According to a scientific brief published by the World Health Organization (WHO), anxiety and depression prevalence increased significantly worldwide in the first year of the COVID-19 epidemic by 25%. The pandemic brought about unpredicted changes for human resource professionals; as the pandemic is winding down, there is a spotlight on the mental health crisis in the workplace. Supporting employees’ mental health needs is an evolving issue. Still, many businesses are in unfamiliar territory, with high stakes. One of the most challenging issues HR managers have ever had is their employees’ mental health crises.
Leaving employees to face the mental health crisis independently can devastate an organization. Unsupported mental health needs influence employee retention, productivity, engagement, and healthcare spending. For workers and their families, it’s about needing relief and putting a stop to pain. The workforce needs HR professionals to be a part of the culture shift, raise awareness, minimize the stigma of mental health issues, and provide adequate support. Under normal circumstances, human resource management professionals oversee administrative functions for employees, such as recruitment and payroll. Ensuring that HR professionals strategically plan and account for mental health crises, they assist in enhancing the workplace.
Organizations can provide HR departments with adequate resources to explore critical components such as human capital, benefits packages, organizational culture, and legal compliance. Those in HR can provide proper communication and facilitate and nurture their employees through their mental health crises by ensuring they provide necessary support in-house.
Human Resources Online reported that maintaining a competitive edge in the market is the tried-and-true method of maintaining a motivated and productive talent pool. Hiring for today means employers consider the new demands of this workforce. These individuals are yearning to enter the market and prove their worth alongside established ones.
There is a real job paranoia – someone constantly vying for your spot. This thinking can contribute to the tension that people experience. On the other hand, “real physical and mental health are solely perceived as commodities that can be substituted by coffee, sheer willpower, and, tragically, sometimes, over-the-counter and illicit stimulants.”
A “desire to produce” does help businesses more, but at what expense to their employees? Mental health issues in individuals affect the overall workplace and, eventually, organizational revenue.
HR departments can make headway in the mental health crisis by enacting the proper internal systems, including mentorship, and removing barriers. They also need to invest in healthy work environments that promote open dialogue, ensuring equitable health care benefits access for all employees. HR professionals should receive proper training in mental health/wellness in the workplace to continually adjust organizational planning.
According to Forbes, 61% of workers say their mental health affects productivity. 37% of employees stated that their work environment contributed to their mental health symptoms. Human resource managers can be frontline in organizations to ensure those voices are heard, cared for, and receive the proper accommodations and resources.
While HR professionals can be essential in ensuring employees are supported, they are also responsible for ensuring they are accountable for their mental well-being. Organizations must include those responsible for deploying mental health or well-being programs and receive proper resources such as HR professionals’ mental health training. The World Health Organization has developed a bundle of mental health policy and service recommendations. AccessHR provides presentations and resources for those in HR who may be struggling. Outside the workplace, HR professionals must participate in the many activities they advise employees to partake in, such as mindfulness. They must put on their own oxygen mask first to influence positive organizational change.
We surveyed 2,501 full-time employed and unemployed US adults aged 20-64 about workplace culture. 92% of people reported stronger mental well-being when aligned with company culture. Hire for today with the Culture Fit Assessment. This pre-employment assessment identifies the level of alignment between a company and a candidate based on 26 objective characteristics! We all need to know more about each other before we start working together. Schedule a demo to learn how this hiring tool can help you hire with employee well-being in mind and cause the effect you want within your organization.