According to the US Department of Labor, over 50 million workers quit their jobs in 2022 and over 47 million in 2021. This trend in employment shifting, the Great Resignation, is forcing employers to reevaluate priorities to be competitive.
Why Does Workplace Mental Wellness Matter?
Resignation creates a loss in productivity and a cost burden for organizations accrued from employee separation, recruitment, and training costing employers an average of $11,372 per employee. In addition, a growing body of research and surveys is identifying the primary causes of workers’ mass departure during Covid to the pandemic, an employee-driven labor market and job dissatisfaction.
Multiple studies recommend assessing, implementing, and managing employee retention strategies, including flexible work arrangements, attractive compensation, and robust employee support, especially for emotional/mental well-being.
The ROI to Act
Regarding business success, few things are more important than workplace well-being. With rising stress levels, an increasingly competitive job market, and the ever-present specter of burnout, ensuring employees’ mental health is a priority is vital. Therefore, investing in mental health initiatives and creating a work environment that fosters sound mental health is critical for the employee and any company to be competitive in the modern market.
- Higher productivity and engagement: According to a study by the American Psychological Association, companies saw 21% higher profitability with highly engaged employees. Additionally, a study by the World Health Organization found that for every $1 invested in mental health treatment, there is a $4 return in improved productivity.
- Reduced healthcare costs: Mental health conditions cost employers an estimated $100 billion annually in indirect costs, including lost productivity and absenteeism. The Center for Workplace Mental Health found that for every $1 invested in mental health treatment, there was a $3.30 reduction in healthcare costs.
- Reduced employee turnover: The Center for Workplace Mental Health found that employees with depression are 2.6 times more likely to leave their job. In a Harvard Business Review study, companies that invested in employee well-being saw 28% lower employee turnover rates.
- Enhanced brand reputation: According to research by Glassdoor, companies with high employee satisfaction had a 1.9% higher market value than those with low employee satisfaction. In addition, a positive reputation is proving more likely to have a competitive advantage and attract top talent.
- Increased creativity and innovation: According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, happy employees are 20% more productive than unhappy employees. Additionally, research by the University of Warwick found that contented employees are 12% more effective than discontent employees.
Next steps for Improving Workplace Mental Wellness
Investing in emotional and mental wellbeing programs in the workplace is becoming increasingly important. Efforts need to be intentional and sustainable for maximum results. Here are five steps to start your organization:
- Complete a workplace emotional & mental well-being audit to evaluate existing strengths and areas for organizational growth to improve wellness for employees and systems.
- Share this audit with organization leadership, discuss what you see, and determine the next steps.
- Convene a multi-disciplinary team of employees and leadership to advance organizational emotional and mental well-being.
- Gather and collectively analyze several different data sources that reflect individual employee workplace well-being and system-wide sources.
- Develop a sustainable 1-3 year action plan to advance your organization’s workplace emotional and mental health.
Workplace well-being must be a focus of any business looking to succeed. Investing in mental health can have a lasting and positive impact on an organization’s bottom line and overall success.
Examples of workplace emotional & mental well-being metrics | Download PDF
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