National Mental Health Awareness Month was in May, but young professional employees are hoping their employers focus on it all year long. Mental health is a crucial aspect of overall well-being and happiness, and it is essential for business leaders to prioritize it in the workplace.
In a recent YoPro Know report, we learned that 27% of young professionals ranked Proactive Health Awareness as a key factor for building a strong culture that they want to be a part of. Young professionals are increasingly aware of the importance of mental health and expect their employers to provide support in this area.
In a recent article by the wellness and meditation app, Calm, it claims that GenZ and Millennials report the most stress and anxiousness among all generations – and work-related challenges represent the biggest source of stress and strain among these generations. At The YoPro Know, our research points us in the same direction.
If you’re an experienced professional reading this and might be wondering why it’s so important to have mental health resources now if you didn’t have it then, you’re valid in having these thoughts. However, we encourage you to think about how young professionals were raised – as digital natives, growing up with social media and “helicopter” parents has created more anxiety among this age group than previous generations. Additionally, we are now seeing these anxious and stressed behaviors transferred over into their workplaces.
As business leaders, it’s important to develop the future leaders of your workforce (read: young professionals), but that can’t happen without the proper retention tools. We believe offering mental health resources will put your business ahead in your industry, and you will be setting your entire workforce up for success. Here are a few ways for your business to consider incorporating more mental health support in your workplace:
1. Provide access to mental health resources and services. We’ve worked with companies that have offered counseling services, employee assistance programs, and mental health days. Get creative with training and education on mental health to help your employees recognize the signs of poor mental health – and then go one step further to provide them with the tools to manage it.
2. Build a positive work environment. Start by making your place of work somewhere your employees *want* to work! This can include promoting work-life balance (or just acknowledging that “work-life balance” doesn’t mean they lack work ethic), encouraging open communication, and fostering a culture of support and inclusivity. As a company, you can also provide opportunities for employees to connect with each other, if that is something your employees want (hint: this is your chance to ask them!).
3. Utilize technology. Young professionals are digital natives, so use that to meet them where they are! Start by partnering with platforms that offer digital mental health resources (for example, a meditation app) and offering them for free or as a benefit.
Take a moment and consider the impact of not offering mental health resources at your company. Everyone should feel safe and valued at work, and if your environment is not creating a place where this is accepted – let alone, acted on – it might be time to utilize some of the steps above. The results of supporting mental health of your employees can create a more inclusive, productive and fulfilling workplace, and who doesn’t love that idea?
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