It’s estimated that employees struggling with mental health cost the global economy roughly $1 trillion per year in lost productivity. Furthermore, 84% of employees can attribute mental health setbacks directly to their work, and 81% will consider mental health support when making future career choices. These studies show that work can play a major role in employee mental health, but you can ensure this role is a positive force — not a harmful one — by providing impactful mental health benefits.
In this article, we’ll share five perks and benefits you should offer employees, including:
- flexible work schedules
- professional growth opportunities
- employee assistance program (EAP)
- health and wellness benefits
- time off and vacation days
This way, you can build a stronger, healthier, and more productive workforce by providing employees with a healthy place to work. Here’s what to know.
1. Flexible Work Schedules
One of the most effective ways to promote mental health is to allow employees autonomy over when, where, and how they complete their work. Offering employees even a small amount of control over their working hours can significantly reduce stress and contribute to a better work-life balance.
Consider encouraging employees to:
- adhere to a hybrid work schedule
- pick their workday start and end times
- step away from work when personal issues or emergencies arise
You might also consider implementing a shorter workweek, where employees work longer hours for four days with a three-day weekend. This gives them a longer amount of time to rest and recharge.
Whichever options work for your team, a flexible schedule helps employees follow through with personal obligations, pursue hobbies, and allocate time for self-care, which ultimately contributes to improved mental well-being. These measures can reduce turnover and help employees feel more satisfaction in their work since they reduce personal conflict between work and home responsibilities. These mental health benefits also build trust with managers and loyalty to your company.
2. Professional Growth Opportunities
When you provide employees with ample opportunities to grow in their roles, it gives them a stronger sense of purpose and appreciation. Employees who are promoted and given access to professional development perks are more confident in their abilities and eager to contribute to your organization.
It is beneficial to:
- provide training opportunities
- match employees with mentors
- be transparent about career trajectories
- provide regular check-ins and feedback
- offer professional development stipends that can be used toward outside classes, certifications, and industry events
This demonstrates that you appreciate your team and are committed to investing in the personal and professional growth of your workforce.
3. Employee Assistance Program
EAPs help employees with work-related anxiety and other challenges. With an effective EAP, your employees can take advantage of:
- confidential counseling services
- access to mental health professionals
- other mental health resources and support
Comprehensive EAPs help employees access what they need to navigate challenging professional circumstances, and some also help with personal matters. Consider partnering with a mental health hotline service that offers access to 24-hour counseling and support. Also consider on-site mental health support services and stress management and meditation classes so employees can address their mental health concerns in a safe space. These programs show that you care about your employee’s mental health and will do what you can to create a supportive environment.
4. Health and Wellness Benefits
Even when employees receive a comprehensive healthcare package that includes mental health benefits and support, 50% are not able to use that coverage because of other personal barriers. You can empower employees to seek out the help they need by providing:
- childcare options
- education to reduce stigma
It’s helpful to implement a reimbursement program for employee mental health services, such as therapy or counseling sessions. You can also offer discounts or subsidies for wellness activities, such as gym memberships, yoga classes, and mindfulness apps.
Consider promoting a better sense of connectedness with offerings that employees can do together, such as community service programs and other volunteer opportunities. Another popular option is employee resource groups, where a group of coworkers get together to improve the diversity and inclusivity of the workplace. Employees who feel valued and part of a community are more likely to feel included and connected to their coworkers.
5. Time Off and Vacation Days
Encouraging employees to take regular breaks from work and use all their vacation days goes a long way toward promoting mental health. Even short vacations where employees are able to completely detach from work can improve their health and sense of well-being.
When your organization provides employees with plenty of vacation time, personal days, and mental health days, you’re allowing them to rest, recharge, and come back to the office more relaxed and focused. They also help your organization foster a culture of self-care, which reduces stress and prevents burnout.
Improve Your Work Culture with Mental Health Benefits Employees Need
The right mental health benefits will help you foster a healthier, happier team. Continue growing a supportive work environment that promotes employee engagement, well-being, and productivity by starting a free trial with Monster.