With the current generation of employees being more mission-driven, their preferences while choosing their employers have changed. More than the pay package, they now prioritize workplace culture and social issues, making it one of the top criteria when picking their employers. As there has been a growing focus on corporate social responsibility (CSR), companies are increasingly working on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors to mitigate risk, improve the workplace, and create a positive impact on society.
According to a Marsh & McLennan study, highly satisfied employees ranked their organization’s ESG scores 14% higher than the average global employer. This is reflected in happier and harder-working employees.
On the other hand, an APA study reported that employee mental health has been at an all-time low, with almost 60% of the workforce being highly impacted by work-related stress. According to a Deloitte report, 77% of the respondents experienced burnout.
This clearly implies one area of ESG has often been overlooked – Behavioral Health.
Behavioral health is the study of how our behavior affects our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It is an essential component of any ESG strategy and usually encompasses how our behavior affects our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. In short, it is an important factor in the overall health and well-being of employees.
Here are some best practices that companies should implement in their ESG strategy for better employee behavioral health, overall corporate wellness, and workplace productivity.
1. Digital Mental Health Tools
Many studies show how employee mental health has influenced their overall wellbeing, engagement, and turnover rates. Two-thirds of employers plan to make mental health and wellbeing a top concern in their employee wellness solutions. Providing access to digital mental health tools is a proven approach to support their mental health journey. Apart from the mental wellbeing resources, the digital health tools must offer seamless access to interactive programs, mental health coaches, and likewise, depending on the specific requirements. In addition to offering critical on-time access to quality healthcare, offering digital health tools does not have workers to miss their work hours and they are also cost-effective. No wonder a Mercer study showed that 68% of global employers plan on expanding their digital healthcare offerings, and 40% of the workforce were more likely to stick with a company that offers the right digital health and wellness solutions.
2. Flexible Work Environments
Employee experience is no longer a dividend of the one-size-fits-all mandate of workplace strategies. Staying on par with the latest workplace wellness trends is the key to ensuring employee experience, engagement, and productivity. One such trend to be considered by organizations is creating flexible working environments. While some prefer working remotely, some may find their mental health to improve while engaging with colleagues in-person. Flexible working policies let employees have the power to choose where and how they work. Also, the managers and leaders must train and empower them to tailor their individual or teamwork approach according to their goals and needs.
An APA study reports that –
- 41% of the workforce prefers flexible working modes
- 34% look for respectable time-off
- 33% prefer hybrid working patterns
- 31% want 4-day working weeks
With flexible working schedules supporting their mental health and building trust with employees, it can be a great way to improve the company’s ESG factor and support employee wellbeing.
3. Employee Holistic Wellbeing
A Deloitte study insight reported that almost 59% of employees were considering switching to an employer that offered better wellbeing benefits than their current organization. Behavioral health issues are known to have a ripple effect on the overall health and wellbeing of the workforce, reflecting higher medical costs and claims for employers. Employee wellness programs focusing on behavioral health and mental wellbeing, EAPs, providing educational webinars and resources, wellness challenge ideas, and more can help employees prioritize their holistic wellbeing. More importantly, it is vital to stop stigmatizing behavioral health and mental wellbeing issues at the workplace, and empathize while making it a normal topic of discussion.
Employee preferences for workplace benefits and culture have shifted over the last couple of years. And so, it is high time companies revamped their Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) strategies to prioritize behavioral health and overall employee wellbeing. With the right plan and strategies, the results will be a more engaging, healthy, and productive workforce that will work towards growing your business in the right direction.