28th May 2024

Why Prioritising Mental Health in the Workplace is Crucial

In today's fast-paced, high-stress work environment, prioritising mental health is more important than ever. The well-being of employees is a critical factor that can influence a company's overall success. By fostering a culture that values mental health, organisations can not only improve the lives of their employees but also enhance productivity, retention, and overall workplace morale.


Prioritising employee mental health and well-being brings numerous advantages for both employees and the organisation:


Enhanced Productivity and Performance

Employees who feel supported in their mental well-being are more likely to be engaged and motivated, leading to higher levels of productivity. When organisations take active steps to reduce these stressors they create an environment where employees can thrive. This leads to improved performance and better organisational outcomes.


Increased Employee Retention and Loyalty

High turnover rates can be detrimental to any organisation, leading to increased recruitment costs and loss of valuable institutional knowledge. By prioritising mental health, companies demonstrate that they value their employees as individuals, not just as workers. When employees feel valued and supported, they are more likely to stay with the company long-term, contributing to a more stable and experienced workforce.


Reduced Absenteeism and Presenteeism

Mental health issues are a significant cause of absenteeism in the workplace. Moreover, a focus on mental health can also reduce presenteeism—where employees are physically at work but are not fully engaged or productive due to mental health struggles. By addressing these issues proactively, organisations can reduce the number of days employees are absent and ensure their employees remain actively engaged. The return on investment in mental health initiatives can be substantial, making it a smart financial decision as well as a compassionate one.


Cultivating a Positive Work Culture

A workplace that prioritises mental health fosters a positive and supportive work culture. Employees are more likely to collaborate effectively, communicate openly, and support each other. A positive work culture attracts top talent, as potential employees seek workplaces where they know their well-being will be valued.


Legal and Ethical Considerations

In Australia, employers have a legal obligation to minimise psychological hazards in the workplace. By prioritising mental health, employers can stay compliant with regulations and avoid potential legal issues. Ethically, it is the right thing to do. Ensuring employees have access to mental health resources and support demonstrates a commitment to their overall well-being, reinforcing the organisation’s reputation as a responsible and caring employer.


Practical Steps to Prioritise Mental Health

  1. Implement Robust HR Framework: Establish comprehensive HR policies that explicitly address mental health and well-being. Ensure that these policies are communicated effectively to all employees and that managers are trained to implement them consistently. By creating a solid foundation, organizations can ensure that mental health is systematically prioritised and supported across all levels.
  2. Provide Access to Mental Health Resources: Offer services such as counselling, therapy, and mental health hotlines.
  3. Promote Work-Life Balance: Encourage flexible work schedules and respect boundaries between work and personal time.
  4. Create a Supportive Environment: Train managers to recognise and respond to mental health issues and foster an open dialogue about mental health.
  5. Regular Check-Ins: Conduct regular check-ins to ensure employees feel supported and to identify any emerging issues early.


Prioritising mental health in the workplace is not just beneficial—it's essential. By creating a supportive environment, organisations can enhance productivity, increase employee retention, reduce absenteeism and presenteeism, and foster a positive work culture. These benefits not only improve the lives of employees but also contribute to the overall success of the organisation. In today's competitive business environment, investing in mental health is a strategic decision that pays dividends in both human and financial terms.


Reach out today for a complimentary 15-minute conversation with HR expert Kirsten Jowsey today.

Why Prioritising Mental Health in the Workplace is Crucial

Work better with Standard Candle today

Make an enquiry Call 1300 620 100