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Employee Engagement Employee Experience Employee Wellbeing Best Practices

National Wellness Month: Putting the Spotlight on Employee Mental Health & DEI 

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again; wellbeing is the key to becoming an employer of choice. In today’s uncertain economic landscape, your employees are your greatest asset. Embedding wellbeing into your organizational culture has become a non-negotiable for current and future employees and will create the safety net your organization needs. August is National Wellness Month—the perfect time to put the spotlight back on employee wellness, specifically by integrating mental health support and DEI initiatives directly into your holistic wellbeing strategy. In doing so, you can create a positive ripple effect across the entire organization and boost morale, engagement, and overall satisfaction. 

How to Support Your People for National Wellness Month

DEI and wellbeing go hand in hand 

Research has shown that feelings of belonging and inclusion, or lack thereof, have a direct impact on our wellbeing and ability to thrive. Racial and ethnic minority populations have a 1.5-2x greater likelihood of developing a chronic condition like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, or high blood pressure. Furthermore, LGBTQ+ individuals have 2.5x higher risk of experiencing depression, anxiety, and substance misuse than those who do not identify as LGBTQ+. Evidently, it is impossible to address your employees’ wellbeing needs without an awareness of social determinants of health (SDOH) and the recognition that wellbeing and diversity, equity, and inclusion must go hand in hand. Only when this foundation has been established can you support all individuals in your workforce, including groups that have been historically underrepresented or marginalized, with resources and information to address their unique needs, wherever they are on their health journey.  

Loneliness and psychological safety are hot topics – how you promote social connectivity at work can help you reduce voluntary turnover 

Workplace friendships and a stable sense of connection make a considerable, positive impact on employee mental health, happiness, job satisfaction, and productivity. 54% of people who don’t have good relationships at work are 10 points lonelier on the UCLA Loneliness Scale, a commonly used measure of loneliness. In addition, lonely workers are two times more likely to miss work due to illness, five times more likely to miss work due to stress, and they also think about quitting their job more than twice as often. With more remote or hybrid employees than ever before, building an inclusive and connected organizational culture must start from day one. Encourage employees to host offsite or virtual team-building activities, group lunches, scavenger hunts, virtual happy hours, or friendly competition with virtual workplace challenges to improve their workplace connections

Review your mental health benefits – are they going unused?  

According to the CDC, 1 in 5 Americans will experience a mental illness in a given year. The imperative for better mental health support is not a new topic, yet 50% of workers left their jobs in 2021 because of mental health issues, and organizations are losing $5K per employee due to mental distress. It’s clear there is more work to be done. Ensuring that you offer a diverse and comprehensive selection of mental health benefits, resources, and partners is only part of the puzzle. When it comes to raising awareness about the mental health resources that are already available to your people, communication and engagement is key. Employees are more likely to utilize their benefits if they’re easily accessible and part of a tool they already use daily, such as a digital employee wellbeing platform

Only 30% of emails go opened, are you reaching all of your employees? 

Wellbeing programs need to do more than ever before. To attract, retain, and motivate workers, you need an innovative and evidence-based health and wellbeing approach that honors mental health, physical health, and social determinants of health. With a personalized platform that delivers streamlined access to resources and tools, such as Homebase for Health®, your people will know you’re invested in their health and wellbeing—and have the right resources and tools they need to invest in it themselves. Our Homebase provides employer, health plan, and health system clients with a total health engagement solution that ties health, navigation, and wellbeing into a unifying experience that drives outcomes across the care continuum.  

Kickstart your corporate wellbeing initiatives this month with our August Mental Wellbeing Calendar; access tips, resources, and information for each day of the month to help your people and your business thrive.