Why Employee Mental Health Benefits Are Essential  

December 27, 2023 |read icon 4 min read
Two females sitting in chairs discussing why employee mental health benefits are essential.

Employees are stressed about rising costs, healthcare concerns, family worries and job layoffs. These worries increase workers’ distraction, exhaustion and lack of focus.

Many workers feel hopeless and depressed, concerned that they cannot find a solution to their problems. Since stress can impact employee performance and productivity, offering employees mental health benefits is essential. Research shows 92% of workers believe working for an organization that values their emotional and psychological well-being is important.

Review three tips for success with employee mental health benefits:

1. Personalize – Many employers think they know the problems and issues employees face. However, about 55% of workers say their company believes their workplace is more mentally healthy than it is.

Often, most employees have different mental health needs. So, offering only one or two mental well-being programs will not fit their needs. Before setting up mental health programs, discover employees’ concerns and problems. Set up informal coffee breaks to ask questions and listen to employees’ responses. Also, work with your broker and insurance carrier to design a short employee survey to gather information on the mental health benefits and programs they need and value most.

2. Prioritize – Many businesses are tightening budgets due to cost increases and economic uncertainties. Adding new benefits programs may be cost-prohibitive. Instead, review current benefits plans to identify options employees do not use. (Your broker and insurance carrier can help you with a benefits utilization review.) Since 67% of employees want their employer to provide mental health support, consider reallocating benefits budgets to offer the programs and resources workers value.

Some companies are adopting a lifestyle spending account with resources for employees to use as needed to fit personal needs, such as:

  • workout equipment and memberships
  • tuition reimbursement
  • home office renovations
  • digital apps for alternative mental health therapies
  • financial and budgeting assistance

3. Educate – Providing the right mix of benefits is essential to finding and keeping talented workers. Be proactive in explaining mental health resources to employees. Invest in mental health benefits and rewards that employees want. And when designing these programs, include options for workers with children. Research shows that parents often worry about their kids’ emotional and mental well-being during the workday.

    By providing access to resources that help employees’ kids with emotional and mental health needs can ease workers’ minds, so they can focus on their work.

    When introducing new benefits and programs, guide employees through their choices. Point out the pros and cons of each option.

    Also, provide monthly reminders of existing benefits workers can use to address health concerns. Many medical, dental and vision plans offer preventive screening options to help employees and their dependents maintain good health and detect unknown concerns before serious conditions arise.

    Learn more about how the appearance of employees’ smiles can affect their mental health.

    Offering mental health and well-being programs shows employees that their management team cares. When employees are satisfied at work, they tend to be more healthy, happy, engaged and productive.

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