- Effective HR leaders and teams proactively create a company culture that supports mental well-being, according to Paycor. The human capital management company's Jan. 5 report found that employers may need to explore resources for mental health and self-care.
- The majority (86%) of business leaders surveyed said they were concerned about mental health in the workplace. However, almost half of respondents (45%) said they were uncertain of what benefits they could offer that might help, according to the report. Paycor recommended employers create employee resource groups (ERGs) dedicated to mental health. This can offer a safe space to share experiences, and the resource sends the message to employees that "it's okay to talk about sensitive issues," according to the report.
- Paycor also recommended that HR professionals create a culture of self-care through empathetic leadership; engaging employees; a mental health stigma-free work environment; and leveraging benefits to support employees.
Almost 1 in 5 U.S. adults has a mental illness — 51.5 million in 2019, according to the National Institute of Mental Health; and the workplace can have both positive and negative effects on an employee's mental health, William Kassler, chief medical officer of government health and human services at IBM Watson Health, told HR Dive in a previous interview.
A May report by the Society for Human Resource Management examined the correlation between the coronavirus pandemic and mental health. About two-thirds of workers said they felt depressive symptoms sometimes, and 22-35% reported they faced these symptoms often. At the start of the school year, many employers' mental health concerns for employees amid the pandemic were heightened, according to a Unum report released in September. The employee benefits provider found the majority (85%) of employers surveyed expressed concerns about employees' mental health.
ERGs, employee-led groups formed around common backgrounds, can be an effective way to assist employees, according to Paycor. Amid the pandemic, companies like ADP have leaned on ERGs to support inclusion. However, benefits may be important as well. Organizations with a good mix of benefits and effective mental health support will be better able to manage and recover from the impact of the pandemic, experts said during the 2020 Disability Management Employer Coalition Virtual Annual Conference. The new normal for employee benefits is embracing a model of holistic well-being, panelists said.