Workplace stress is the top health issue in the American workforce—outranking both physical inactivity and obesity. The World Health Organization reported if treatment for mental health isn’t increased and prioritized, industries could lose 12 billion workdays to depression and anxiety disorders by 2030.
1) Damage to key brain structures, resulting in reduced ability to deal with future stress—this can lead to increased anxiety and chronic depression
2) The development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
3) Lower immune system functioning
As an organization, you focus on the physical health of your employees in the workplace—after all, sick or injured employees are unable to perform safely. However, as recent studies have found, prioritizing the mental health of your employees is just as vital as ensuring their physical health, both for your business’ and employees’ long-term health.
How does your workplace prioritize employee health? Whether your employee health program is robust or just beginning, try implementing these simple solutions to continue improving:
1) Allow your employees flexibility. Employees not having the time or opportunity to handle their lives outside of the workplace impacts their stress levels at work. This can mean allowing occasional telework, flexibility in their working hours or encouraging work-life balance.
2) Take a holistic approach to health. Offer financial security courses, mental health programs and other resources employees can utilize to reduce their stress levels in and out of the workplace.
3) Ensure your employees have safe working conditions. There are four million nonfatal work-related injuries and illnesses annually in the U.S. Whether your worksites are in factories or non-manufacturing locations (i.e. offices), your team needs to know that their safety and wellbeing is your top priority.
4) Focus on employee development and recognition. Fairly compensating and appreciating your employees will not only increase employee retention rates, but it will increase their job satisfaction and reduce stress levels.
How would you rate the mental health of your workplace? Our 2018 Regulatory Forecast identified worker protection being a priority during the year—and the trend will continue for years to come. Implementing small changes in your workplace culture will not only potentially improve the healthcare costs of your organization by 30 percent, but it will improve the lives of your employees in and out of the workplace.