Chances are good: your employees are dealing with mental health issues. The headlines and studies have been consistently racking up since the start of the pandemic in 2020: employees are tired, burned out, stressed out, and struggling with their own mental wellbeing.
A study in May from the Lincoln Financial Group found that 64% of full-time employed adults would choose a company with a less stressful work environment over a job with a 10% higher salary. That’s huge: a majority of workers in the United States are so wrung out, they’re choosing less stress over more money.
Significant contributors to the mental health crisis include financial stress, anxiety, PTSD, and depression. These can be caused by common stressors like the ongoing pandemic, the looming return-to-office mandates some companies are choosing over remote work, and lost wages from a partner who may have lost work or quit work to deal with dependents during school and caregiving closures.
Unfortunately, management is rarely happy to talk about mental health. But that’s where mental health conversations have to start. Supportive leadership is an absolute requirement if companies are going to stave off resignations related to ongoing mental health issues.
If your HR department is providing the tools employees need to work through mental health issues, such as EAP, affordable telemedicine, or counselors to assist with financial wellness, are your leaders selling them with personal stories and supportive conversation? It’s a challenge, for sure. But resilient employers will make their way through this mental health crisis by recognizing that mental health cannot carry a stigma in their company. It must be addressed through conversation, strategy, and assistance.
Resources you can use as you develop your company’s mental health strategy: