing relieves stress better than a meaningful connection to another person.”
Emphasize work-life balance
It goes without saying that healthy workplaces understand and encourage a healthy work-life balance. While there is plenty of work to be done, driving employees to burnout and mental decay only hurts your organization. Companies that provide sufficient personal leave time, health days and other opportunities to enjoy life outside of work have employees that are balanced and more productive when it is time to work.
Mental health is one of the most significant parts of having complete wellness. Businesses have a duty and responsibility to help foster a healthy work environment that encourages mental wellness.
ClassPass Corporate provides the physical and mental wellness options that your employees need. Contact the team today to learn more.