The business benefits of better mental wellbeing
Better mental wellbeing is also good for business. Employees who are mentally well and feel looked after are more productive than those who are left to struggle on alone.
Having a reputation for supporting your workforce can also help you become an employer of choice and reduce your employee churn rate, resulting in significant bottom-line savings over the long term.
Black Dog Institute’s training programs which teach managers how to facilitate employees’ return to work after taking mental health leave deliver a $10 return on each dollar spent.
“Making reasonable adjustments to enable affected employees to resume their duties and check up on them – for example through something as simple as a phone call while they’re away – to demonstrate care and support, can be really effective,” Hellem-Williams says.
“It’s difficult to measure all the positive outcomes associated with showing humanity and treating people well.”
Educating your leaders
Educating your leadership team can ensure your organisation is ready to step in when employees are struggling. Individuals with people management responsibilities are well placed to notice behavioural changes and guide employees to support mechanisms.
“Your line managers have the most influence and reach and touch the most people,” Hellem-Williams says. “They know employees well enough to see the signs and symptoms that something’s not right and they have the power to support people through adjustments. That’s why it’s important they know the support programs and mechanisms that are available, inside and out.”
And getting leaders up to speed need not be a major financial impost. Black Dog Institute’s Managing for Team Wellbeing workshops offer five hours of training for a group of up to 20 managers, for $3,450. If your business is in New South Wales Safe Work NSW will cover the cost for businesses in that state, with fewer than 200 employees until March 2021.
Meanwhile, HeadsUp provides a wealth of free resources to help business owners promote better mental health in the workplace.
Individuals looking to boost their resilience and wellbeing can educate themselves via Black Dog’s HeadGear app, which offers a free, 30-day mental fitness challenge.
Supporting your employees’ mental wellbeing isn’t only good for them, it’s good for business too. Investing time and money on measures to support them through life’s challenging periods may be one of the best investments you can make.