A recent survey shows, 74% of Indians suffer from stress and 88% have anxiety problems. This has led to employers acknowledging the significance of investing in mental health and wellness for their employees. By extending support for stress, burnout, and other mental health issues, employers can improve workplace morale and reduce overall costs. This is a positive development towards addressing the issue of stress and mental health in the workplace in India.
Understanding Mental Health Benefits
Psychological safety at the workplace has become a key performance indicator for 45% of employers. Organisations are taking measures to bundle employee mental health benefits, such as counselling, therapy, etc., as an integral part of company wellness programs. These programs also include other forms of support like stress management and treatment for mental illnesses. This approach not only benefits employees but also provides substantial returns for businesses.
In summary, mental health benefits are an essential investment in the well-being of employees and the accomplishment of organizations.
Role Of Mental Health Benefits
Some of the reasons why employers should include mental health benefits in their employee assistance programs are:
1. Improving Workforce Health
Mental illness and physical illness have a direct correlation. The GOQii India Fit Report 2023 shows that lifestyle illnesses continue to increase in India, as 24% of Indians reported increased stress levels compared to stress in 2022. If mental health issues are not addressed properly, it can increase healthcare costs in the long run.
Employee assistance programs with mental healthcare support will boost employee health, enabling employers to avoid long-term healthcare spending. Even though implementing these employee benefits slightly increases the cost of employee wellness programs but it is a wise investment that benefits both employees and businesses in the long term.
2. Avoiding Burnout
Employee burnout is a serious issue that affects productivity. Employees may be present but won't have enough energy to get through at work. Although 38% of employees show burnout signs employee burnout remains unacknowledged in India.
Thankfully, there are several strategies to address burnout, such as managing stress levels and reducing workloads. By prioritizing mental health benefits, businesses can effectively prevent and manage burnout, leading to increased employee retention, reduced absenteeism, and a more positive workplace environment. In the end, investing in mental health benefits is a wise choice that can promote a better employee experience and contribute to the success of a business.
3. Increasing Productivity
Mental illness can considerably affect employee productivity, resulting in absenteeism, turnover, and reduced communication among team members. In a Deloitte report, 37% of employees could not concentrate, and 28% took too long to finish their tasks due to mental health issues.
This not only impacts work but also impedes the development of a sense of community within the workplace. Nonetheless, employers can aid employees in improving their stress and coping mechanisms by providing mental health benefits/ employee assistance programs leading to a more satisfied and efficient workforce.
Consequently, this can lead to better communication among employees and departments, ultimately contributing to increased productivity and overall success for businesses.
Additional Ways To Support Employees
Mental health benefits at work must not be limited to counselling and therapy sessions. To provide holistic well-being, employers should look for ways to expand their mental well-being programs, including preventive healthcare, fitness, and wellness coverage. When companies show that they care for employee health and well-being, employees will go above and beyond to meet their goals. Some of the additional ways to support employees are:
- Offering flexible work arrangements for a great work-life balance for employees
- Giving a choice to work remotely or accept flexible schedules to avoid burnout
- Providing professional training and career development programs for employees to stay relevant in the industry and acquire new skill sets to advance their careers
Mental illness can lead to employee burnout, productivity loss, and degrading workplace morale. Investing in a well-rounded employee assistance program with mental health benefits will encourage employees to manage their mental health proactively. A mentally strong workforce will be more productive and engaged, thus improving overall business success.
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