The business benefits of supporting mental health

The physical and emotional health of your people has a significant impact on their work performance and productivity. Increasingly, employees are experiencing bouts of psychological illness, which often result in extended absences or periods of low or non-existent productivity.

The more we learn about mental health, the clearer it becomes that it may have a greater impact than physical health when it comes to people being able to perform their jobs successfully.

Up to 45 per cent of Australians between the ages of 16 and 85 experience a mental health condition at some point in their lifetime. In a 12-month period, 1 in 5 Australians will experience a mental health condition of some kind. The reality is that mental health conditions exist in workplaces across all industries in Australia – including yours.

What do you do to protect the psychological safety of your employees? Do you encourage employees to find time for meditation and mindfulness? Or give them advice to proactively manage their mental health through education programs?

If you haven’t yet got a plan and policies in place to support mental as well as physical health and wellbeing, here’s a little incentive. According to Gallup research, compared with employees who have high engagement but otherwise exhibit low levels of wellbeing, those who are engaged and have high wellbeing are:

  • 30 per cent less likely to miss workdays because of poor health in any given month,
  • 42 per cent more likely to evaluate their overall lives highly,
  • 27 per cent more likely to report ‘excellent’ performance at work,
  • 45 per cent more likely to report high levels of adaptability in the presence of change,
  • 37 per cent more likely to report always recovering ‘fully’ after illness, injury or hardship,
  • 59 per cent less likely to look for a job with a different organisation in the next 12 months,
  • 18 per cent less likely to change employers in a 12-month period, and
  • 19 per cent more likely to volunteer their time in the past month.

Your employees’ health and wellness is a gauge of how well you’re doing as an organisation when it comes to taking care of your people. Ensure that your employees are sound of body and mind and they’ll reward your care and attention.

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