Navigating the Current Employee Mental Health + Well-Being Crisis
Nearly three in five employees are experiencing at least one mental health and well-being challenges, according to a recent McKinsey survey. These challenges impact many different areas of the employee experience, from job satisfaction to engagement levels, and ultimately, whether they stay or go.
If mental health challenges are left unaddressed, the cost to employers can be staggering. In fact, according to McKinsey, employees who are experiencing mental health and well-being challenges are 4x more likely to say they intend to leave the job and 3x more likely to report low job satisfaction.
Companies that take a proactive approach to address mental health challenges will be the most adept at navigating change and attracting best-in-class talent. When employees at all levels feel heard, seen, and understood, they’re able to do their best work.
With this in mind, we wanted to share some strategies that could be useful in addressing mental health and well-being challenges at all levels of your organization.
Mental Health + Well-Being for Executives
Encourage executives to prioritize their own mental health and well-being by practicing activities such as meditation, exercise, and taking regular breaks throughout the day. Employees are more likely to participate in these kinds of self-care activities when they see leadership participating in them.
Promote Mental Health Conversations
Encourage executives to create a culture where mental health and well-being are openly discussed. One way to start the conversation is with storytelling using data, from both inside your organization (employee feedback and employee surveys), and also externally with reports like the one that inspired this blog (from McKinsey).
Provide 1:1 Coaching
Offer executives the opportunity to engage in 1:1 coaching sessions with a professional coach to support their mental health and well-being alongside building leadership competencies. This can help executives develop coping strategies, manage stress, and build resilience, which ultimately leads to better decision-making and improved outcomes across the board. Read more about the ways executive coaching can support your executive teams.
Mental Health + Well-Being for People Managers
Encourage managers to foster a sense of community and connection amongst themselves. Ways to do this include team-building activities, social events, and support groups. Building these connections will help managers feel more supported and engaged in their work.
Offer Leadership Training and/or Cohort Coaching
Customized training and development support can help managers more effectively manage their time, energy, and mental health needs. And, when managers are more supported in their mental health and well-being, this ripples down to the well-being of their teams. Supported managers are also better at spotting the signs of burnout in their people, which starts conversations well before things become acute.
Mental Health + Well-Being for Individual Contributors
Provide individual contributors with access to resources such as employee assistance programs, mental health days, and counseling services. These help employees address mental health challenges early on and prevent them from becoming more severe. Having resources on offer also lets your people know that their mental health is your priority and it sets a precedence for open dialog.
Model Work-Life Balance
Encourage individual contributors to prioritize work-life balance by taking breaks throughout the day, setting boundaries between work and personal life, and disconnecting from work during non-working hours. Most importantly, leaders should model this focus on wellness and at all levels of the company. Mental health is important for everyone.
Facilitate Peer Support
Provide opportunities for individual contributors to connect with peers and offer support to one another. This can be achieved through mentorship programs, cohort coaching, or other initiatives that foster a sense of community and connection among employees, which, in the long run, help to reduce stress and prevent burnout.
Mental health challenges will continue to be a topic of conversation for forward-looking companies. Organizations that are willing and able to meet challenges head-on, will be left with a happier workforce and a more productive company.