By Debra Spamer, Company Nurse powered by Lintelio chief growth officer
The trauma and disruption caused by the pandemic has pushed concerns for mental health in the workplace to the forefront of organizations’ priorities. No longer are discussions of mental health in the workplace taboo. Instead, they are expected – especially from employees who are now holding their employers responsible for addressing the mental health needs of their organization.
By addressing and supporting the mental health of their employees, employers are not only doing the right thing for their team but are also helping to manage their organization’s risk. Here’s how.
The Impact on Employees’ Mental Health
We have seen the impact that the pandemic and its re first-hand in our nurse triage contact center for workplace injuries.
From 2020 to 2021, we experienced a 17% increase in workplace stress-related calls and reports. And those numbers continue to rise. Just three quarters into 2022, we have already received 88% of the number of stress-related calls that we had in 2021. As such, we expect another 17% jump in these calls from 2021 to 2022.
Typically, injured workers reporting stress-related events need someone to listen and understand what they are going through. Coping mechanisms that have worked in the past are not working as well in today’s landscape, meaning organizations need to implement additional strategies.
Why You Should Support Your Employees’ Mental Health
When you provide your employees with resources and support for their mental health, you are showing your employees you care, which in turn, creates a culture of trust and appreciation. In addition, these resources and the benefits they provide can help your organization manage its risk of turnover, absenteeism, lack of productivity, workplace injuries, and workers’ comp claims.
Mercer reports that 44% of employees are less likely to leave employers who provide support for their well-being during the pandemic. Investing in your employees’ mental health means investing in your organization’s retention.
Additionally, supporting your employees’ mental health and wellbeing allows them to be their best, most productive selves in the workplace. It’s no secret that happy employees are more productive employees. According to Oxford Business School, they are 13% more productive. And with better focus and productivity, you can also expect lower rates of accidents and, as such, claims.
How You Can Support Your Employees
There are several ways you can support your employees’ mental health and wellbeing. First off, ensure you address the needs of employees who are already reaching out for help, like the employees placing work-related stress calls to our injury contact center. It’s important to have a process for handling stress calls, especially as they become more prevalent. When workers report their stress-related events or symptoms to a nurse, it is imperative that the workers feel their experiences and symptoms are being taken seriously.
With our contact center, your organization doesn’t need to worry about implementing its own process. Instead, you simply need to provide our number or link to our digital injury reporting solution, Lintelio, and your employees are just a few clicks away from initiating the reporting process. Our nurses provide both a compassionate ear and steps for how to care for themselves until they are seen by a medical professional.
Historically, it was expected that employees “handle” their bad days on their own, but that is no longer the norm. Providing reliable resources that are available quickly and at any time of day or night — whether that is a nurse triage line or quick access to a digital employee mental health program — is essential.
At Company Nurse powered by Lintelio, we provide seamless access to the Employee Assistance Program, LifeWorks, right from the Lintelio Digital Solution. With access to LifeWorks, our clients’ employees and our own team members and their families have 24/7/365 access to support for mental, financial, physical, and emotional wellbeing.
To ensure your employees have options and access to the care they need, it is important to utilize a layered approach and provide additional programs that can address your employees’ specific needs. For example, we partner with WEconnect, the mobile app that supports folks in making healthy lifestyle changes, including help with mental health and substance misuse.
Tools like WEconnect are vital in protecting not only your employees, but your organization. This is because substance misuse in the workplace is an expensive problem. In fact, WEconnect reports that over 20 million individuals in the US experience substance use disorder (SUD) alone, from every walk of life, while one in five are experiencing behavioral health issues such as anxiety and depression. As these issues increase across the US, so do the workplace expenses. Affected employees are five times more likely to file a workers’ comp claim, two times more likely to request time off, and three times more likely to injure themselves in the workplace.
When employees are aware of and understand how to use digital, third-party resources in advance of a crisis, they are more likely to use these resources — especially when employees do not want to share their mental health needs with their human resources team or when they need assistance outside of normal working hours.
With Company Nurse powered by Lintelio, you can provide your employees tools to support their mental health and, in turn, manage your organization’s risk.
Lintelio simplifies HR, admin, and risk processes by providing employees with increased employee satisfaction and retention; reducing employer risk and claim costs; and improving the overall health and wellness of the workforce. Email email@example.com to learn more!