Behavioral health is not something that has always been acknowledged within human
resources. It mostly consisted of work topics like performance, recruiting, and training. Being
human means we deal with emotional problems from time to time, and HR leaders who accept
that can offer an even more welcoming work environment.
Incorporating mental health awareness at the start up of a business allows for better
preparation in dealing with behavioral health issues. Management consulting firm McKinsey &
Company conducted a health survey, and found that 75% of employers designated a mental
health leader. Forty percent were appointed to executive roles which assessed benefits, ensured
access to treatment, monitored employee wellbeing, and managed behavioral health programs
(Routt). Small businesses should realize that it will need to be included sometime down the line.
Even if you cannot provide a full-time mental health leader, it is important to leverage the
available resources. Virtual options such as telehealth are more accessible and convenient when
dealing with sensitive topics. Listening to your employees individually, and being creative with
coping solutions goes a long way also. Sometimes, simply affirming their job security calms any
worries they may have.
Dedicating some time to acknowledge the physical and behavioral needs of your
employees is not just a decent gesture, but a lucrative one. You can retain top workers by being
understanding of their personal situations and offering guidance when needed. Utilizing feedback
questionnaires and surveys can provide valuable insight on the status of customers and
employees. Normalizing the topic of mental health in the workforce allows for more personable
relationships, increasing the camaraderie among everyone on the team.
Routt, D. (2021, June 16). Council post: Managing mental health in the workforce: A new
role for HR professionals. Forbes.