Making the Business Case for Employee Mental Health and Well-being

Research shows that as some businesses look to the potential return to work, employers who prioritize wellbeing initiatives can support their employees while seeing an increase in business performance.

May is mental health month, a time for people around the world to check in and take stock of how we are all feeling. Unprecedented events over the past year have increased the need for mental health and well-being initiatives like never before, including in the workplace where employees are dealing with fatigue and burnout. Research shows that as some businesses look to the potential return to work, employers who prioritize well-being initiatives can support their employees while seeing an increase in business performance.

Employees hesitant to return to the on-site workplace

Remote work may be here to stay, but some organizations are taking steps to safely return to the on-site workplace. Organizations could see a return to work in the form of a hybrid model, allowing for both remote work and work at the on-site location. However, according to survey results from 4,553 full-time employees representing France, Germany, United Kingdom, Australia and the United States, employees are anxious about the transition to the on-site workplace.

Of the respondents who shifted to the remote environment after previously working onsite, all indicated that they have some anxiety about the potential return to work, with 77% citing potential COVID exposure as their main source of anxiety or hesitation. Looking at the year ahead, 82% of respondents say their main source of stress is maintaining the health and safety of themselves and their family. Whether employees are completely remote, hybrid, or making the transition back to the onsite workspace, it is imperative for employers to prioritize health and wellbeing along the way.

Making the business case for employee wellbeing.

Over the past year, the importance of putting mental health and wellbeing at the forefront of business strategy has been paramount to help employees manage unprecedented stress, anxiety, and burnout. According to a survey of 1,648 companies in 41 countries and 25 languages by U.K.-based Aon, there is a “direct link” between employee wellbeing and business results. The Global Wellbeing Report found that companies that takes strides to increase employee wellbeing performance by 3% see a 1% increase in customer satisfaction and retention.

Similarly, companies that improve employee wellbeing performance by 3.5% see a 1% increase in employee satisfaction and customer acquisition. And companies that improve employee wellbeing performance by 4% see a 1% increase in company profit and a 1% decrease in employee turnover. According to another survey, prioritizing mental health can even be key to attracting up and coming Gen Z talent, setting up their potential success in the workplace.

Building wellness into the company culture

While there’s a business case to be made for increasing employee wellness, many businesses lack the strategy. According to the Aon survey, 82% of companies surveyed said employee wellbeing is important, but only 55% have a strategy in place and just 24% fully integrate wellbeing into their business and talent strategy. Doing this often starts with the overall company culture, which is “the number one driver in developing a business case for wellbeing” according to Aon. While it may take time to build wellness into the overall company culture, doing so has never been more important to business and employee success.

Want to Learn More?

In this month’s issue of Mobility magazine, “EQ at Risk” by Robert Bittner looks at how managing employee emotional health is more critical than ever as experts forecast a global mental health crisis post-COVID, while “Rethinking Talent Management” by Robyn Passante identifies how organizations will play a key role in maintaining health and wellness initiatives going forward. To learn more about mental health in the workplace, subscribe and read Mobility today!

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