Workplace mental health has always been crucial to a healthy workforce, but the pandemic has made these efforts more critical than ever before.
However, a new study from Lighthouse Research & Advisory and LifeSpeak shows that there is a disconnect between employers and employees when it comes to how valuable mental health support is to the workplace.
The 2021 Employer Mental Health Report Card, which surveyed over 1,000 employers and 1,000 employees, asked respondents to rank their company’s mental health policies on a scale of 1 to 10.
Notably, 4.4 was the average score employees gave when rating their employer’s mental health support. On the other hand, employers gave their mental health policies an average score of 7.6.
“In the 10 years I’ve been doing research on employer priorities, this is the first time I’ve seen this big of a gap between the reality that workers and employers perceive,” said Ben Eubanks, chief research officer at Lighthouse Research & Advisory and primary author of the study.
It’s clear that employer’s efforts are not doing enough to reach the intended audience, meaning leaders need to enact better methods to support the mental health of workers.
This can be done through a well-defined mental health program.
Typically, issues with mental health are passed onto to HR departments, despite these workers not being trained mental health experts.
Providing workers with access to actual experts allows them to become more educated on mental health, while helping them gain the tools needed.
Additionally, building a culture that prioritizes mental health will require leaders to be more vulnerable.
By being open and transparent about mental health, employers can teach employees that the topic is not taboo and that they will be supported within the workplace.