At a mental health summit in Toronto, a Manulife consultant presented some surprising results about a study on improving workplace mental health, which was conducted by Salveo Integrative Health. To date, it remains one of the largest mental health studies conducted in Canada.
With the aim of improving workplace mental health, the study examined the three main problem areas of organizations including:
- Psychological Distress
The workplace mental health study took two years to complete with 63 companies and more than 2,160 employees participating, and with comparisons being made between 65 different management practices. In the study, researchers used a questionnaire with nearly 300 questions specific to the three workplace problem areas noted above.
Some of the results on improving workplace mental health might not be what you’d expect.
Well-Matched Jobs and Skills
The Salveo study revealed that workplace variables could either contribute to or protect employees from psychological stress and burnout. Employees with jobs well-matched to their skills enjoyed the protective factor. Higher psychological burdens on employees less suited for the demands of their positions increased their chances of burnout and psychological distress.
Management Practices and Flexible Schedules
An investment in good management practices contributed significantly to the reduction of claims related to mental health. The best management practices with the most significant ability to reduce claims included proper workload and work hours, employee involvement in the creation of their position, flexible work schedules, and the ability to obtain promotions internally.
The study notes that in order to be effective, good management practices must be ongoing and cannot be just a one-time instance. Continual, integrated programs saw the best and longest lasting results. Persistent use of best management practices was also a contributing factor in the decrease in absenteeism.
Targeting Stressful Workplace Conditions
Maintaining employee health by targeting and improving stressful workplace conditions resulted in a better likelihood that companies would experience up to 3 times fewer mental health claims. As a result, costs for mental health claims depreciated proportionately. This appeared to only work with integrated programs.
The findings of this study by Salveo Integrative Health can benefit small, medium, and large organizations. By integrating the findings of this study along with best management practices into the workplace, companies are more likely to produce positive, long-term results and improve workplace mental health.
Contact Benefit Strategies Inc.
With more than three decades of service to Alberta and the western provinces, Benefit Strategies Inc. provides Canadian companies with practical advice and guidance on group and employee benefits plans.
For more information on the benefits of implementing good workplace mental health strategies, or to discuss the findings of this study by Salveo Integrative Health, please contact Benefit Strategies Inc. today at 1-780-437-5070 or send us an email.