Mental health at the workplace and how it affects the bottom line.

Did you know? There are chances that your company is suffering from greater financial loss due to untreated mental health conditions than chronic diseases. Studies prove that precious working days are adrift due to stress, depression, anxiety and other mental health-related sickness absence. This not only creates a dent in productivity and overall output but directly affects the bottom line as well. Here, we dive deeper into the correlation and what can be done about it.

How mental health affects the bottom line

The evidence of how a conducive working atmosphere can improve the health and well-being of people, both in terms of finance and overall quality cannot be ignored. Companies have woken up to the realisation that not attending to the mental health of their employees can cost them deeply.

As per the book, ‘Mental Health in the Workplace, Strategies and Tools to Optimize Outcomes’ by John F. Greden, Michelle B. Riba and Sagar V. Parikh, mental health issues bear complexing and disturbing financial consequences. It stated, “Depression and related illnesses in the workplace are directly linked with the following: higher rates of absenteeism and presenteeism, costly staff turnover, production downtime and inefficiencies, higher medical costs and the turmoil that follows virtually every workplace suicide.”

This has been shown true in several surveys. Research proves that the ratio of days of work amiss due to mental health illness is much more than those due to chronic diseases such as asthma, diabetes and arthritis. The National Alliance on Mental Illness reported that around $200 billion is lost yearly due to untreated mental health conditions as it has led to a dip in work performance and productivity.

Mental health at the workplace and how it affects the bottom line.

What can be done about it:

Irrespective of the financial damages, mental health is something that has to be given priority. Here are some of the ways to work around it.

Breaking the stigma:

One of the main hurdles employees face while addressing mental health in the workplace is the stigma around it. In the book, Mental Health in the Workplace, Strategies and Tools to Optimize Outcomes, it was noted that several employees who suffer from depression underwent the emotion of fear of being penalised for reporting and seeking help. “Some workers hesitate to even use words like ‘depression’ or ‘anxious’,” it stated.

Educating the employees and creating a safe environment where they can reach out to the assigned representative can help in decreasing the stigma associated with it. The book ‘Mental Health and Wellbeing in the Workplace’ suggests, “An evidence-based company-wide campaign provides the foundation for a solid workplace mental health program. Often employees are motivated by understanding why mental health is important and the impact of unhealthy minds on the workplace.”

Support the well-being of the employees

Senior management and company members should be open to discussions and taking action on ways to support employee mental health. There has to be proactiveness in reaching out to co-workers who may be going through a crisis. Providing mental counselling and being more accommodating in certain scenarios will show support towards the well-being of the employees.

Several companies are taking stock of this situation and extending a helping hand. Recently, Cheil India made a statement of how they are working around the clock to offer required medical aid as well as support for the mental wellbeing of their employees as they are their priority.

Training at the management level

More and more companies are realising the importance of the leadership level’s role. Managers need to be aware of how to conduct fruitful conversations about mental health and wellness in association with performance and discipline. Tie-ups can be done with reputed counselling organisations for the same.

Dentsu India has followed suit with something similar. Its Chief Executive Officer, Anand Bhadkamkar, had quoted in Financial Express.com as to how agency leaders at the company along with other networks came ahead to discuss mental health and worked with mental health institutions for supporting the employees. For them, the changes had permanency to them and not just a reaction to what was happening around them.

The fact of the matter remains that you cannot put a price on the value of a healthy mind. Providing the right support, preventing issues, and stepping in early to do damage control along with having good practices at the management level can lead to a harmonious work-life balance as well as balance sheet. Bouncbk is a mobile platform designed to help your employees measure and improve their emotional well-being. Email us at hello@bouncbk.com to know more.

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