By Phillipa Wilson, Founder and MD of Premium Health
In a world of constant workplace innovation, it is getting harder and harder to attract and retain the right employees. Flexible working policies, state-of-the-art facilities and ground-breaking technological offerings are all reshaping the definition of the “employer of choice.” But one drawcard remains relatively unaddressed: mental health in the workplace.
It does not matter how leading the technology is or how progressive the ideas are – if a working environment is experiencing fatigue, low resilience and high stress, there is little chance that staff will want to stick it out. In fact, 90% of Australians believe that workplace wellbeing is important, while only 5 in 10 feel that their company is actually mentally healthy.
And further stats show that mental health issues are amongst the world’s most prevalent health concerns. It is too late to be ignoring the importance of employee support in this regard. So, what can be done?
The hordes have spoken
In Australia alone, three quarters of employees believe companies should have mental health policies in place. In fact, even government regulations have turned their attention to wellbeing as a legality. Way back in 2004, the Victorian OHS Act officially redefined ‘health’ to include psychological wellbeing, encouraging businesses across the country to get on board.
It is not just about getting the best employees in through the doors. Anyone looking to hire new staff, or keep existing ones happy, will find that the company will benefit in myriad ways from an investment in better mental health strategies.
In fact, better mental resilience has been proven to improve employee engagement, reduce mental illness triggers and even increase overall performance. PWC recently cited that for every $1 invested in workplace health and wellbeing, some Australian industries have received up to $15 in return. Done well, mental health initiatives can turn a company around. So how?
Embed for good cred
It is not enough to simply add “good workplace wellness” to a list of vague business attributes to tick the corporate responsibility box – leaders need to incorporate better workplace wellbeing into the very fabric of their businesses.
Currently, only 56% of the Australian workforce believe their leadership values or prioritises mental health. If companies want to win the war for talent, then opening lines to conversation, creating clear policies and investing in mental health training is where that the core of a company’s efforts should lie to keep their employees healthy.
Everyone is doing what?
Even business leader Bill Gates agrees that “the competition to hire the best will increase in the years ahead.” So, in order to stay ahead of the curve and build better teams, implementing a workplace policy for mental health should be a priority for business leaders across the country. Without good workplace wellbeing as a core part of your strategy, potential employees are sure to turn elsewhere.
Premium Health offers consultancy in policy development, mental health training including mental health awareness and effective conversations and Mental Health First Aid at your workplace and public venues across Australia.
Empower your potential employees by registering your interest in our consultancy and training services today, or find out more about why you should be investing in mental health training for your business.