The New Shape of Work interview series addresses the challenges and uncertainty in the current business environment with a focus on how to transition to a more agile workforce for the future.
Employees have been bruised by the events of the last two years and many are feeling a form of despair, anxiety and a lost sense of belonging. While the road ahead still appears rocky, employers can provide mental health options to help cultivate a feeling of belonging, encourage psychological safety, and provide tools and training to help struggling employees find the support they need.
In this episode, Wolfgang Seidl, leader of workplace Health consulting in the UK and Europe for Mercer Marsh Benefits, shares how employers can address mental health challenges through benefits and culture to encourage employees to bring their best self to work.
"In our People Risk report we found that just two in five businesses believe that they have effective systems, environments and communications in place to support a culture of well-being. So the first step is to reinforce what is already available to employees simply through EAPs, Employee Assistance Programs, the insured benefits and the uninsured benefits that are out there."
"Well thought out mental health benefits have a significant return on investment. For instance, we found with a global client, that aligning the providers in their mental health benefits, in the mental health pathway where all providers know about each other and have sound referral protocols in place, outcomes can be very significant."
"Aligning the purpose of individuals with the overarching purpose of the organization is a more complex and caring process I would say than just decreeing a simple purpose. It needs psychological safety. A culture in which people trust their voice is being heard, and where the team is open to interpersonal risk taking and learning from mistakes rather than brushing them under the carpet. That kind of culture leads to significant productivity gains as well."
"We need something that I call a cycle of renewal, which is a concept comprised of several pillars aimed at helping businesses support employees through difficult times. And it reinforces the idea that employee well-being can increase engagement, resilience, and performance, and make employees feel like they belong by focusing more deeply on what drives and supports them."