Business isn’t just all about “business”; it also involves people working with people. That is why promoting good mental health within your organization is so important. The World Health Organization defines positive mental health as, “A state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal senses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.” Employees with good mental health will perform better at work.
Why is mental health important for a successful business?
There are many reasons why employers should make mental health a priority in the workplace. Mental health problems can affect anyone, of any age and background. In today’s global economy, positive mental health is an important driver for a successful business.
By making changes to your workplace environment, and offering support to employees, you can reduce the duration and severity of mental health issues and enhance recovery. Check out these four points from the European Network for Workplace Health Promotion:
The costs of work-related mental illness
As a whole, mental illness costs US businesses $79 billion annually in lost productivity. The cost to the employer through loss of productivity due to mental problems is higher than that caused by most other health problems and much higher than working days lost to industrial disputes.
The Workplace today has more pressure and demands upon employee’s cognitive, social and psychological skills than ever before. Mental health is crucial, both for the formation and development of these skills and their effective use in the workplace. As an employer, it is a challenge to assure your workplace is a healthy workplace; physically, mentally and socially!
- Productivity and performanceGood mental health can also boost productivity and performance. A good working environment will help to increase morale, teamwork and communication. Employee turnover is lower and so are the associated costs of recruitment and training. A healthy workplace can also help people cope with change and difficult circumstances, which is particularly important in changing health and financial conditions.
- Reputation By promoting positive mental health, you can enhance the reputation of your organization. This can improve your business reputation among potential future recruits, as well as among the wider public and customers as an organization that demonstrates corporate social responsibility. This good organizational reputation will be associated with a healthy and stimulating workplace where personal development is part of the organization’s learning culture.
- No health without mental health Lastly, there is good evidence that poor mental health and stress can lead to increases in a range of physical illnesses. These include coronary heart disease, stroke and diabetes. This can happen directly by mental distress affecting physiological vulnerability, but also indirectly by increasing the dependence upon negative lifestyle factors such as smoking and alcohol consumption. These are major social and workplace issues but also mean that there is a compelling business case to act now.
Supporting good mental health within your workplace is important to the success of your business. By investing an Employee Assistance Program, you can start the process of making your business a healthier place. For more information, contact EFR today!