The impact of employee benefits on mental health16 Apr 2018
Almost half of all Australians between the ages of 16-85 will have a mental health disorder at some time in their life, according to the latest numbers released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. As employers, creating a work environment that’s conducive to good mental health is incredibly important.
This widespread prevalence means it’s not something managers in positions of team leadership can sweep under the rug. Here are three benefits you can offer that will support your employee’s mental health.
Provide flexible working options
When employees can (to some degree) choose the hours, the time schedule (start early, finish early, for example) and the location in which they do their work, they gain a sense of ownership and pride over their work that might otherwise not be achieved.
Not only that, but the flexibility can give your employees the time and space they need to manage their mental health in a way that’s best for them.
Create opportunities to exercise
Exercise is a great way to improve mood and relieve depression.
Professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Michael Craig Miller argues that, depending on the person, it can be as effective as antidepressants. He told Harvard Health Online that “in people who are depressed, neuroscientists have noticed that the hippocampus in the brain – the region that helps regulate mood – is smaller. Exercise supports nerve cell growth in the hippocampus, improving nerve cell connections, which helps relieve depression”.
Creating chances for you employees to take part in exercise – whether it be through subsidised gym memberships or group fitness classes at lunchtimes – is a great way to improve interpersonal relationships and support their mental health.
EAPs help them to deal with problems before they get out of hand.
Start an employee assistance program
Personal, financial, emotional or professional problems can all negatively impact an employee’s mental health.
Employee assistance programs (EAPs) are designed to help your workers deal with these. Usually they’re offered at no cost (up to a certain point) and function as a kind of intervention program. Instead of letting the employee’s problems spiral out of control until they can no longer function at work, EAPs help them to deal with problems before they get out of hand.
If you’re after more information or education on managing and dealing with employees, get in touch with a member of the ICML team today.