Around 450 million people worldwide experience mental health problems and this includes a large percentage of the global workforce.
Addressing mental health is not only the right thing for businesses to do, but it makes economic sense. Mental health problems are costing the economy millions in absenteeism, turnover, diminished productivity, and medical, legal and insurance costs per year.
The stigma of being open about mental health is lessening, however, and as employees increasingly ask for help, it’s becoming obvious that companies need to do more to make sure they support mental wellbeing at work.
HR and People teams are at the forefront of building great workforce experiences, including support for mental wellbeing. Can technology provide them with the necessary support and tools to do so?
There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution so there’s little point in simply adopting tech and hoping for the best. Although apps are helpful, they also have to be part of a wider health and wellbeing program.
Yet, there are ways for HR and People teams to use apps to enhance mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. We look at four options.
1. Provide mental health counseling
Even though mental health issues are becoming less taboo, 85% of employees feel that there is still a stigma attached to them in the workplace.
Enabling your workforce to receive counseling through easily accessible technology such as an app, that doesn’t compromise their privacy can be life changing.
Spring is an app that does just that. Employees can directly download the technology, fill out a form that assesses their mental health needs directly, and are recommended the treatment they need – whether it’s coaching, counseling, medication, or other support.
They are then immediately connected to a network of certified mental health experts, without having to go through their line manager or another colleague to ask for help.
Imagine that – by providing an avenue to support through technology that helps employees retain their anonymity you could help employees who might be suffering quietly because they don’t know how or are too scared to seek help.
2. Help employees press the pause button
Mindfulness helps to reduce stress, increase focus, and improve relationships, whilst also promoting a positive workplace.
As human beings, we are led by our emotions and often react rather than respond to stressful situations. Mindfulness is the ability to stay calm so that we can deploy tactics in a measured and rational way to deal with stressful situations at work or in life.
Headspace provides an easily accessible and enjoyable way for employees to practice mindfulness. It contains hundreds of easy-to-follow guided meditations, with topics ranging from stress and sleep to prioritization and creativity.
The app also enables HR and People teams to continually monitor data on engagement and understand, based on usage, when there are periods in which their employees experience the most stress, enabling them to adapt their overall work environment to meet their needs.
3. Help employees do their job well
Although stress can be brought on by a myriad of things, often work can be a huge cause. It is therefore important that you prepare, skill and train your employees adequately and ensure that you listen and act on their feedback.
Use data and actionable insights to go beyond simply monitoring employee productivity and engagement and understand why there are fluctuations in performance. Is a newly promoted manager suddenly underperforming or is the productivity of an entire team plummeting?
If individuals within your business are feeling overwhelmed, not only does their work suffer, but their decisions and actions could be detrimental to the rest of the team and ultimately the business.
Make sure you have a robust training and development program for your employees but don’t be afraid to use technology such as a digital coaching app to enhance it.
Emoquo offers practical coaching advice to employees to resolve everyday workplace challenges quickly, easily and in confidence.
Via the app, employees get personalized advice that builds confidence and resilience for everyday challenges. It also records and anonymizes data, so employers have measurable results to understand the most common challenges employees face and to prepare workers better for them.
4. Help employees with their financial wellbeing
72% of adults feel worried about money at least some of the time. This can cause stress, impaired memory and lack of concentration amongst employees, all of which impact their work.
Mint presents a full picture of your financial wellbeing in one place. It enables employees to track and manage all their bills and access an in-depth look at their spending so they can budget for various categories like utilities and transport.
Monitor data trends and patterns in behavior
Technology alone cannot create a healthy and productive workforce, but it can give your company the extra boost it needs to ensure your employees are genuinely supported at work.
Mental health issues could have a devastating effect on your people and in turn your business. Create a workplace environment where people can be themselves and can access the support they need.
If you get it right, you could even prevent stress from escalating into much more serious mental health issues, helping your workers to be happier and healthier – something every true People Company wants.
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