Over the last couple of years, society has shifted the way in which we discuss and embrace mental health. While progress has been made, every year, one in five adults will experience mental illness, yet only one in three will get the help they need.¹ 

Work-related stress and its role on employees’ mental health

It should be no surprise that workplace stress takes a toll on employees’ mental health. And in many cases, poor mental well-being can impact employee performance and retention.²

Recent research has highlighted that 75% of Generation Z employees have left their jobs for mental health reasons, which in turn has caused high turnover rates for employers.³ For team members dealing with mental health issues, it can be difficult to perform up to standards due to a variety of reasons, including: high-stress, depression, and anxiety. 

Benefits of supporting employee mental health

Employees agree that the benefit of remote work can be so great that 97% of people say that having a more flexible job would have a “huge” or “positive” impact on their quality of life.⁴

Organizations have spent the last couple years investing in mentally healthy workforces, which has been good for business for a number of reasons:

  • Helping lower employer medical costs and increasing employee productivity 
  • Lowering absenteeism, and presenteeism
  • Decreasing disability costs

The financial impact of a stressful workplace

Many employees have experienced increasingly stressful workplace conditions which have impacted overall mental health. Finding ways to improve mental health is not only critical for the overall well-being and morale, but it also can lead to significant financial impact for employers. It has been revealed that organizations spend on average more than $15,000 annually for each employee experiencing mental health issues.⁵ Plus, the cost of days lost averages to $4,783 per year per employee, and the cost of turnover averages $5,733 per year per employee.⁵

An employers’ role in employee mental health

Employee health and productivity go hand in hand: a mentally and physically healthy individual is happier and more productive. By addressing and supporting employee mental health, companies could see up to a 4x ROI on mental health care, which is equivalent to $4 for every dollar spent on treating mental well-being.⁶

92% of employees have expressed that they would be more likely to stay with their job if their bosses showed more empathy—meaning they’re actively listening and understanding what employees are going through. Leaders who manage their employees with empathy seen 21% higher productivity on average.⁷

Many organizations are now stepping up and offering a wide range of mental health benefits, including virtual-first coaching, therapy, and psychiatry.² 

When it comes to engaging employees in mental health services, it’s best practice to send and share thoughtful communication, specifically promoting the importance of mental health and how to access care. It’s also critical to prominently feature mental health benefits information and service. 

If you’re interested in learning more on building a preventative strategy for employee mental health we welcome you to download our white paper.


  1. Understood  
  2. Workplace culture  
  3. VHR 
  4. Mental Health America  
  5. NCS
  6. BetterUp  
  7. Forbes