To most people, prioritising the economy and prioritising the mental health of the population are likely considered to be two very separate goals, however in actual fact the two go hand in hand. Arguably, positive mental health can improve business and prosperity not just on a local scale, but nationally and even globally – and here’s how.
Corporate Social Responsibility and It’s Benefits
The idea of corporate social responsibility is likely familiar to anyone who has had to design a business model, and refers to a company’s initiatives to take responsibility for their impact on the environment and society. This umbrella term also very much includes initiatives to ensure the wellbeing of their staff, however often companies overlook this element – which may be a huge mistake. Allowing staff to take time off for their mental health (sometimes referred to as “mental health sick days”), or making allowances when individuals are struggling, not only makes you a more responsible employer but sends a message about the values of your company which others will hear loud and clear. And, as is well understood in the business world, employers who provide a comfortable workplace for their employees also benefit from more high quality applicants, a higher degree of staff and client loyalty, and better relations with other businesses.
Arguably, a more comfortable and employee-friendly workplace also encourages better performance and productivity. It is a common symptom of many mental health issues to lose motivation, lack commitment and struggle focusing – meaning that a workforce who feel overworked, or are struggling with their mental health for any reason, are unlikely to be as productive as they could be. However, simply by providing employees with a ‘safety net’ or assurance that they will not be penalised for coming forward with mental health concerns not only increases short-term productivity for that specific employee, but increases desire to work for your company. This may increase competitiveness for positions, and therefore encourage a higher standard of productivity in the long-term, from employees who feel lucky to be working for such an open-minded and forward-thinking company, especially where other companies are not providing the same support.
Providing Mental Health Services to Employees May Be Cost-Effective in the Long Run
Arguably, reduced productivity due to poor mental health also likely contributes to increased costs and greater company losses. According to the office for national statistics, mental health issues account for 11.8% of sick days (that we know of), which equates to 15.8 million days lost over the course of a year. Imagine the effect this may have on productivity and performance, and one begins to realise how important providing mental health services may be from a business perspective. By providing mental health services within the workplace, or as a work-related benefit, this problem may be eradicated before it has begun. Considering that 1 in 4 individuals experiences a mental health problem, it seems nonsensical that this is not already common practise.
Correlation on a global scale
On a more global scale, advances in mental health correlate with increased prosperity across a number of business types. And, while we cannot argue cause and effect, it become clear from looking at the issue from a larger scale that businesses who implement policies to improve the mental health of their staff are not losing out; quite the opposite. On a global scale, the companies with the largest earnings and greatest brand success generally are also those who provide the most benefits to their staff, including opportunities for therapy/counselling through the business itself. Just some of those already providing mental health services to their employees include American Express, Unilever and Predential – who are leading the way to a more productive, and positive future for businesses.
One way that employers may make improvements in this area is by pre-purchasing a number of hours of online video therapy sessions, which may be allocated to employees depending on their individual needs, and taken during office hours or in their own personal time. Although this has some short-term costs, these are arguably less than the potential long-term problems caused by poor mental health in the workplace, and is an upfront fixed cost which provides a level of assurance for the future. Dr Julian is just one of the companies working to make this possible for employers and their staff, in an affordable and convenient way. For more details on how you can join the growing number of successful businesses putting mental health at its forefront, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Dr julian