Lunch and learns, EAPs, fruit bowls and gym memberships provide a ‘sugar hit’ for employee mental wellbeing. Employee engagement in these activities are problematic and ongoing, sustainable health benefits are difficult to obtain without a strategic tie in to business objectives. Moreover, to truly work long term, there needs to be a high level of leadership commitment with board support to meet the increasing demand of shareholders for transparent and sustainable business practices.
Confusion abounds regarding what is the best way for companies to promote positive employee mental health. While there are many glossy and well marketed wellbeing programs, are they truly effective in creating sustainable mental health benefits long term? Or do they provide just a short-term respite with a quick return to the normal state?
While many companies want localised mental health strategies to meet cultural norms and market readiness, there is also a need for global consistency. This is particularly true for multinational companies that operate across several markets.