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relationship between worker wellness and business outcomes

The Relationship Between Worker Wellness and Business Outcomes

A new report from advisory group The Conference Board suggests that the mental health of American workers is in crisis. Citing long hours and heavy workloads, more than a third (34%) of U.S. workers believe their mental health is worse than it was six months ago. In turn, this has set the stage for a loss in engagement, productivity, and retention.

To begin, we explore the crucial link between mental health and employee engagement. A decline in well-being can lead to disengagement and reduced motivation among employees. When employees are disengaged this impacts concentration, decision-making, and overall performance, ultimately affecting productivity.

Next, we address the impact of poor mental health on employee retention. We'll discuss the factors contributing to higher turnover rates and share statistics highlighting the need for employee well-being. Employers that provide mental health resources tend to retain employees more, showcasing the benefits of investing in worker wellness programs.

In response to this pressing issue, it's crucial for employers to invest in worker wellness. While providing resources and benefits is essential, fostering a supportive culture that promotes work-life balance is equally vital.

By investing in your employees, you can create a healthier and more engaged workforce. When your employees are engaged it ultimately leads to improved business outcomes and long-term success.

Engagement: The Catalyst for Motivation

Understanding the connection between employee engagement and mental health is crucial in today's working environment. A survey from The Conference Board found there's a clear link between declining mental health and decreasing employee engagement.

Shockingly, almost 70% of workers experiencing decreased mental health also report reduced engagement levels. This highlights the need for companies to focus on both the mental well-being and engagement of their workforce.

Engagement goes beyond employee satisfaction; it reflects an employee's emotional connection to their work. However, when employees face mental health challenges, they may struggle to maintain this connection. This emphasizes the importance of creating a supportive working environment that recognizes and addresses mental health conditions.

One effective way to measure employee engagement is through pulse surveys. These short, frequent employee engagement surveys offer real-time insights into the company's pulse. These insights enable leaders to identify concerns and opportunities to develop a robust action plan.

Investing in employee engagement strategies is essential for creating a positive workplace culture and improving business outcomes. These strategies include a variety of initiatives tailored to meet employee's needs and preferences. From recognition programs and mentorship opportunities to flexible work arrangements and wellness initiatives, companies can use various tools to improve employee engagement and satisfaction.

Productivity: The Outcome of Engagement and Well-Being

When employees are engaged and mentally healthy, they naturally get more work done. When workers feel valued and motivated, they put more effort into their tasks, resulting in better-quality work and increased output.

On the other hand, employees dealing with mental health issues may struggle to perform at their best. For example, unresolved depression can greatly impact productivity. According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), employees with untreated depression experience a 35% decrease in productivity. Additionally, these employees miss an average of 31.5 days of work per year.

Investing in employee well-being isn't just the right thing to do; it's also good for business. When employees feel supported and valued, they're more likely to stay motivated and committed to their work, driving productivity and contributing to the bottom line.

Turnover: The Ripple Effect of Mental Health and Engagement

High turnover rates pose a significant challenge for businesses, resulting in lost knowledge, disrupted team dynamics, and increased recruitment costs. In fact, the Harvard Business Review reports a large portion of Millennials (81%) and Gen Zers (81%) have left their job due to mental health reasons alone.

This puts the importance of promoting employee well-being in the workplace at the forefront. In a recent survey by the APA, nine out of ten workers expressed the significance of working for a company that values their emotional and psychological well-being. Additionally, 79% of employees expressed a greater chance of staying with a company that provides robust mental health resources and support.

Employees want to feel supported and valued by their employers. When companies prioritize mental health resources and create a supportive environment, employees are more likely to feel engaged and satisfied. This contributes to higher levels of job satisfaction and increase employee retention.

Unfortunately, the solution is not as simple as “don’t hire people with mental health issues.”

Simply avoiding hiring people with mental health conditions isn't a viable approach. Apart from the fact that it would like violate non-discrimination laws, it wouldn't solve the real problem. Employers play a role in the mental health challenges their team members face.

Less than half (43%) of those surveyed by APA said their employer provides benefits covering mental health needs. Even fewer (29%) reported having access to any type of Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

The good news: employers who do invest in the emotional and psychological well-being of their workers will be poised to reap the rewards of a workforce that’s more engaged and more loyal. Even better, getting started with recognizing employee mental health can be easier than it seems. Well-chosen benefit programs that include EAPs, wellness programs, and health insurance that includes mental health benefits can go a long way toward supporting employees’ psychological health.

Mental health benefits are only the start, however.

Bernard Wong, senior manager of insights and principal at Mind Share Partners, a nonprofit focused on workplace mental health, told the Society for Human Resource Management that many workplace mental health challenges "are largely driven by the employer side. As valuable as health care benefits and self-care perks may be, they only equip employees to cope with fundamentally broken cultures of work, rather than addressing the root causes.”

In short, employers also need to ensure their employees have a healthy work-life balance and work in a supportive, healthy environment.

CoAdvantage, one of the nation’s largest Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs), helps small to mid-sized companies with HR administration, benefits, payroll, and compliance. To learn more about our ability to create a strategic HR function in your business that drives business growth potential, contact us today.