A strong corporate culture helps employees foster and build relationships, consistently live their purpose, and feel successful. It also helps companies attract great employees, great clients, and, of course, be profitable. One of the key ways to build and sustain a positive corporate culture is by implementing best practices for healthy minds at work.

At Sklar Wilton & Associates, we’ve been strong supporters of healthy minds at work for many years. It’s why we launched the Headway For Healthy Minds at Work program in May of this year, an initiative which included a business case for investing in workplace mental health initiatives.

Since then, Deloitte conducted a new study with ten Canadian companies which provides valuable data to add to the business case. They discovered that investing in mental health programs delivers great return on investment as the programs mature. Specifically, among companies that had implemented mental health programs for about one year, the businesses earned $1.62 for every $1 spent. And, for companies that had implemented programs for more than three years, the businesses earned $2.18 for every $1 spent. They propose that companies that haven’t yet achieved a positive ROI may still be achieving savings greater than the cost of doing nothing.

The financial cost of poor mental health in Canada is high. The research showed:

  • Workplace stress is the leading cause of mental health issues.
  • Mental health issues account for 30% to 40% of short-term disability claims, 30% of long-term disability claims, and 70% of disability costs.
  • The annual indirect costs due to lost productivity from mental health may be as high as $6 billion.
  • The annual total economic cost of poor mental health is at least $50 billion, mostly due to costs of health care, social services, and income support.

Companies that focus on leadership training and long-term wellbeing are more successful.

  • Companies that achieve a positive ROI focus on training their leaders. This ensures that best practices are implemented consistently across the board, and demonstrates a genuine, company-wide commitment to mental health.
  • Companies with a positive ROI have lower drug costs. This is because they have a better understanding of wellbeing and they take a more proactive approach to managing mental health.
  • Return-to-work programs help decrease absenteeism and shorten the length of mental health–related claims. They also reduce voluntary turnover because employees have alternatives to leaving the organization.
  • Companies that are publicly recognized for creating mentally healthy workplaces are better able to attract top talent.

Many resources are available to guide companies in developing a healthy workplace program.

  • Companies can take advantage of the guidelines, tools, and resources offered in Canada’s National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace.
  • Companies should plan proactive programs that support employees from beginning to end, including training and education of best practices, preventative measures, and eliminating hazards.
  • Companies should track their progress so they can improve their decision making about which programs generate a higher return on investment, and evolve those programs appropriately.
  • Companies should prioritize investments in areas that generate higher return-on-investment including leadership training and return-to-work programs.

To learn more about Deloitte’s research, download and read their entire report here.

Headway for Healthy Minds

Along with the business case, our Headway For Healthy Minds at Work program has developed several other regularly updated tools that are available for download. They include:

  • The Business Case for Healthy Minds at Work offers hard facts that show the positive financial impact of implementing mental health programs in the workplace.
  • The Resource Roadmap shares information and links to many Canadian organizations that specialize in supporting mental health in the workplace.
  • The Employer Guide provides a more integrated and holistic way of thinking about workplace mental wellness.

It’s been 6 months since Headway formally launched and it’s been so gratifying to hear all of the stories, both positive and challenging. One of those stories is shared in this webinar with Mike Adams who talks about what Molson Coors is doing to improve workplace mental health.

Implementing a proactive mental health program in every workplace is important. If you’d like to learn more about Headway or about building a corporate culture that proactively supports healthy minds program, please get in touch with us.