By Julie Goh
As HR’s role expands in the modern world, many HR practitioners have to take on tasks that might seem like it is beyond their job scope. One such task is being involved in employees’ mental health care. However, when you look at it on a deeper level, it has everything to do with HR’s role and responsibility. Let’s look at why HR should be involved in employees' mental health:
- Employee Well-being: Mental health significantly impacts an employee's overall well-being. HR's involvement ensures that employees are supported, valued, and cared for in the workplace, contributing to their overall happiness and job satisfaction.
- Productivity and Performance: Mental health directly affects an employee's productivity and performance. By addressing mental health concerns and providing support, HR can help employees stay focused, engaged, and perform at their best.
- Retention and Employee Loyalty: Employees are more likely to stay with a company that demonstrates genuine concern for their well-being. HR's involvement in mental health initiatives fosters loyalty and reduces turnover, saving the company time and resources on recruitment and training.
- Reducing Absenteeism: Addressing mental health concerns early can help prevent prolonged absences due to stress, anxiety, or other mental health issues, leading to reduced absenteeism, medical leave and improved overall attendance.
- Creating a Supportive Culture: HR's involvement in mental health initiatives helps establish a supportive and compassionate work culture. This encourages open communication, reduces stigma around mental health, and fosters an environment where employees feel comfortable seeking help when needed.
- Addressing Workplace Stressors: HR can identify workplace stressors and implement strategies to reduce them, creating a healthier work environment and minimising the negative impact on employees' mental health.
- Enhancing Company Reputation: Companies that prioritise employee mental health are often seen as progressive, caring, and responsible employers. This positive reputation can attract top talent and enhance the company's image in the industry. In other words, it plays a part in employer branding.
- Early Intervention: HR's involvement in mental health allows for early identification of potential issues. By recognising signs of distress or burnout, HR can provide timely support and resources to prevent more severe problems.
- Improved Employee Relationships: Addressing mental health concerns fosters trust and stronger relationships between employees and HR. When employees feel supported, they are more likely to turn to HR for assistance, guidance, and conflict resolution.
- Workplace Safety: Mental health issues can impact workplace safety, especially in high-risk industries. HR's involvement in mental health initiatives ensures that employees are mentally fit to perform their duties safely and responsibly.
- Positive Work Environment: A focus on mental health creates a positive work environment where employees feel cared for and valued. This positivity can lead to higher morale and camaraderie among team members.
- Employee Engagement: Employees who feel their mental health is supported are more engaged with their work and are willing to go the extra mile for the company.
- Skill Development: HR can offer training and workshops on stress management, resilience, and mental health awareness, empowering employees with essential skills to navigate challenges both at work and in their personal lives.
- Healthcare Cost Savings: By addressing mental health proactively, HR can potentially reduce healthcare costs related to stress-related illnesses and mental health conditions.
- Workplace Performance: A mentally healthy workforce is better equipped to handle challenges and adapt to change, ultimately contributing to the company’s performance and competitiveness.
- Ethical Responsibility: HR's involvement in mental health reflects the company’s ethical responsibility to care for the well-being of its employees beyond just their job roles.
- Promoting Work-Life Balance: By recognising and addressing mental health concerns, HR reinforces the importance of work-life balance, contributing to a healthier and more sustainable work culture.
As you can see, everything in this list is somehow related to what HR is responsible for in a company.