Learn how to adequately address your employees’ mental health needs and prioritize their well-being.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and for a workforce emerging from the pandemic, the stakes for mental well-being have never been higher for employees. Are you adequately addressing their needs?
At a time when tech companies are wooing their employees back to office with private Lizzo concerts, free food, and terrarium-making classes, many employers are overlooking the one thing employees really want: support. And in today’s world, that support is even more paramount as employees face heightened stress in all areas of their lives.
For Mental Health Awareness Month, consider your employees’ mental health
among Gen Z and Millennial employees, 55% do not feel comfortable talking about mental health at work. Only half say their employer is supportive of their mental health.
Mental health support hasn’t been easily accessible for employees — both in the office and outside of it.
First, the stigma around mental health services is still pervasive. In February, Forbes reported that 47% of Americans believe that seeking therapy is a sign of weakness. Overcoming that stigma requires more people to talk openly and honestly about their experiences with mental health, and that’s still a work in progress. Similarly, a report by Project Healthy Minds found that among Gen Z and Millennial employees, 55% do not feel comfortable talking about mental health at work. Only half say their employer is supportive of their mental health.
Logistically, even if you’re ready to start therapy, you might not be able to — at least, not anytime soon. Therapists and psychologists are booked out for months, preventing them from accepting new patients. According to a recent survey of mental health professionals, 75% reported an increase in wait times. Nearly 1 in 3 practitioners said it could take more than 3 months to secure an appointment, if they had room for new patients at all.
Employers have been slow to prioritize mental well-being
To date, employee assistance plans (EAPs) haven’t risen to the level of demand for mental health support. However, employers are uniquely situated to offer their colleagues mental health support for their personal and professional lives.
While mental well-being is becoming a more popular perk among employers, 40% of employees in a Zenefits survey said their employer has NOT introduced mental health programs since the start of the pandemic. But companies may want to consider implementing them, as 70% of employees have had an increase in stress levels since the pandemic started.
It’s clear that there is a strong need for mental health support for employees. So how can employers initiate an emphasis on mental healthcare in their EAPs and beyond?
The solution? Coaching
Instead of getting bogged down by wide-sweeping, difficult-to-institute programs, employers have a different option: providing their employees with complimentary coaching sessions.
Offering coaching as a workplace benefit gives employers a simple, easy-to-implement way to support their employees. With a personalized coaching platform such as Boon, employees are empowered to work with a professional on creative, engaging solutions to their real-life problems. Coaching offers an accessible, approachable alternative to therapy (no 3 month waitlists here). Moreover, coaching offers a preventative perspective for mental well-being, allowing employees to meet and develop a trusted relationship with a coach before issues become insurmountable.
Coaching offers an accessible, approachable alternative to therapy (no 3 month waitlists here). Moreover, coaching offers a preventative perspective for mental well-being.
You can make a difference in employee well-being
Don’t underestimate the power of coaching in the workplace. You may find that your employees prefer to use coaching platforms more than traditional EAPs. At Boon, our average utilization rate of 30% is 10 times higher than the traditional EAP usage.
For us, resilience is a key metric. We believe that resilience is the best predictor of a life well lived, and research also confirms that higher levels of employee resiliency directly corresponds to improved work performance, higher levels of motivation, job satisfaction, and greater commitment to the employer. So far, 85% of employees who use Boon’s coaching services are seeing an improvement in their resilience score after just 6 sessions. With coaching, you can support clients and help them face any challenges that arise in their lives.
While it’s important to focus on employee well-being, there’s no denying the cost savings that come with an employee benefit like a personalized coaching platform. Through our coaching, we’ve seen a reduction in turnover by more than 50% for employees who engage with Boon’s platform, leading to at least $3 saved for every $1 spent on Boon from employee turnover alone (not to mention saving leadership from unnecessary stress).
Your employees need you more than ever right now. This Mental Health Awareness Month, ask yourself what other ways you can support your employees in their mental well-being. When you’re ready to act, we’ll be here to help.