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Improve Your Mental Health Benefits For Employees

Posted by Wendy McCormick on Jun 30, 2022 10:00:00 AM

Mental wellness has become increasingly more important over the past few years, especially in the workplace. It’s mental health awareness month, and employees are increasing transparency on their mental wellness benefits. Years ago, mental health conditions were seen as a weakness in the workplace, but today they are met with compassion, understanding, and resources. Successful companies are implementing robust health and wellness programs to keep their employees happy and healthy. In an employee-centric market driven by a progressive society, doing the bare minimum for employees won't cut it.

More and more people are job-hopping to get better benefits. They are looking for compassion and an environment that won’t lead to burnout. So, if your company is looking to improve your benefits program to include more resources for mental wellness, consider the following benefits additions.

Paid Time Off

Two weeks is no longer the standard for paid time off. It doesn't allow for true rest over the course of the year, and can actually lead to more stress as employees feel pressure to cram all their plans into a short time frame. A lot of companies shy away from too much vacation time over the fear of decreasing productivity. This has been proven false through surveys time and time again. In fact, research has shown that employees who are able to take vacations and rest days throughout the year are more productive, successful, and energized in their roles. A recent study by the World Health Organization actually found that working more than 40 hours per week has a higher risk of stroke and early death.

To keep up with the demand for time off, companies are implementing better paid time off programs, with options like unlimited time off, flex hours, or mandatory leave. Many tech companies and start-ups are shutting down for a week once or twice throughout the year to give a mandatory vacation to their employees. Others provide unlimited PTO, with a 20-day minimum to ensure there is no guilt associated with taking the time. No matter how your company decides to improve your time off program, there is no denying it will improve your overall mental wellness benefits program. The most important consideration is to encourage your employees to use this time, and not have an environment that puts shame on those who take their vacation. Overworked employees lead to burnout, and burnout hurts productivity. Build a benefits program that encourages much-needed rest and revitalization.

Mental Wellness App Subscriptions

You’ve probably heard of apps like Calm, Headspace, and Talkspace, but did you know they offer corporate partnerships? These apps have been commended for their accessible mental health resources and easy-to-navigate platforms. They offer meditations, talk therapy, medical assistance, and anxiety calming techniques. In our busy lives, we don’t always have the time to set aside a whole hour for a relaxation class or therapy appointment. Other times, we experience negative emotions at inconvenient times. These apps can be used anytime, anywhere, and offer quick but effective solutions. Running workshops and events to showcase how these apps can benefit your employees can encourage them to take advantage of them, and start seeing progress in their wellness.

Including these subscriptions in your benefits package can ensure your employees have access to the resources they need, no matter when they need them. They are a relatively small investment that can provide a huge benefit to employee wellbeing and productivity. Many of these apps claim to even improve employee absences and extended time off due to mental health concerns. So while the intention of these benefits should be regarding the employee, they could have a positive effect on the employer as well.

Work From Home Options

Most of us worked from home when a worldwide pandemic kept us from going into the office. Now, there is a split response between companies wanting to keep work-from-home policies and companies wanting employees back in the office. It may seem that working in the office would be better for the company, but research is proving this to be false. Work from home has been shown to increase company productivity, and reduce “wasted time” such as commuting, chatting with co-workers, and going out to get lunch. It’s also been shown to improve employees' mental wellness. Employees can get more sleep, achieve more before work hours, manage family commitments, and have better concentration while working.

Now, there are instances when going to the office can be a better option. If there is a big team project or changes to any processes, discussing in person can be very beneficial. That’s why offering a flexible work-from-home policy is the best option for employee wellness. Employees can feel welcome to stay at home when it suits their needs but have the option to return to the office and stay connected to their team. In today’s busy and changing lifestyle, flexibility is the most important benefit you can offer your employees.

Benefits Solutions with ECBM

ECBM provides expert benefits consultation and administration to ensure your business is maintaining successful solutions for your employees. We understand that a benefits program is part of a business's overall financial health, and we want to ensure yours is providing solutions to both your employees and your business. Whether you need new solutions for your benefits program or a dedicated administration program, ECBM is here to help. Visit our website for more information, or call us to speak to an agent!

Topics: Employee Benefits