Five ways mental health training impacts employee performance and retention

Five Ways Mental Health Training Impacts Employee Performance and Retention

Employers are currently facing some complex challenges when attracting new talent and retaining their talent. Many companies have taken note of the mental health toll the pandemic has had on their workforce and have responded by offering their employees more well-being benefits and training incentives to support employee needs.

We explore five benefits employers can gain from partnering with a mental health provider such as Onebright.

1. Reduced absence / sick leave

Mental illness is the leading cause of workplace sickness absence. In 2020, 38.8 million working days were lost due to work-related ill health and non-fatal workplace injuries, with the average person taking 17 days off work. Over the same period, the latest government research shows depression or anxiety accounted for 51% of all work-related ill health cases and 55% of all working days lost due to work-related ill health.

Considering the unique challenges the global population was facing during this time, the main factors cited were mostly; work-related stress, depression or anxiety related to workload pressures, including tight deadlines, too much responsibility, and a lack of managerial support.

With such a high percentage of working days lost to mental health, businesses need to look at ways to invest in mental health training for their leaders.  This investment can reduce the suffering and create a workplace environment that promotes employee wellbeing along with open and honest dialogues about mental health.

2. Increased productivity

In the age of presenteeism, many workers will try to work through a period of illness – but their productivity and quality of work will suffer.

A survey by CV-Library found that 14.1% of workers consider themselves to have a mental health problem. Workers don’t have to be clinically diagnosed with mental illness to have symptoms that affect their work and home life. Often people will not know that they are experiencing symptoms from a specific disorder – instead, they might think they’re simply going through a ‘rough patch’ or see chronic stress in the workplace as a part of the job. 

By partnering with a mental health training provider, employers can reduce the number of days lost to sickness and reduce the stress and anxiety experienced by individual workers who are hiding their mental health problems due to the stigma surrounding mental health in the workplace.

3. Lower employee turnover

A staggering 50% of millennial employees and 75% of Generation Z employees have left jobs for mental health reasons. Financial problems such as unaffordable living costs and overwhelming debt impact their psychological well-being. How are employers trained to deal with these stressors? Are they prepared to signpost the right resources?

Business leaders and Corporate health and wellbeing directors that prioritise mental wellbeing have a real opportunity to reduce employee turnover and increase the engagement and happiness of their workforce.

4. Motivation towards development and performance improvement

Workers who are happy and not stressed or anxious at work will be motivated towards professional development. They will find it easier to concentrate on complex tasks and will be more inclined to collaborate with colleagues. This will affect their current performance and future success in their job. 

When workers can’t focus on a task due to mental health issues, concentration will impede the ability to learn new skills or problem-solve, halting or postponing vital development opportunities for promising workers.

5. Diverse workforce 

One in five women (compared to one in eight men) suffer from a mental illness, LGBT+ people are more than twice as likely to develop depression and anxiety, and people from black and minority ethnic groups are far more likely to be diagnosed with and admitted to hospital for mental health problems. 

A McKinsey report on ‘Why Diversity Matters’ shows that businesses who champion diversity are 15-35% more likely to financially outperform their competitors. Companies that don’t support mental wellbeing initiatives or have a poor track record for supporting previous employees will find it even harder to attract, engage, retain and develop diverse employees.

About Onebright

Onebright is building a new way to deliver mental healthcare for employees and their dependents worldwide – investing in clinical expertise and technology solutions to deliver a complete mental healthcare service at scale. Talk to us today about creating a brighter workplace with respect and acknowledgement of every employees’ mental health needs.  

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