Mental Health Month Is Over. Why Is It Important To Companies?
The industrial revolution was one of the first big steps humanity took towards massively increasing throughput and expansion. In its essence, it involved automating mundane, repeatable tasks typically performed by humans and allowing these tasks to be performed at a rapid pace. The conduits that allowed for this automation were machines. Cold, unfeeling inventions built to do just what they did and ask no questions. Where several hours of manual labour were required for a task, there was now one machine that could do a hundred tasks in
an hour. Large manufacturing units replaced the herds of workers & labourers that previously carried out tasks manually.
3 centuries later with all of the advancements in technology, these machines designed for constant heavy workloads still require regular service, maintenance and repair. Even your phone comes with a 1-year limited hardware warranty. When machines, designed from the ground-up to be workhorses, require constant care, it is unbelievable that there isn’t nearly enough care given to human employees.
It is important for companies to stop treating employees as appliances with a take-home salary and start seeing them as the assets that they are. In fact, employees are a company’s most valuable asset and need to be treated like it. They deserve regular service, maintenance and repair as well. And while physical health is an important aspect of this, a more often overlooked but critical factor, is mental health. This is especially due to Mental Health issues being difficult to recognize and diagnose. There just isn’t enough general awareness about these issues for most people to deal with it themselves.
For an employee that spends at least 8-hours a day and perhaps more than 40-hours a week at the office, it is incredibly important that their mental health is in check. In fact, the statistic speaks for itself. Statistics show that 1 in 4 employees experiences mental health issues in the workplace. But does it end there? No. Most if not all working professionals experience “stress” & brush it off until the stress surmounts their ability to work effectively. The prevalence of the Coronavirus has only exacerbated this stress, with employees having to deal with problems remotely & in unfavourable environments.
And even if we set aside the effects of this strain in their personal lives, we need to look at what it does for the work. Data shows that depression can cost companies up to 2.5 trillion dollars every year globally. The numbers alone should shake us awake & point us toward the right way forward.
We need to take time out or create the resources required to ensure that every employee is happy in its truest sense. This ensures that work is done efficiently & a healthy quality of life is brought about. It ensures longevity of service, consistency and proactiveness. In-fact happier employees have shown to be more loyal, take lesser leaves and have higher productivity than employees that are not. Employees with depression miss six to 25 more days of work per year and their productivity affects between 13 to 29% of their time at work.
Just like any well-oiled machine, just like any well-performing asset, employees need to be kept happy and healthy for a long productive term at any company. It is therefore the company’s responsibility to provide avenues for their employees to maintain good mental health.
How do you achieve this?
- Be there for your employees
- Check in on them regularly when working from home
- Consult with experts to ensure employee well-being
- Implement a mental health policy for your company
- Plan the work so employees are not overwhelmed
- Be mindful while you are a manager. We have a blog on our channel about this. Check it out here.
By investing in the mental health of their employees, companies are actually investing in better throughput, longevity and quality of work. Let’s take a look inward & build a brighter future together.