COVID-19 has changed Canadian workplaces in many ways. From the proliferation of remote and hybrid work opportunities to updated sickness policies, employers have adapted to the new state of the world. While employee mental health is not new in and of itself, the pandemic highlighted the critical nature of staying mentally healthy in the workplace and beyond.
Increased Focus on Mental Health
The struggles and isolation that characterized the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic drew attention to the mental health struggles that many Canadians were facing.
Many of these concerns are not strictly the result of illness or lockdowns. Even as restrictions are lifted and schools and offices are open for business, many people continue to face significant challenges. In addition to struggles directly linked to the pandemic, difficult economic conditions and social issues continue to exacerbate many pre-existing mental health conditions.
In spite of attempts to return to pre-pandemic norms, the attention to mental health from the pandemic’s earlier days has impacted employee benefits, and savvy employers have integrated employee mental health into their group extended health benefits plans.
Types of Employee Mental Health Benefits in 2023
For companies looking to incorporate mental health into their existing group benefits packages, there are a number of different options. Three of the most common types of employee mental health benefits are wellness programs, coverage for psychotherapy, and virtual mental health platforms offered through insurance providers.
In group benefits, wellness programs can consist of a wide variety of elements aimed at improving employees’ experience in the workplace. This can include perks in the office, programming offered directly to employees, or stipends for employees to use on independent mental health and wellness programs.
While employers do not offer psychotherapy themselves, including coverage for mental health counseling in an extended benefits package can go a long way toward improving employee mental health. Other types of non-medical therapy, such as massage and acupuncture, can also be included.
Virtual Mental Health Services
Many insurance providers in Canada offer mental health support services to plan members. These services often take the form of applications that employees can download and use to access a range of services, such as text-based counseling support.
Employee Mental Health and Productivity
The benefits of looking after your team’s mental health go beyond workplace culture and employee retention. A study published in the Journal of Labor Economics found that happy employees worked an average of 12% harder than their unhappy peers. Another report by the Social Marketing Foundation found that the impact of positive employee mental health could result in productivity as high as 20%.
Even if morale amongst your staff appears to be high overall, investing in employee mental health benefits has become a critical component of any workplace group benefits plan in 2023. Working with the right group benefits partner can help you develop the best program to keep your staff happy and healthy in the long run.
Create the Perfect Employee Benefits with Zarmac
Zarmac Benefits has been providing benefit programs to both new and established businesses for over 20 years. We take the time to analyze what you need and customize a benefits package specifically for your business style, now and for the future.
Zarmac provides critical analysis specific to your business to deliver real choices, advise on trends, streamline renewals, and optimize your plan design. We make it easy for you and your team by supporting the management of your program. We also proactively educate and eliminate questions to ensure there are no surprises.
Ready to protect your business and your team? Find out more about the Zarmac difference!