Stall the Great Resignation by supporting employees’ mental health
It’s happening everywhere. In large numbers, employees are leaving their jobs or preparing to leave. Dubbed the Great Resignation, one of its many causes is the overwhelming stress, and burnout employees face after working through the past two years. Experts increasingly recognise that psychological wellbeing is an essential aspect of employee health and productivity. Businesses, in turn, are being urged to take a more significant role in preventing employee burnout, with requests for initiatives such as mental health days.
Mental health issues are not new, but they often get put on the back burner while individuals deal with matters that appear more pressing. In the last couple of years, there’s been better awareness and understanding of the importance of mental health. The taboo surrounding the subject is being chipped away. More people are becoming more in tune with their needs and learning to dedicate time to themselves. More people are starting to expect and demand that same level of concern and understanding from their employers.
Reasons why employees are leaving
A study by HR software company Personio in the UK and Ireland found that 38% of employees are looking to change roles within the next six to 12 months or once the economy has strengthened. Nearly half (45%) of HR decision-makers are worried that staff will leave once the job market improves, and 43% of them said the pandemic prompted an increase in staff turnover. However, there is a disconnect between the employees and employers on why people want to quit.
The employers named pay freezes or cuts (28%), worsening work/life balance (20%), and reduction in benefits/being furloughed (18%) as the top factors for resignation. While the first two are also the main reasons for employees, toxic workplace culture is another central pain point at 21%. This was severely underestimated by the employers putting it at the bottom of their list. Only 12% of employers considered this a reason for resignation.
A recent study conducted by LifeSpeak partner Lime Global found 40% of employees in the UK would look for a new job if their employer didn’t support their mental wellbeing, and 81% want their employer to support mental wellbeing. The survey, commissioned by the UK healthcare insurance top-up provider, also revealed 69% of employees said that barriers exist to getting support for mental health, and 36% believed that their employer doesn’t provide enough support for their mental health.
“For almost everyone, the pandemic put an acute focus on… how has this company I’ve given a lot to handle me or my health or happiness during this time?” Ross Seychell, chief people officer at Personio, told the BBC recently. “I’m hearing it a lot: ‘I’m going to go somewhere I’m valued.”
The Great Resignation and its impact on companies
This sentiment is mirrored in the so-called “Great Resignation”. In a recent study by Mind Share Partners, emotionally draining work was the most common workplace factor to hurt employees’ mental health this past year, and it is also the one factor reported to have worsened over the last two years. Employers’ support for mental wellbeing plays an integral part in employees choosing to stay with a company.
The report revealed that those who felt supported by their employers regarding their mental health were 2.7 times more likely to be satisfied with their job and 2.5 times more likely to stay at the company for two years or longer than those who didn’t feel supported. It also found that 91% of jobseekers believed that a prospective company’s culture should support mental health.
Treating employees better isn’t just good for people; it is good for the bottom line, too: the cost of a potential talent exodus in the next 12 months to the UK and Irish economies is £16.958 billion, according to the Personio study. Overall productivity losses are estimated to have cost businesses £8.176 billion in the past 12 months, with an average drop in economic output of £3,465 per employee.
While companies are constantly trying to innovate and improve, they often fail to recognize the impact of their people on their results. The market is saturated with products designed to make lives easier, faster, and more convenient, but the human factor is sometimes left out of the equation. One highly effective way to address the unique needs of individuals in an organisation is by providing them with mental health support, education, and training and reducing the stigma surrounding mental health issues. Employers will see increased productivity and retention by creating environments in which employees are comfortable seeking assistance with mental health challenges and have access to the resources they need to do so conveniently and confidentially. Organisations can easily do this by working together with leading mental health and total wellbeing education platforms such as LifeSpeak, which provides a fast to implement and non-intimidating solution for employees seeking assistance
Founded 17 years ago, LifeSpeak provides access to thousands of micro-learning videos and other digital content led by more than 300 experts on a wide range of mental health concerns, including anxiety, depression, loneliness, and parenting. Employees, clients, and their families can watch videos, read blogs, listen to audio recordings, download tip sheets, and participate in monthly Ask the Expert web chats—anytime and anywhere. LifeSpeak is available as a solution for mid to enterprise-sized organizations to license directly or via an embedded partnership model. The platform is 100% private, so any journey of mental health improvement remains fully secure.
LifeSpeak connects mental and physical health
According to a recent study published in BMC Medicine, poor physical fitness may be associated with a greater likelihood of depression and anxiety over time. Conversely, another study showed strenuous exercise could significantly reduce symptoms in those living with anxiety. A further study found people who exercise regularly are less likely to be depressed. The study even suggested exercise could be used as a treatment for depression. LifeSpeak has long recognized the connection between physical and mental health and recently acquired LIFT session to extend its digital fitness and wellness offerings.
LIFT offers virtual personal and group training sessions. Employees can join various on-demand and live fitness sessions such as cardio, yoga, prenatal exercise, and Pilates. LIFT also uses personalised recommendations, access to experts, community-based challenges, and social engagement with like-minded people to help employees achieve a healthy body and mind in fun and engaging ways.
LifeSpeak clients can easily add LIFT session to their wellbeing offering.
LifeSpeak prioritizes wellness
LifeSpeak is available anywhere in the world. The platform supports more than 12 languages, including English, French, Spanish, German, and Arabic, and is easily deployed and integrated with other services.
The platform has a high usage rate of 70% and a client renewal rate of 95%. It counts Hewlett Packard Enterprise, CIBC, 1to1help.net, Wellteq, and Lime Global among its clientele and partners. It is also expanding to support people outside traditional workplace environments, such as university students, community health providers, and practitioners.
And when it comes to mental health care, the company practises what it preaches.
“LifeSpeak was built to take care of people and supporting employee wellness is at the heart of everything we do – not just for our rapidly growing list of clients around the globe, but for our team as well,” said Michael Held, CEO, and founder of LifeSpeak, when the company was named among the 2021 List of Best Workplaces in Canada. It won awards in the Best Overall Workplace, Mental Wellness, and Diversity & Inclusion categories.
As mental health becomes a priority in retaining and attracting talent, employers can rise to higher wellbeing expectations—and separate themselves from the competition in the process. Find out more about how to help your employees, clients, and their families live healthier, happier, more productive lives with LifeSpeak.
1 February 2023
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