As the candidates continue to hold the cards in the hiring market, they can afford to be picky about where they work. One thing they’re being sticklers about? Mental Health Benefits.
If you’ve been alert for the past few years, no part of this is surprising. From a pandemic, contentious presidential election, rising inflation, and now a war in Eastern Europe, the deck is stacked against our ideal mental health. Increased stress and burnout has turned into anxiety and depression.
In many cases, employers are making changes and offering more mental health benefits. But for those who haven’t yet, the question is often: Where do we start?
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Why We Address Mental Health in the Workplace
Mental Health benefits can help employees improve their stress and coping skills while also decreasing their risk of physical illness. Along with having a generally healthier life, employees experience improved productivity. Research shows that nearly 86% of employees treated for depression report improved work performance. In some studies, it’s been shown to reduce the number of days absent as well.
Additionally, when you address and support the mental health of your staff, they’re more likely to stick around. In a 2022 survey, more than 28% of participants said they had left a job in the last two years due to the impact on their mental health. That same report shows that 55% of workers have experienced significant stress in the past year, while 38% report showing symptoms of depression. A similar number of people say lack of motivation (37%) and anxiety (36%) are making work more difficult.
Many in the recruiting space suggest those numbers are just the tip of the iceberg in just how many people are afflicted. It’s evident by the sheer volume of candidates seeking employment with companies boasting mental health benefits.
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Candidates Want Mental Health Support
With the market leaning heavily in favor of the candidate, hiring managers across every industry are working to figure out exactly what top talent wants. The answers range from more compensation to remote work opportunities, but a staggering number of job seekers are demanding mental health benefits as well. What does that look like in today’s work landscape?
What employees want from their employers:
- Better work-life balance- 47%
- More time off- 42%
- Greater schedule flexibility- 41%
- Workplace discussions about mental health- 37%
- Training on topics like stress management- 35%
It’s short-sighted to assume this trend in mental health was only in response to Covid-19. Evidence shows deficits in mental health were already underway before Covid, and it’s likely they’ll continue for long after. But regardless of when it began, it’s evident that companies who address mental health will thrive.
And, your investment in mental health services won’t go to waste. Researchers find 86% of employees struggling with mental health will utilize benefits when they’re provided.
Additional Ways Your Company Can Support Mental Health
There are plenty of ways to acknowledge a health work-life balance and encourage positive mental health. Each company is different and may require some planning to implement change, but here are a list of benefits widely available to job candidates today:
- Access to counseling/helplines
- Educational resources
- Culture of mental health awareness
- Group health plan updates
- “Mental health days” or additional time off
- Events/training for mental health awareness and management
- Providing colleague connection opportunities
- Virtual yoga/meditation sessions
- Scheduled ‘quiet time’
In this day and age, the only wrong way to address mental health is to not address it at all. Organizations who make the effort to improve the well-being of their employees will be highly sought after by fresh talent, and improve retention of their current employees.
PREDICTIVEHR is an industry leader in addressing candidate concerns and partnering with organizations to help attract and retain top talent. For more insight on mental health benefits and other attractive employee benefits, visit PREDICTIVEHR.com