The typical candidate seeking EAP support at this timeWomen represent the largest proportion of those accessing EAP services in the new year, says The Health Insurance Group. Age-wise, they are between 41-50 years-old. This specific age-group is an important one to consider as an employer. Why? Because, on average, professional women of this age often have both elderly parents, as well as children, to look after. These women not only face the daily pressures of work but the heavy-duty responsibilities of a caregiver too.
“Employers that don’t provide support to employees in helping to tackle some of these demons are really doing their staff a disservice. Not only is it costing them dearly as a business, but simple wellbeing solutions can make a significant difference to individual lives. From counselling services to providing technology to employees who feel more comfortable using this medium, there are plenty of ways to support mental health in 2019.” – Brett Hill, managing director at The Health Insurance Group
Why the ‘personal is no longer private’With the rise of wellness and self-care culture, as well as increased public awareness around mental health, it’s no longer a cultural prerequisite for employees to “leave their problems at the door.” Mental health problems cost employers on average, between £33bn-£42bn a year. These heavy costs mount up in terms of presenteeism, absenteeism and higher staff turnover rates. Employers must decide upon what their mental health policy is, and implement it properly. This is not just about paying lip service to new trends, there’s a clear business case for it, namely the retention of staff and ensuring good productivity rates.
Are employers just engaging in rhetoric?[article id=”130401″ title=”How to become an inclusive employer”] This is an important question to answer. Are businesses actually putting their policies into practice? And do employees really feel any benefit? – According to the research, whilst 60% of board members and senior managers say their organisation supports people with mental health issues, only half of employees would discuss a mental health problem with their line manager.
What employers can doEmployers should look to the tech tools at their disposal. For example, modern mental health apps can be useful by helping users to navigate their own issues, (if they want to do so privately) including mindfulness and meditation. Where possible, employers should also integrate counselling services whether officially (experts) or unofficially (make it a role priority for line managers for their staff). With line-managers, it must be communicated from the start that part of their role is to listen to, and support, the mental and emotional wellbeing of their staff. This should make them more approachable as unofficial counsellors to other employees. According to statistics compiled by the HIG, British men are 300% more likely to confide in artificial intelligence than humans about their mental wellbeing. Therefore, the use of mental health apps in the workplace could revolutionise the way employees deal with mental health pressures. This is especially important for male employees who are statistically more likely to face mental health issues and pose more of a suicide risk than their female counterparts.
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