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How to Manage Risks to Employee Mental Health in Your Business

Workplace mental health is everyone’s business.

There are many mental health risks to business. It’s not just the job of HR, as mental illness and stress are more prevalent than many people realise, with one in five Australians experiencing it at some time. A Work-related mental health issue has a massive impact on health and productivity, with the negative effect felt by individuals, their families, and colleagues. Pressures at work, harassment or bullying, and exposure to occupational violence are all major causes of mental illness.

Mental illness is now costing Australian workplaces more than $13 billion each year. Absenteeism is reported to cost $4.7B, and mental health compensation claims are reaching $146 million. The main types of conditions claimed include:

  • Reaction to stressors – 37%
  • Anxiety/stress disorder – 31%
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder – 12%
  • Anxiety/depression combined – 11%, and
  • Depression – 4%.

The global impact of the current pandemic has seen many people forced into a ‘work-from-home’ situation which has meant that businesses now have to manage remote teams. As a result, mental illness can become invisible.

In years to come, 2020-21 will stand out for being one of the most challenging, as work and home have now become enmeshed for employees.

The importance of psychological safety cannot be over-emphasised, as a toxic environment and workplace stress can destroy employees self-esteem, mental health and morale. Five employer wellbeing practices that help create safe workplaces include:

1. A Trusting Culture

Any business with a distrustful, fearful work culture will have a negative impact on mental wellbeing and the bottom line, which restricts business growth. An important component of a high trust culture is measuring outcomes as well as output, transparency at all levels, and frequent open communications to reduce work-related stress. The mental health benefits cannot be overstated here.

2. Employee Engagement Strength

For many people, work occupies so much of their time, therefore happiness at work is critical. It’s important that workplaces encourage employees to be engaged and motivated. Organisations with an engaged workforce will outperform their competitors.

3. A Non-Judgemental Environment

An environment that allows employees to speak up without fear of judgement or criticism is essential to a happy, safe workplace with low anxiety levels. Systems and processes to support workplace mental health are a crucial part of fostering an inclusive environment free of judgement.

4. Risk Taking

A threatening environment that disempowers employees from taking risks, being creative and experimenting, will cause mental distress, more anxiety and limit the business’ ability to innovate and grow. Having values and processes in place that make it permissible to fail is an essential building block for employee safety and reduction in job stress.

5. Leadership

Have strong, positive workplace role models and behaviour frameworks. Provide access to an employee assistance program, and communicate with staff frequently and openly. The provision of training to identify the warning signs of a mental disorder and well-being improvement techniques are some of the ways to support your employees.

It is expected that the current pandemic will be a mental health challenge and a major contributor to the rise in claims as work-related mental health conditions escalate. In June 2020, KPMG and the Financial Services Council released a study that found the number of mental health claims had doubled over the past five years. Mental disorders are now the third most common cause of disability income claims, ahead of cancer and after accidents.

There are many important actions that can be taken to promote better mental health and address the needs and concerns of all employees at all levels.

One way is to use dedicated HR software that helps manage occupational safety and reduce employees stress and anxiety.

As a cloud-based solution, ELMO helps employers manage their teams in a low-stress way from anywhere at any time using a secure, centralised location. All employee-employer touchpoints are covered by ELMO’s suite, from ‘hire to retire’, including recruitment and onboarding, learning and development, performance management, payroll, rostering/time and attendance, and more. Employees have access to their own timesheet and payroll functions, which gives them one less thing to stress over if they work remotely.

Summary

With a single dashboard, you can manage risks to employee mental health. Your employees can be kept up-to-date on their jobs, salaries, and work schedules in a secure environment. ELMO’s adaptable interface keeps your teams motivated and productive while integrating to the back-office and core ERP functions.

Do you have questions about NetSuite?

On-premise ERP system customers are now facing the decision to undergo a multi-step transition, ring-fence the old ERP and buy a lot of bolt-on solutions for cloud, innovation and business requirements; or implement a modern ERP solution that really takes advantage of external data and advanced tools for growth, agility and sustainability.

The OneKloudX team is here to provide the information you need with confidence. If you are looking for a scalable cloud-based solution with a full set of advanced production planning tools that have been designed specifically to meet the needs of modern companies, the experienced and accredited OneKloudX team has the skills and is ready to help you with your ERP selection. Contact the OneKloudX team on info@onekloudx.com.au or call 1800 155 683 to talk to a Senior NetSuite Consulting Team Member.  As a cutting-edge NetSuite implementation partner, our FlexSafe methodology enjoys a 100% success rate. We are happy to answer your questions about NetSuite Cloud ERP.

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