The Business Case for Investing in Workplace Mental Health
Your bottom line is affected by your mental health, and the mental health of your staff, in many ways:
Negative Impacts of Compromised Psychological Health
Psychological ill-health leads to both increased absenteeism, and decreased performance while at work. A study found that depression caused a greater decline in performance than most common physical disorders (e.g., asthma, migraine, arthritis).
Since performing most jobs safely requires good concentration and social skills, psychological ill-health contributes to costly accidents and injuries.
Poor Workplace Morale
If one member of a team is struggling, the whole team is compromised. Changes in a co-worker’s behaviour or performance, due to a mental health issue, may be incorrectly perceived as intentional – resulting in tense relationships and decreased morale. This negative environment, in turn, contributes to absenteeism and turnover.
Increased Benefit Costs
If your company provides health benefits, be aware that mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety are rapidly becoming a main cause of disability, and contribute to rising premiums.
Potential Legal Expenses
The provision of a psychologically-safe workplace is a legal duty (see the Legal Case for details). If a mental injury occurs in your workplace, either directly or by association, you may face expensive legal procedures and penalties.
Positive Impacts of a Psychologically Healthy Workforce
Improved Recruitment and Retention
Employees who care for their staff, and go the extra mile to create a “great place to work”, attract and keep the best workers. This reduces costs associated with hiring and training new people.
Increased Employee Engagement
When staff are enthusiastic about their workplace, they are more likely to do a quality job, and willing to assist clients, customers and colleagues.
Ready for a Challenge
Mentally-resilient employees are more capable of responding to unexpected demands, be they managing market challenges or taking advantage of opportunities.
Doing nothing is costly.
The psychological health of your staff won’t improve without action. But investing in workplace mental health can reap rewards. Research done by PwC shows an average 230% return on every dollar invested in creating a mentally healthy workplace.