3 Ways to Help Employees Utilize Mental Health Benefits

In an effort to address the growing need of mental health support for workforces across the country, companies have rolled out wellness-specific programs and platforms to better serve their employees. According to a recent survey by virtual mental health platform Ginger, 92 percent of CEOs reported that their companies have dedicated more resources to supporting employees’ mental health as a result of the pandemic.

Providing initiatives such as wellness coaching, mindfulness tools and easily accessible apps, has become increasingly popular across the employee benefits market. For example, Amazon recently launched WorkingWell — a comprehensive program that provides employees with physical and mental activities, wellness exercises and healthy eating tips.

Without the proper means of promotion, however, these initiatives can go unused. “The problem isn’t necessarily a lack of resources. Rather, it’s that companies may not be making it easy for employees to take advantage of available benefits, said Keith Kitani, CEO of GuideSpark.

Below we have highlighted a few tips that employers can apply to ensure employees are aware of the benefit offerings available to them.

#1 — Communication

Within a diverse workforce, different demographics will have a variety of needs. Therefore, implementing mental health resources that are catered towards every individual is essential. “Understanding what your employee base needs can be made possible by open and healthy communication. Too often people focus on a single program and look at employees through a single lens. By taking a holistic approach to the programs you have and to the different needs of your employees is the first step,” says Kitani.

#2 — Connection

After employers have designated what mental health benefit offerings will best suit their workforce, employers should be fostering a connection between their mission and their employees. According to Kitani, the key is not only to diversify approaches, but to keep them consistent. “It has to be thought of as a campaign — how to communicate in a way that shows empathy and that shows connection,” said Kitani.

#3 — Culture

Leadership support and understanding employees’ needs are critical to building a supportive work culture. This cohesiveness is not only an investment in employee well-being, but also in leadership, making managers more empathetic and approachable for their team members. Kitani stated, “things like creating dialogue, getting feedback from employees, and finding ways to support them [is achieved] through training managers better.”

The conversations being had, and the connections being made should culminate towards bettering the culture of a company.

As we continue to face the challenges presented by the pandemic and its aftereffects, building resiliency, and inquiring about available mental health resources should be top of mind for employees. It is also just as crucial for employers to do their best in understanding and accommodating the benefit needs of their employees to keep their organization engaged, safe and healthy.  

Information provided by Employee Benefit News.