Why leaders must prioritize their employees’ mental health and well-being By Noah Rue

Image by Mary Pahlke from Pixabay

By Noah Rue

Why is it that a company’s support for someone experiencing difficulties with the physical requirements of a job are easily discussed, but a company’s advocacy for mental health and well-being isn’t touched on?

How important is this advocacy to potential workers who prioritize their own mental health and are looking for companies that do too? Very. Why?

It would be naive for a company to act as if no one they’ve hired is struggling with a mental health or well-being issue when 264 million people reported battling depression alone. Continued silence, stigma, and lack of support related to mental health and wellness will affect workplaces across the country negatively.

The pressing question is, what is the return on the investment in employee health and well-being for companies?

This article will detail the immense return on investment in effectively supporting employee mental health and wellbeing by talking about 3 significant sectors in which the return is showing up loud and proud.

Employee retention

The average cost per hire across organizations and industries is $4,125. Factor in the hours managers have to spend training these new hires, tools, and software costs for the new hire, any paper supplies and incurred printing costs, and you can see how a high employee turnover rate can cost you.

The number of employees quitting jobs because their mental health and well-being aren’t prioritized by the company is increasing. Prioritizing your employees’ mental health and well being increases employee retention rates, resulting in:

– Company loyalty

– Ability to invest money saved in new hire and onboarding costs in other company resources

– A company culture of trust and openness

– Employees that produce quality work

Also, when you retain your employees for long periods of time, your company can deliver a more consistent customer experience. A consistent customer experience results in loyal customers who are happy to invest in more products or services with you.

Eradicating absenteeism and presenteeism

Battling mental health and well-being challenges has adverse effects on personal lives that lead to negative effects in professional lives like presenteeism and absenteeism.

Presenteeism is when an employee shows up to work but can’t fully perform the job functions because of an injury, illness, or other condition. Absenteeism is when an employee just doesn’t show up to work at all, and it could very well be because of mental health and well-being challenges.

Both of these things are not good for any workplace in any industry. You want your employees to come to work, and when they are there, you want them to be fully functioning and able to work at a high-level. Bipolar Depression Disorder alone accounts for 96.2 million lost workdays. That’s a whole lot of lost production and profit.

When an employee doesn’t come to work feeling exhausted, anxious, or sleep-deprived, weighed down by physical and mental ailments, their performance is better. Prioritizing an employee’s mental health and well-being significantly increases the time and days employees are at work.

And more importantly, they show up in their best mental and physical states to do the best job and perform job duties optimally.


This study suggests that major depression alone is costing employers $31 billion to $51 billion per year in lost productivity. Essential career fields like counselors and therapists find themselves in an even deeper productivity hole. Despite their own personal mental health and well-being challenges, they are expected to show up to work and provide immense support to others, but they aren’t receiving the support they need to cope with the extreme demands of their job. This can severely affect how productive they’re able to be if they even show up to work at all.

If employees aren’t there or fully functioning when they are at work, your business suffers. It’s as simple as that. When you effectively implement support for your employees to cope with their mental health and well-being challenges, you preserve the production your company needs to thrive.

Making money depends on productivity and how able you are to provide the product or service quickly and efficiently to your customer base. Productivity is rooted in how effective your employees and leaders are. When people are supported, valued, and taken care of, they produce better. When they aren’t, they don’t produce nearly as much or as well.

Prioritizing your employee’s mental health and well-being is not an option to mull over and get to when you get to it. You must be proactive and fully-invested in the process of creating an accepting, supportive, resource-filled work environment that is founded on supporting physical, emotional, and mental well-being.


Noah Rue is a journalist and content writer, fascinated with the intersection between global health, personal wellness, and modern technology. When he isn’t searching out his next great writing opportunity, Noah likes to shut off his devices and head to the mountains to disconnect.

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