Mental health is a subject that is often avoided in business environments but can cost UK companies a lot of money in lost work hours and human errors. According to Deloitte research, mental health difficulties at work end up costing UK businesses around £45 billion every year.
Following a pandemic that reshaped workplace culture as we previously knew it, businesses are taking action to implement employee benefits in the workplace, but there are still barriers to investing in mental health initiatives. These include management hindrance, a general lack of knowledge on the topic, as well as the absence of solid evidence that proves investing in and nurturing employee mental health can have a positive impact on the company’s bottom line.
A shift in perception may be necessary
Despite the general knowledge that building a safe and supportive workplace, which promotes both physical and mental health, is critical to accomplishing larger corporate objectives, a lack of quantifiable evidence that clearly outlines these benefits puts management in conflict.
Clearly, your organization needs to invest in some type of mental health initiative, but how can you be sure it’ll be worthwhile? By shifting perception in what you are trying to accomplish with these initiatives.
If you are looking at ROI alone, you may be disappointed because these improvements are not going to generate dramatic turnovers. Legal, economic, and moral considerations should be the ones analysed while promoting and safeguarding employee mental health in the workplace.
This article is meant to highlight employee perks that have been shown to reduce the expenses associated with poor mental health at work, ultimately leading to a safer, more harmonious, and productive workplace environment.
More flexibility in the workplace
Flexibility in the workplace can refer to flexible working schedules, the opportunity to work both in the office and remote, or anything that gives employees more autonomy over their own work. It does not mean employees should be left to decide when and how much they want to work, as this would create disruptions, but acknowledging the fact that sometimes there are more important commitments these individuals need to take care of. Granting this sort of freedom will take a lot of pressure off their shoulders and allow for better work-life balance, which nurtures mental wellbeing. Examples include employees that have to care for young children or sick members of their family, which often struggle to “make it” on a professional level because of these responsibilities.
Flexible working may not be for everyone, as some people find comfort in working the same hours every day, but it is an excellent employee benefit that promotes better mental health in the workplace. Flexible work is available to those who want it, and it’s a pretty simple method to provide an employee perk that may have a significant beneficial influence on your employees’ life.
Solid private healthcare plans
Company-subsidized or paid-for healthcare packages are a wonderful employee perk to give. Although the majority of employees will have access to free healthcare, providing private or paid-for treatment when necessary can be beneficial for a number of reasons:
Employee medical packages, such as healthcare payment plans, might take some of the stress that frequently comes with attempting to get an appointment off since employees will have access to healthcare that would not otherwise be readily available to them.
Dental treatment, optician appointments, psychotherapy, and counselling services can also be covered by healthcare insurance if employers choose to include them in the package
Worrying about one’s physical health can often take a toll on their mental health. Offering to pay for employee medical costs is not only a great way to keep your employees healthy both physically and mentally, but it’s also a great employee perk that will show you care about your workers.
While adopting a healthcare plan may involve some upfront costs, ensuring that your employees are well-cared for can result in fewer sick days and absences, which can only help your business grow.
Employee Assistance Programme
The Employee Assistance Programme is a work-based initiative that helps employees discover and resolve problems that may threaten their mental health. These problems might vary from marriage issues to financial trouble, substance addiction, and mental health challenges.
EAPs are generally provided free of charge to employees, and the majority of businesses use a third-party administrator to manage these programs. This means the effectiveness of your EAP depends on how well prepared this third-party provider is.
As mental health experts from uktherapyguide.com point out, for this program to be successful, employees must feel at ease addressing work-related and personal issues with the EAP administrator. Thus, it is the duty of the provider to reassure employees they don’t have to worry about jeopardizing their careers or social life by opening up during these sessions.
Mental health training
One of the most serious issues with mental health at work is the stigma associated with discussing it, as well as how to support someone who is going through something like this. Reluctance to confront tough workplace conditions may generate problems, so it’s critical to address this head-on in both leadership and across the organization.
Investing in organization-wide training that helps build a more supportive, open corporate culture may be the most important benefit you can provide to your staff when it comes to boosting mental health. Along with the other “nice-to-have” advantages we’ve covered above, it demonstrates that you care about your employees’ mental state and that you’re actively combating the stigma that prevails around the topic. You’ll be amazed at the beneficial impact across your organization once you’ve established a work culture where workers feel appropriately supported.
Other employee perks
Many companies also provide their employees with a range of small but important perks that can make a huge difference. These advantages are often low-cost and easy to implement. Examples include:
- Gym membership discounts
- Incentives to buy or rent bicycles for commuting
- Cinema tickets and other recreational incentives
- Employee bonuses and rewards (weekly corporate lunch, monthly team building events, and so on)
- Additional annual leaves or early finish days