Employee Engagement, Open Enrollment, Voluntary Benefits

How to Add Mental Health Benefits & Promote Employee Wellbeing

August 19, 2021 | Winston

Even before the pandemic, employee burnout and stress rates were on the rise. According to a recent report by Gallup, from 2019 to 2020, daily employee stress rose from 38% to 43%. For years, employers and employees alike have often neglected their well-being in favor of their work. Now, the workforce is facing the consequences.

Work-related stress and burnout make employees leave their positions, underperform, and disrupt their professional and personal lives. This is a trend that employers can’t afford, and we’re starting to see that more companies are offering mental health benefits to promote employee resilience. As this is a new trend, you may be unsure how to incorporate these benefits and which fit best with your company. Keep reading for a few examples of mental health benefits you can implement into your 2022 offerings.

Mental Health Coverage

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that nearly $1 trillion in productivity is lost from the global economy each year due to anxiety and depression. According to Understood.org, research shows that 86% of employees treated for depression report improved work performance. Providing mental health coverage for your employees will benefit not only them but also your business long-term. Your employees will perform better knowing they have support and will be more likely to stay with your company longer.

Employee Assistance Programs (EAP)

Offering your employees an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) could be an excellent place to start for larger companies with more financial resources. EAPs can help with a range of issues your employees may face, such as finding childcare, legal assistance, and, yes, even mental health-related services. In addition, EAPs can relieve everyday life stressors and expand mental health progress, making for well-adjusted, resilient employees.

Health & Wellness Subscriptions

An offering that allows your employees to take control of their mental healthcare is providing subscriptions to mental health applications like Headspace or Calm. These are therapy apps that promote wellness and aim to reduce the stress your employees have, and they can use them on their way to and from work, during lunch breaks, or on their own time. In addition, subscriptions to physical health apps or gym subscriptions can also prove beneficial to relieving employee stress since we know that mental health and physical health are inextricably linked.

Heath Breaks

While you may want your employees to feel supported in their mental health journey, your business could lack the funds and resources to offer them the above benefits. A simple, cost-effective option would be to provide some type of “health break.” These could be as simple as fifteen-minute breaks every two hours or mental health staff days where employees are given the day off to prioritize their mental health. If you can’t sacrifice your whole team for a day, then consider alternating days off between staff members so all employees get a well-deserved break.

Even if your employees may not be showing signs of stress or burnout currently, taking steps like these towards a more positive work environment where they feel supported professionally and health-wise will help promote long-term employee resilience.

Do you need help implementing these offerings before the 2022 open enrollment? Our team at Winston can guide you through various mental health benefits and help you decide which is best for your team, connect with us today!