There are numerous opportunities for businesses to be at the forefront of implementing a culture that embraces mental health and wellbeing. However, failure to address and integrate these essential topics can have significant consequences. According to the World Health Organization, 12 billion working days are lost annually due to melancholy and anxiety, and the cost to the global economy is one trillion dollars. The pandemic, in conjunction with additional financial, environmental, and geopolitical pressures, has exacerbated the mental health resilience of a significant proportion of the workforce. As a consequence, an increasing number of organisations are acknowledging the significance of prioritising mental health in the workplace. Organisations must ensure that their employees have access to the mental health support they require, when and where they need it, particularly if their workforce is global.
Creating a culture shift
The pandemic and other recent events have, appropriately, brought attention to the impact that mental health has on the workforce. In light of the fact that one in five adults in the United States suffers from mental health issues, organisations must immediately address the escalating impact. Stakeholders, managers, and executives have all felt the demands on well-being, but they may be unsure how to address this inside their own organisation. The approach to developing a workplace culture that prioritises mental health and wellbeing necessitates a purposeful adjustment. Aside from providing insurance or access to an Employee Assistance Program, mental health and wellbeing should be promoted from the top. The problem should be widely discussed and communicated about, and it should be incorporated and considered throughout all organisational policies. To maintain consistency, accountability, and to highlight the organisation's commitment, a collaborative approach is required. All stakeholders, from business travel to HR to crisis management teams, have a role to play in implementing this culture transformation.
The role of technology
With the popularity of hybrid working and the increase in business and leisure travel, it is more important than ever to ensure mental health and wellbeing support is accessible at your people’s fingertips. Whether through regular email communications, interactive webinars, or digital apps, technology should be a conduit in centring mental health and wellbeing within your organisation. With employees working across dozens of locations, they require reliable access to information and support, whenever they need it, and wherever they are in the world.
Open dialogue and communication
When employees feel comfortable discussing their mental health concerns with their colleagues and managers, it helps to diminish the stigma surrounding mental health and encourages others to seek support. By openly having conversations about mental health, organisations create a supportive environment where employees feel valued and supported, which can lead to increased job satisfaction and improved productivity. It also allows organisations to identify areas where they should provide more support. Additionally, open communication helps in building trust between employees and their managers, which is essential for creating a culture where employees feel comfortable being themselves and bringing their whole selves to work.
Evaluate and adapt
The mental health needs of employee can change over time, particularly in response to external factors such as the recent pandemic. It is crucial for organisations to continuously ensure that their mental health and wellbeing programme remains relevant. As world events occur, and working environments change, so should your corporate policies and information. Seeking feedback from employees is also important as it can be used to adapt the programme to ensure that it meets their needs and is effective in promoting a culture of mental wellbeing.
International SOS' support for employee mental health and wellbeing
By providing the strategic framework and policy development for your mental health and wellbeing programmes, our experts proactively addresses the specific challenges of your people. From personalised training sessions to providing 1:1 counselling services, we help support your Duty of Care responsibilities to your diverse workforce.