Caring for the mental endurance of employees is not just a matter of COVID-19 era

The coronavirus has shaken the mental well-being of many employees. The fear of getting sick, the strict quarantines and isolation from family and friends weigh on people’s minds all over the world. For this reason, companies have now started taking various measures towards improving personnel well-being.
Helén Hägglund
Helén Hägglund 
Senior Advisor, HR & Employee Benefits

But what if caring for the mental well-being and good spirits of employees extended beyond the COVID-19 times? At least one thing is certain: it is easier to cope when your mind is healthy instead of being exhausted and depressed.

There are measures and approaches that have been proven good and effective for preventive mental health strengthening. Those employers who incorporate supporting the mental well-being of employees in their wage and personnel benefit strategy will be the ones to succeed in the future.

Mental health is becoming increasingly central to employee work ability, especially in sectors where the workload is mental and not physical. In Finland well-being at work has long been synonymous with ergonomic working posture and exercise breaks. But what to do when exercise breaks and sport and culture vouchers are no longer effective?

A well-planned approach helps both the employees and the employer

In addition to caring for bodily illnesses and ailments, operators in the occupational health sector now also have resources to care for mental health. It is nowadays possible to develop approaches where means to support good mental well-being are not only taught to the employees themselves, but also to the organisation’s management.

In Finland pension insurance providers of companies also offer supportive measures to help improve personnel well-being.

It is possible to detect early signs indicating weakened mental well-being through well-planned occupational health service and co-operation between the company and pension insurance providers. When worry for the mental health of an employee is raised, there is already an approach in place and the mental health experts can provide low-threshold immediate support.

Caring for mental health does not always mean years of therapy

Mood coaches, psychologists, psychiatrists and psychotherapists are just some of the occupational health service experts used nowadays. Not every situation requires lengthy therapy, as early intervention can greatly help improve well-being with less effort. Anticipation plays a key role in this line of work.

Worry for employee mental health is in no way simply developing the employer brand or employee experience. Increased exhaustion and depression symptoms significantly reduce working efficiency long before the employee ends up on sick-leave or even permanently loses their work ability.

Caring for mental well-being is not only genuine care for your employees, but also economic risk management to ensure operational continuity. When the monetary value of the lost work input is assessed, mental health problems cost up to EUR 2.5 billion in Finland. Investing in employee well-being will pay dividends in the long run.

Is everything okay at your workplace?

One could even make the bold claim that the pandemic has brought something good with it. It is wonderful that an ever increasing number of employers have realised the value of caring for the mental well-being of their employees.

The pandemic is something that should challenge us to question our thoughts on how we could improve our well-being in the future and what is most important in life.

If you have recognised a need to improve approaches related to mental well-being or plan long-term and comprehensive solutions for your workplace, we are happy to help you! We will compare the available services for you both in pricing and quality and help you make better use of your pension insurance provider’s services.

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