Businesses risk losing top talent


How to Take Care of Employees’ Mental Health to Avoid Losing Top Talent in 2022

December 15, 2021

Tima Rassool

Tima Rassool

Content Writer

Flexible working hours, yoga classes, dog-friendly workplaces, great insurance plans – many employers out there are increasingly trying to boost their employees’ mental well-being to avoid losing top talent.

Sadly, a staggering 76% of employees admit severe burnout, 81% leave their jobs for mental health reasons, and 68% claim that their mental health worsened since the pandemic.

Unfortunately, the stats don’t stop here.

Despite the flashy dinner events and office parties, employers risk losing top talent due to other various reasons. Such as poor management, biased treatment, heavy workloads and toxic work environments.

As the Starks in Game of Thrones say; “Winter is coming” and winter blues are near. From travel barriers to the Omicron variant to the flu season – supporting employees’ mental health is on top of the list for employers this season, and every season.

Here’s how you can foster a superb workplace culture to win, retain and avoid losing top talent.

Encourage breaks away from the desk

losing top talent

It’s not uncommon for companies to combine personal and vacation days together. What many employers don’t know is that personal days are for family time, necessary errands, and sometimes, just a mental break. What employers can do is give their employees a mental health day to unplug, unwind and recharge.

What’s successful and powerful about this tactic is that it shows employees that the company truly cares about their well-being, not only their productivity. By giving them a day to rest, specifically for that purpose, they won’t feel ‘’guilty’’ for taking a break away from the desk. Or even be shy to ask for it.

Beyond encouraging a mental health day, longer breaks are crucially necessary too. Many employees yearn for an annual leave to properly recharge, but oftentimes they’re reluctant to ask for it. When employers start to pick up the signs that their employees are burnt out, demotivated, and devastatingly tired – it’s best to send out an email reminder that everyone is entitled to their annual leave. It’s your best shot at retaining your best employees and avoid losing top talent due to severe lethargy.

Foster collaboration and an open door policy

talent acquisition specialists

In many cases, mental health is stigmatized in the workplace. It can also be a super sensitive topic to some. Many employees fear reaching out to their managers about their mental well-being and decide to keep their problems to themselves. This means, they’ll eventually have a breakdown at a later stage, which puts employers on the brink of losing top talent.

The best thing employers can do in this case, is open the door for employees and help them feel comfortable enough to approach them with their concerns and problems. While employers are no therapists, they can always recommend the best specialists for their employees. In essence, employees shouldn’t feel apprehensive about sharing their problems with managers or employers if it’s starting to affect their productivity at work.

To avoid losing top talent, employers should make their employees feel comfortable and welcome to discuss their professional and personal worries without the fear of losing their jobs.

Now that many employees are still working from home due to Covid19, employers can virtually spruce up interaction and collaboration between teammates and managers. Whether it’s through daily check-ins, weekly virtual happy hours, or online events – it’s crucially necessary to make camaraderie and collaboration a crucial ingredient in the workplace to create a great support system and avoid losing top talent at all costs.

Help them cope with stress and transitions

Employer losing top talent

Since the rise of Covid19, everyone had to cope with new transitions and an extra dose of overwhelming work stress. From new protocols to new work environments, teams began to shrink and workloads began to alarmingly increase. Not only is social isolation still creating a huge impact on employees’ mental health, but many have resorted to unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal with their stress.

One of the most powerful tools in an employer’s arsenal is change management and promoting positive thinking. These tactics are well documented in science. It helps boost the immune system, reduce anxiety levels and support healthier lifestyles. To avoid losing top talent, it’s highly advisable for employers to encourage workplace wellness in several ways. Either by subsidizing gym memberships, allowing for flexible hours, encouraging social activities, offering counseling services, or giving recognition.

So instead of simply saying kudos for their performance, praising employees for their effort and patience will go a long way. It’s the best way to evade top talent.  You’ll ultimately ease their stress once you prove to them that their growth is the companies first priority and that you value them first as humans and second as top performers. Once you shred and tame down stress factors, you’ll be taking care of your employees’ well-being without the fear of losing top talent.

Train your managers and teams

HR team conducting training

In order to truly take care of your employees’ mental health, you need to create a holistic and supportive work environment where everyone can thrive and succeed. You can always start by administering mental health training where everyone can openly discuss common mental health concerns. Through such training, employees get to learn more about the negative impacts of neglected mental health and the best way to tackle them.

This way, employers won’t be losing top talent due to an underlying mental health issue that was swept under the rug. Instead, even if the training session lasts for a day, it can exceptionally reduce the stigma surrounding mental health in the workplace. For example, company-wide emails regarding this matter can normalize this topic and make it a safe subject to broach at work. At the end of the day, staying silent about this topic breeds shame for the employees who suffer.

Therefore, managers should be well-equipped with the right information, resources and tools they need to be able to manage employees’ mental health and performance in a constructive way.

Even so, managers and employers can seamlessly learn how to pinpoint and guard a variety of mental health issues once they surface throughout the workplace. Whether it be trauma, anxiety, depression, or PTSD – once these issues are unpeeled at an early stage, they won’t be the reason employers will be losing top talent.

Promote a healthy and safe work environment

Recruiters prevent losing top talent

Other than bringing in some plants or painting your workspace green – there’s a lot that goes into building a safe, healthy, and happy work environment. Keep in mind, that the majority of companies are losing top talent because they’re only supporting them when mental health issues strike. A caring company culture should look after the employee’s mental health at all times, at all costs.

Simply put, your work environment can’t be healthy if a portion of your workforce feels unseen and unsupported.

To promote a healthy and safe work environment, be sure that no toxicity lingers around the corners, and no employee feels left out or alienated from the rest.

Invest in incentives that make your employees smile and laugh. And by that we mean fun! Spice up the way meetings are done, offer to take the employees on a trip out of town, create a playroom, bring in healthy snacks and allow employees to leave early (every once in a while). Once employees get to connect and share a few laughs together their bonds tend to strengthen and their love for work only increases.

Final words

In short, if you’re looking for just another HR buzzword, employee wellbeing isn’t one of them. Employees tend to spend the majority of their day at work. It’s like their second home. Even when working remotely, their energy and focus will solely be dedicated to work. So when employees feel stressed out, they won’t be able to garner the strength to contribute your business growth and success.

By actively listening to their concerns and eradicating their biggest stressors, you’ll avert losing top talent that will cost your company a lot. Skip the shallow initiatives and invest instead in the right resources and tactics that will ultimately eliminate any potential repercussions of burnout or mental health – and help you skyrocket employee engagement instead.

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Tima Rassool

Tima Rassool

A wordsmith, storyteller, and content strategist – Tima is an MBA graduate with 6+ years of experience in the world of HR. With over 2,000 blogs under her belt, Tima's expertise and insights have helped businesses across the globe take their recruitment to the next level and stay ahead of the curve.

Turn top talent to employees fast

Hire, assess, onboard and manage top talent for every job. See how Elevatus streamlines everything; from acquire to new hire.

Request a demo