When bringing a new person into the company, hiring managers are looking for someone who already has the skills and experience necessary to excel in the position and positively interact with their coworkers. Even so, all managers know they will need to spend time on-boarding and training any employee who joins their staff. In addition, many businesses invest in ongoing professional development so that their employees can continue to bring more value to the company.
Just as they ask questions about a candidate’s qualifications and experience, interviewers often evaluate whether a potential employee will be able to cooperate and collaborate with others in the workplace. Is this person self-aware? Confident? A good team player? What is their level of emotional intelligence? But while we pay such attention to helping employees grow professionally, we are often remiss in encouraging, let alone financially investing in, our team members’ continued personal development.
Some progressive businesses, such as ribot in the U.K., have begun to challenge the traditional boundaries between their employees’ personal and professional growth and development by bringing a therapist in-house four days a month. Rather than expecting its employees to be individually responsible for their mental and emotional health, ribot facilitates team members’ mental and emotional wellness by giving employees the space to speak confidentially with a licensed professional.
But what are the benefits of bringing a therapist in-house, even on a limited or part-time basis?
1. It can improve your employees’ productivity at work.
Regardless whether your employee is dealing with chronic anxiety, acute stress, or some other behaviorally-affecting state because a project deadline was missed, our emotions negatively affect our productivity. When we are feeling stressed, overwhelmed, unmotivated, or distracted, our productivity simply tanks. And because unhappy workers cost the U.S. as much as $550 billion per year, improving your employees’ mental state has a direct effect on improving your bottom line.
2. It can decrease the amount of sick time your employees take.
In addition to affecting our productivity negatively, employees’ mental and emotional distress can take a toll on their physical health. For example, general anxiety can result in physical symptoms ranging from headaches to nausea. Long-term exposure can bring on and/or exacerbate more serious health issues. As a result, these employees may be inclined to leave work early, or they may need to miss more work overall in the long-term than if they had been able to address these issues earlier on.
By having in-house access to a therapist or encouraging employees to feel comfortable seeking out-of-house therapy, your employees will be more likely to recognize when their mental health is being compromised. They will then feel empowered to adjust external circumstances as much as they can to improve their mental and emotional state. In turn, they will be less likely to take off from work, and they probably won’t be visiting a therapist half an hour away during the work day since they can visit one right down the hall.
If your organization does not currently provide access to a therapist in-house but would like to do so in the future, a good intermediary step is to encourage your employees to see one off-site. This step will also help to create a company culturethat advocates for employees’ positive mental health.
3. It can help your employees become better, more self-aware leaders, managers, and team members.
At Contracted Leadership™, we believe that leaders are at their strongest when they are healthy, focused, and self-aware. By encouraging your employees to speak with a therapist, even simply by offering such services on site, you are providing the space for them to become healthier and more focused, and to learn more about themselves as individuals. Over time, your employees may learn to manage their emotions better, to communicate more effectively with their colleagues, and to listen to their direct reports with less judgment and more compassion.
In all, we think that investing in your employees’ personal and professional development is well worth it. After all, by investing in your employees’ personal health and growth, you’re investing in developing an organizational culture about which your team members can feel passionate.
Contact us today to learn more about how Contracted Leadership™ can help you facilitate adding such in-house services to your company’s current Human Resources offerings.