In May 2021, the four-time Grand Slam tournament winner, Naomi Osaka, announced on her Instagram account that she had suffered from depression fits since 2018 and took time away from tennis as a result.
She is the first player of Asian descent to have held the top position in singles on the Women’s Tennis Association rankings along with being the first player in Japan — of any gender — to do so.
Behavioral Health Conditions: Real And Pervasive
It is without a doubt that behavioral health conditions are pervasive, real and come with a notable cost. In terms of business, this is quite an addressable sphere, especially if you are in a leadership position in your company.MORE FOR YOU‘We Can Control Our Own Destiny’: John Zimmer Shares Lyft’s Vision For The Company’s Future And $1 Trillion Market OpportunityFour New Microsoft Surface Computers Plus A Folding Phone—And Other Small Business Tech NewsThe LSE Alumni Turning Their University Into A Startup Powerhouse
It becomes essential for leaders to not only tackle these conditions but to identify and categorize these issues before they prevail. If organizations and the leaders within them strive to enable easy access to mental health resources and services, then not only can they improve the organizational culture, but they can also cater to employees’ well-being.
Timely and value-based interventions, if taken appropriately and pro-actively, can result in investments that can reflect in the KPIs of the company in areas like increased employee productivity and better company performance.
The Rise In Demand For Mental Healthcare
There are several ways in which business leaders can help address and support such issues. According to a Deloitte study, only 22% of line managers were trained on the subject of mental health. Basic training should be provided to line managers, and even 49% of managers polled agreed to the need according to the same Deloitte study.
Employees hesitate and tend to not approach anyone when they experience such a decline in mental health capacity, so a capable intervention where employees felt safe confiding in their inner problems would be of great benefit to the company culture and morale.
Data-Based Approach: Quantifying Through Questionnaires
Surveys and quantifiable behavioral and mental health condition criteria can give insights into current underlying conditions in the office space.
This would not only give a data-based approach on the subject but could also provide companies with a compilation of statistics that could then be categorized for benchmarking and comparing across the table in similar environments.
In a Harvard Business Review article by Morra Aarons-Mele, he said, “$4 is returned to the economy for every $1 spent caring for people with mental health issues.” This is remarkable. Given this economic benefit, the risks associated with not investing in employee mental health are paramount, if not catastrophic.
Transparency And Being Open With Everyone
Transparency and enabling an open environment for communication can go a long way. From the moment the employee decides to confide until the moment they see incumbent attention and action being taken, employers and leaders can destigmatize the notion that this topic being vocalized would not be in vain.
Senior management’s personal intervention and commitment should be carried out and seen throughout the hierarchy, and this can also motivate employees to open up. Conducting group sessions is also another option in keeping this topic transparent.
Accountability on the leaders’ part can work wonders when it comes to serious intervention. After initiating data-backed mini-campaigns, organizations and leadership should create an open and transparent culture where they not only talk about illness but also about overcoming such mental health issues.
They can educate employees that no one can truly understand what the other is going through and the seriousness of the topic. Creating objectives and goals can help lead to the fruition of a healthy and supportive mental health culture in the workplace.
Modern Times Require Modern Solutions
Online and digital mediums can be part of the solutions. Innovation in the mental health domain is astronomical, and apps such as Animo that apply natural language processing (NLP ) to emails and social media posts can be used to decrypt, predict and track mental health statuses.
The best part about this is that not only can they work in an on-premises environment, but this is also feasible for hybrid and remote working scenarios, too.
Knowing how to spot mental health problems among employees is the first step to helping them, but merely spotting them is not enough. If you notice these signs in a staff member, you should approach them for an open conversation and offer to help in any way you can. However, be prepared for a hostile reaction as many people have a difficult time even accepting that they need help.
It’s also a good idea to introduce a well-being program in your workplace, which includes appointing counselors to help employees deal with certain problems and arranging activities that promote mental well-being. Encourage your staff to seek professional support if things get too overwhelming.
As an employer, you can only do so much. But even the small steps you take to help your employee can have a big impact on their lives, so don’t give up.
Sustaining Competitive Advantage through Behavioral Coverage
Especially considering the cost-benefit and the potential economic strain of behavioral health disorders, business leaders should take serious action to attract retention to the subject while subtracting attrition.
Only by taking preventive measures and taking predictive steps can healthcare costs be decreased. Small steps for the business can indeed become giant leaps for the whole organization and, in turn, all of society.