Employee benefits to support mental health in the workplace

Talya Zwiers   26 February, 2019
employee benefits Employee Engagement
In an ideal world, employees would be happy, productive and stress-free. Productivity levels would soar, absenteeism would fall and a health work-life balance would exist. However, in a realistic working environment, teams are overworked, often with little balance and staff feel over stretched and under paid to a point of frequent anxiety and even depression. The good news is that there’s been a shift and more emphasis put on mental health and wellbeing in the workplace, especially with high-profile advocates including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Far too often, this so called taboo subject is laden with stigmas especially in a working capacity. Many employees don’t feel comfortable enough to open up or are scared in case it may put their role at risk. According to PWC, 40% of employees do not feel comfortable raising mental health issues with an employer or a colleague. Fortunately there are so many ways an organisation can help their employees tackle this area, from offering wellbeing benefits and salary sacrifice options, Employee Assistance Programmes and offering relevant training opportunities.

It is crucial for employers to give their workforce the right training and education needed around mental health issues and the tools for how best to tackle them. Companies should openly discuss the stigmas attached to mental health and how it can effect an individual both personally and professionally. This can range from simple aware of training managers how to identify symptoms and how best to escalate them with the necessary measures needed. Companies could invite mental health charities in to run employee seminars which may have long lasting positive results.

Company culture
Does your company culture value health, holistic wellbeing and unconditional support? Do these pillars ring true within your company’s philosophy? By incorporating and emphasizing health and wellbeing into the DNA of your business, may encourage employees to feel comfortable and able to open up when mental health issues arise as they know there is a supportive measure in place when it is most needed. If your business has its own Reward and Recognition programme and its values are aligned to wellbeing, this is an additional way to bolster the importance of mental health and wellbeing by encouraging and celebrating this crucial factor.

Flexible working
Often, offering employees the option of flexi-time may eliminate a lot of stresses which can cause mental health, be it panicked parents trying to get their children to school, commuters who have a very long journey or team members with pre-booked appointments. Not being a clock-watching company checking your team clock in and out 9-5 and showing trust and respect that your team will get the job done can assist in a greater mental wellbeing and a more productive worker.

Holistic wellbeing benefits and perks
Employers who offer an Employee Benefits Platform can do a lot to promote health and wellbeing. With a plethora of options available, the scheme could include everything from health perks including discounted gym memberships, meditations apps such as HeadSpace and Calm, and discounted consultations with various practioners. In addition to the traditional discounts package on offer, companies can offer salary sacrifice voluntary benefits to their employees such as Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs), health checks for their employees and extended families and private medical benefits. All of the above can make a notable difference to an employee’s life and lifestyle and can aid in a healthier work-life balance and a better overall state of being.

If you would like more information about how Staff Treats can offer an EAP as a wellbeing benefit, along with its other employee benefits and perks, get in touch. 

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