How to make mental health a priority in 2022, according to Ceridian's CHRO

Pandemic may be in the rear-view window, but mental health concerns are still rising

How to make mental health a priority in 2022, according to Ceridian's CHRO

Moving into 2022, two thirds of employees are optimistic about their work life – that’s according to new research released this week from Ceridian. However, despite this positivity, 37% of workers said they’d like to see their employers prioritize enhanced mental health benefits this year.

Mental health as a priority

Mental health concerns have skyrocketed since the pandemic, with cases of depression and isolation rising across Canada. While the immediate danger of COVID may well be over, the aftereffects the pandemic’s had on psychological wellbeing are only just coming to the fore. Speaking to HRD, Ceridian’s CHRO, Susan Tohyama, revealed how HR leaders can do more to supercharge their mental health benefits plan.

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“There are many steps employers can take to invest more in mental health benefits,” she explained. “A great place to start is to encourage a culture of flexibility. By this I mean create a culture where employees have the freedom for a true work-life blend.

"There are so many factors at play at the intersection of employees’ personal and professional lives, magnified by the challenges of the last few years. To give employees the space to thrive in their personal lives, organizations should consider implementing more flexible work hours and time away from work programs – not only will this create a happier, more focused and productive workforce, but will also help organizations to better attract and retain their talent.”

Financial worries

Another area of concern highlighted in Ceridian’s research was financial health. Again, COVID took quite the toll on personal finances, leading many employees into debt or, at the very least, concern over their dwindling savings. The research found that 31% of employees would like to see their employers prioritize enhanced financial wellness offerings, such as access to earned wages at any time and retirement planning. Moving into 2022, financial health has never been more important. As Tohyama told HRD, it’s incumbent on HR leaders to place more focus on the monetary worries and anxieties of their people post-pandemic.

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“Financial stress and anxiety in workers can translate into higher costs for employers when it comes to higher-than-average health care costs, lost productivity, increased absenteeism, and lower engagement,” she said. “Supporting financial health and wellness is a critical piece of the overall employee experience and something forward-thinking employers are beginning to embrace in a meaningful way.”

How are you supporting your employees’ mental and financial health in 2022? Tell us in the comments.

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