With the health crisis of the Covid-19 pandemic came a huge shift in work arrangements for many employees. For some, it involved a transition to “work-from-home” and fewer opportunities for in-person interactions. For others, staffing shortages and safety precautions have amplified day-to-day demands. The fallout from the pandemic’s direct health consequences – along with the mental health impact of the “new normal” – is shaping up to be one of the biggest “human capital” issues in 2022.
As Liz recently blogged on TheCorporateCounsel.net, two of the world’s biggest asset managers are focused on how companies deal with the “Great Resignation.” They want more information on how boards are overseeing corporate culture and fostering a productive space for all employees to feel safe and contribute.
Companies looking to support employee mental health should stay aware that Covid has disproportionately impacted people of color, and care has not been equitably distributed. In addition, among adults with mental illness, a large percentage do not receive mental health care. This report from the American Psychiatric Association says that people from underrepresented groups are even less likely to receive mental health care. In 2015, 48% of white employees received mental health services among adults with any diagnosed mental health condition compared to 31% of Black and Hispanic employees and 22% of Asian Employees.
What This Means
As an employer, it’s vital to ensure you positively contribute to employee well-being through your working practices, resource availability, and leading by example. It’s also essential to assess and address gaps among employee groups. Below are ways you can support mental health inclusivity in the workplace:
- Encourage a healthy work-life balance for all
- Track employee mental health
- Give employees access to more robust support services
- Assess your benefits program to ensure mental health is included
- Acknowledge and address current events and the context of racial history
- Plan psychological safety training
- Make sure managers are leading by example
We’ll be fleshing out each of these points in a checklist that will be available to members of PracticalESG.com, coming soon.