What Is Employee Mental Health And Why It Is Important?

Mental illness remains a taboo subject in society today, and employees find it hard to speak openly about their illnesses with co-workers or bosses despite wanting to do so.

Fear of being fired/lost job/being labelled as “wussy” keep employees silent about their mental illness concerns at work.

Employee mental health is central to productivity and well-being at work, as poor mental health is associated with increased absenteeism, reduced work performance, and an increased risk of workplace injury.

Employees suffering from unresolved depression or anxiety report decreased productivity at work and are more prone to stress-induced effects, i.e., decreased engagement, creativity, motivation deficits, and strained interpersonal relationships. 

If you want to know more about employee mental health and why it is important, continue reading. 

What Is Employee Mental Health?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health is defined as the state in which an individual can realize their potential, cope with everyday stressors effectively, work productively and fruitfully, and contribute meaningfully to society.

Stress, anxiety, and depression are three of the most frequently experienced mental health issues at work worldwide.

They can significantly inhibit productivity as well as impact key business metrics like creativity, engagement, and overall company performance.

Employees experiencing mental health issues may appear altered from their usual selves, becoming irritable or tearful easily, struggling with concentration, being less productive, or even being absent altogether from work.

To tackle these issues, companies need to develop policies, practices, and benefits that promote mental health in the workplace.

Furthermore, managers should be trained to have open discussions about mental health in their offices as well as create supportive environments. 

What Causes Poor Mental Health at Work?

For both employers and employees alike, poor mental health in the workplace can have a devastating impact on performance.

It can also reduce collaboration with colleagues, increase motivation levels and hamper productivity levels at work.

Here are some factors that may lead to poor mental health at work:

  • Excessive work pressure
  • Inexperienced leadership
  • Inflexible and long work schedules
  • Unrealistic demands and expectations
  • Harassment or bullying
  • Too many unpleasant or repetitive tasks
  • Discrimination at workplace
  • No sense of teamwork
  • Watching favoritism play out with co-workers

The Impact of Poor Employee Mental Health

Poor employee mental health can have a severe negative effect on any company.

It can hinder employees from performing to their fullest capacity and harm both productivity and profit for your enterprise.

Here is how poor employee mental health impacts a company. 

Poor Relationships With Managers or Superiors

Poor employee mental health can have serious repercussions for businesses.

Negative attitudes or poor work ethics could contribute to damaged relationships with managers and superiors.

An overbearing boss who micromanages every detail can leave employees feeling anxious and frustrated, diminishing their ability to meet deadlines and targets.

Workplace Errors & Poor Decision Making

Poor mental health can adversely impact an employee’s performance as well as lead to errors or poor decision-making in the workplace, which can cost both productivity and money for your company.

Even minor issues like depression or anxiety can have serious repercussions that restrict an employee from fulfilling their duties effectively and contributing to company growth.

Declining Company Revenue

Poor employee mental health can have many detrimental impacts on businesses of any size; productivity losses, absenteeism, and hiring and training new employees due to high turnover can all add up, with greater health insurance costs, even for small enterprises being the result.

Companies that fail to address this problem will face an extended decline in revenue.

Low Morale & Increased Risk of Job Flight

Low morale in the workplace can be an indicator of any number of problems. Stress or discouragement may lead to low employee morale.

Additionally, those suffering from poor mental health are more likely to miss work than other employees.

Damaged Reputation & Negative Brand Association

In today’s era, with customers emphasizing how a business treats its employees and sharing their experiences on social media, low morale among employees can potentially be highlighted to the consumers, clients, and the general public.

Employees are the face of an organization. If your employees are suffering from poor mental health, it can damage your reputation as well as lead to negative brand association.

How Can Employers Support Mental Health In The Workplace?

Employers have several ways they can promote mental health in the workplace.

Implementing simple practices will have an immediate positive effect on employee productivity and retention rates.

Mental Health Apps

Employers can also introduce mental health apps for employees. These apps offer mobile access to care services, including therapy appointments via video calls or digital exercises for breathing and mindfulness.

Some even provide messaging platforms so users can communicate directly with mental health providers. Apps may help employees improve their mental health.

Offer a Rich Mix of Benefits

As is obvious, creating an atmosphere conducive to employee productivity can pay dividends for any organization in many ways.

An inclusive workplace requires providing flexible scheduling, floating holidays, and domestic partner benefits. Moreover, these can all help foster inclusivity in the workplace.

By showing employees you also care for them as individuals, they will feel more at home in their jobs.

Flexible Scheduling or Remote Work

Flexible scheduling or remote work arrangements can enable employees to balance their personal and work lives, giving them time to pursue educational goals, meet family obligations, and engage in self-care practices.

Studies demonstrate that workers with flexible schedules tend to be happier in their jobs and feel like they have a better work-life balance, leading to increased productivity and employee retention.

Check-Ins With Supervisors

An employee check-in every week can keep employees motivated and healthy, helping them produce at an increased rate.

Managers can use this opportunity to offer feedback on performance issues as well as assist employees with professional growth.

Moreover, one of the most essential check-in questions is to inquire about leadership support. 

An Employee Assistance Program

Employee Assistance programs (EAP) can provide invaluable support for team members coping with stress, mental health challenges, and other obstacles to productivity in the workplace.

By providing assistance at an affordable cost to team members, they may experience relief in stress levels, morale improvements, and overall workplace efficiency gains.


Work environments can be stressful where performance is always judged, and employees are constantly held responsible.

Because of this reason, the majority of employees report poor mental health. Moreover, employees suffering from poor mental health may appear disengaged or distracted, not showing up on time or performing poorly.

It affects not only the employees but also the organization. To avoid this problem, employers must also address employee mental health problems. Moreover, take steps to create a more vibrant and supportive workplace. 

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