Imagine if one of the biggest costs to the workplace could find a cure in the workplace?
Chances are, many if not most of your employees are impacted by mental illness. If not directly (1 in 5 Americans suffers from some kind of mental illness), then indirectly, as a spouse, family member, or close friend. And while victims and their families bear the biggest emotional burden, the workplace usually carries the biggest financial burden.
And the workplace could be the best place to address this epidemic, and without involving expensive healthcare plans.
- Mental illness is the #1 reported workplace disability and costs US businesses an estimated $220 billion annually.
- Employees struggling with untreated depression use up to 4 times the healthcare resources of their co-workers.
- And yet even minimal intervention, treatment, and support can produce significant benefits for the employee and the workplace. Not to mention their families.
Lost productivity due to mental illness in the United States now costs more than $5,000 per employee, the highest in the world. That compares to costs in South Korea of just $180 per person.
“Prioritizing the mental and emotional wellbeing of employees will increase profit, improve lives, and transform culture.” Inc.
A 2015 study found that presenteeism consumes nearly three quarters of all spending on depression treatment in the workplace and resulted in the equivalent of 32 incremental workdays lost. The same study found that costs associated with presenteeism tended to be 5–10 times higher than those associated with absenteeism.
These are just some examples of the many ways mental health issues can impact the entire workforce and business:
- Poor participation and performance
- Not contributing enough
- Poor leadership
- Little appetite for risk taking
- Lack of creativity, innovation, enthusiasm, ownership
- Failure to meet goals, objectives, deadlines, and budgets, which can accelerate the cycle.
A 2016 study reported by the National Institutes for Health suggests that the annual cost of presenteeism is highest in the United States, costing more than $5,000 per employee. That compares to costs in South Korea of just $180 per person.
All this can often lead to increased frustrations amongst customers, team members, and other teams. It can impact and frustrate co-workers, leading to conflict, disruption, and discord. Team members in turn begin to get infected – they start to mentally check out, become less creative, lose direction, enthusiasm, and confidence in their team’s ability and so on.
As a result, co-workers might simply choose to leave, either the team or the company.