Are Leaders Doing Enough to Address Behavioral Health Issues in the Workplace?
October 25, 2019
There was recently an article published in Forbes stating that 62% of employees want leadership to speak openly about mental health. This should not come as a surprise to leadership, as what we know from the data is that business leaders suffer twice the depression rate of the general population, and that 50% of people across professions are burned out. Overall employee stress levels have risen nearly 20% in the past three decades.
According to the World Health Organization depression and anxiety alone have a significant economic impact – the estimated cost to the global economy is $1 trillion per year in lost productivity. The need for behavioral health issues in the workplace to be addressed is clear, and at R3c we’ve seen that some organizations are answering this call.
As Clinical Director of Executive Optimization, I oversee our behavioral health training offerings. We provide customized trainings for organizations seeking to create a culture of wellbeing, safety, and inclusion by increasing behavioral health literacy and awareness. We’re training employees on how to recognize and identify symptoms that indicate that themselves or a coworker may be struggling with a behavioral health issue, provide the tools they need to respond with compassion and engage in open conversations, and educating them on the resources they have available to them. What we’ve noticed over the past couple of years is an overall increase in the amount of requests we’re receiving to deliver and customize these trainings, and specifically to address the role of leadership as it relates to behavioral health issues in the workplace.
What we know is that while employees in various roles can influence company culture, the fundamental changes that make a healthier workplace are handed down from senior leadership. Therefore, we are highlighting the opportunity that senior leadership has to bring cultural visions to life, by modeling and demonstrating those principles of wellbeing, safety, and inclusion in their everyday interactions with staff. Additionally, we encourage senior leadership to seize the opportunity to set the tone and normalize the idea of support seeking by creating visibility with tailored solutions at the executive level. It’s not imperative that employees know who is engaging with these services, but just having them offered and visible at the senior leadership level can go a long way.
At R3c, we offer our clients a product line specifically tailored to the executive level which is aimed at cultivating the wellbeing of executives so that they can optimize their performance and sustain their competitive advantage. This has obvious benefits to senior leadership, and at the same time can have a great impact on overall culture in that it creates an environment where staff can feel more comfortable identifying and seeking support for any behavioral health issues that they may be experiencing.
To learn more about customized behavioral health trainings and our Executive Optimization suite of services, you can visit us at /our-services/consulting/executive-services/