How to promote employee well-being

While mental and emotional wellbeing has come out of the shadows in recent years, it still has a huge impact on people at home and at work. According to the findings of the 2022 Alight International Workforce and Well-being Mindset Study, only half of American employees report having positive mental and emotional well-being. While that’s an 11-point increase from early 2021 during the height of the pandemic, it’s still not enough. Yet three-quarters report moderate to high stress levels, which have not abated even as the pandemic slowed.

Work is adding to our burdens. We found that more than 70% of employees report specific effects of work-related stress, including the inability to sleep, low morale, and panic attacks. three in 10 they say that their work has a negative impact on their mental health. And about 10% fewer US respondents said they could manage work and personal commitments more effectively in 2022 than in 2021, which can increase stress levels. Therefore, it is not surprising that almost half report having at least one symptom of job burnout.

And the pressures we’re all under don’t seem to be abating with multiple viral epidemics, ongoing financial uncertainty, and worrisome geopolitical events. These top stressors put pressure on employee well-being, making employee support all the more critical.

7 ways to promote employmentyes wellness

Many companies prioritize mental health, but people don’t give employers much credit in return. Less than half of the employees surveyed believe that their employer cares about their well-being and that the burden of getting well or staying well falls on the individual. When it comes to mental health, only 4 in 10 say their employer has actively communicated more about mental and emotional health in the past year or has made changes to the work environment to better support mental and emotional health.

To get meaningful results for your people and your business, have a solid strategy for both the types of support you offer and for promoting and educating them on how to take advantage of it. It is not a one-size-fits-all answer. Instead, employers must think outside the box and find personalized and relevant ways to encourage employees to take advantage of the tools, resources and guidance they need to improve their mental and emotional well-being.

Here are seven recommendations employers can act on to support employee mental health and well-being in real ways, and help themselves in the process.

Go beyond the basics of an EAP

Since we first surveyed in 2018, the number of people who said they or a family member sought counseling or other mental health services has doubled (from 26% to 49%). While employee assistance programs (EAPs) continue to be beneficial, employers should consider supplementing their offerings with benefits such as employee resiliency programs, stress management resources, online mental health and meditation apps, and more.

Give the gift of time

Time can be a huge stressor and roadblock to better mental health. A quarter of people admit that they spend at least five hours a month at work dealing with mental health issues. And 42% wish their employer offered more resources and/or time off for mental health. Some companies are even getting creative by offering wellness hours or time off to help employees carve out time and prioritize activities that are beneficial to mental health.

Offer robust telemedicine resources

Telemedicine really came into its own during the pandemic. But it’s not just for your average medical checkup. Pushing your providers to cover telemedicine for mental health support can be a game changer by giving your employees the flexibility to get the care they need from home. Employers can only hope that the desire for these resources will increase.

Take a stand on stigma and start talking

Only 46% of employees feel they can talk openly at work about emotional health challenges without fear of the consequences. The more we talk about mental health at work, the easier it will be for people to ask for help and the more likely it is to guide them to the resources you offer.

Provide the resources to equip employees to help each other.

This year’s study also showed that only 47% of respondents had a co-worker they could readily turn to for support when stressed or worried, and 50% had spoken to a supervisor about work-related stress. Therefore, employers who equip their employees with the resources and training they need to navigate these situations and provide support will only encourage more employees to take advantage of employer mental wellness resources.

Make investments in HR technology systems and solutions

Find a technology partner that provides a system or solution that can be tailored to the specific needs of each employee and provides a one stop shop for all your benefits. Also, make sure the technology offers mobile access and navigation and personalized information about health benefits so they can learn quickly and access resources relevant to their needs.

Create mental and emotional wellness campaigns

Offering multiple programs may tick the box, but may not have the desired impact if people don’t use them. Employers must develop and run campaigns to improve employee awareness and use of these offers. Also, the value will go up. When asked about the importance of employer-provided mental and emotional health apps, 62% of all respondents said it would be valuable to them. But what if you were to use one of these apps? An astonishing 95% of those employees said it was valuable to them. That’s an ROI that speaks to the power of not just promoting a long list of programs, but actually activating people to try them.

Feeling good about your overall well-being means you can live your best life at work and at home. By providing and promoting programs that help people become more resilient, maintain positive relationships, and manage uncertainty, you are doing your part to highlight what people can do, how to make wellness a reality, and likely increase productivity and participation in the process.

Laine Thomas Conway is Alight’s Thought leader in communication strategy and leading expert on how companies can better leverage communication, total rewards, and other engagement strategies to effectively attract, retain, and inspire their workforce. Responsible for strategic guidance and thought leadership across the HR communication spectrum for both the company’s colleagues and clients, he also leads product development in the communication and total rewards spaces. Laine is also the leading voice for Alight’s Workforce and Wellbeing Mindset® studies that explore facets of employee experience and wellbeing to provide insights into how employers can enable greater productivity, engagement and wellbeing in the workplace. and at home.