The holidays are here, which bring joyful times celebrating with loved ones and friends. Yet for employees struggling with mental health, this time of year can also make them feel more anxious, lonely and stressed out.
For many, the pandemic has been the catalyst behind the nation’s mental health crisis, marked by employee burnout, increased isolation, as well as child care and financial challenges. Existential threats such as climate change and political differences have also fueled employee stress.
The 2021 Deloitte Global Millennial and Gen Z Survey found that 41 percent of millennials and 46 percent of Gen Zs feel anxious or stressed all or most of the time.1 The survey also found one-third of respondents took time off due to pandemic-driven stress and anxiety.
Stressed and anxious employees are less productive — and more likely to leave, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).2 What’s more, the financial impact on workplace productivity and performance could cost the global economy up to $16 trillion by 2030.1
More employers are responding with programs and benefit enhancements — recognizing mental health support is a necessary workplace benefit for employee well-being. Which also contributes to an organization’s success in attracting and retaining talent.
What benefits can employers offer?
In the past few years, employers have responded to the rise of mental health needs with a broad range of initiatives, including mental days or weeks, four-day workweeks, employee assistance programs, enhanced counseling benefits and apps.
However, sustainable workplace change requires changes in company culture — organizations can do this by prioritizing mental health:3
- Provide leadership training on how to create a safe work environment where employees feel understood and supported
- Create accountability mechanisms and clear ownership
- Conduct ongoing pulse surveys
- Establish deeper connections (e.g., regular check-ins, healthy working relationships, meaningful interactions among teams)
To help companies address employee mental health needs, Securian Financial offers a comprehensive employee assistance program (EAP) that’s helped reduce overall employee stress by 28 percent.4
This program includes an innovative platform (website and mobile app) that drives engagement, provides access to well-being resources, builds EAP awareness and removes barriers to care. The range of benefits includes:
- Workshops and seminars on communication and conflict, addiction, physical health and wellness, family, mental and emotional health and more
- Microsoft Teams/LifeWorks integrations — a secure, confidential way to weave support into the workday
- Telephonic and on-site support for critical incidents (workplace violence, natural disasters, accidents, terrorist events and more)
- Direct account management just one phone call away to provide support and help drive engagement
For employers, prioritizing and investing in the mental health of employees is not only good for business — it’s the right thing to do.1 Especially in this new era, where employees need and expect mentally healthy workplaces.3