Attract Top Talent By Offering Better Mental Health Benefits  

By Dr. Harshi Dhingra, Associate Professor in Pathology, Adesh institute of medical sciences and research, Bathinda

March 8, 2022

As a company, you need to do everything you can to acquire and retain top talent. Unfortunately, it is getting harder to find qualified employees to take positions that would have been incredibly attractive in years past. Following the great resignation of 2021, it is critical for businesses to do everything they can to separate themselves from the other companies in their industries. This means offering a competitive salary and thinking outside the box when it comes to benefits, including those for mental health.

Research has shown that mental health issues such as anxiety and depression are increasing quickly among people of all ages. Many of these issues have been made worse by the pandemic, so you might be able to separate yourself from the other companies in your field by offering better mental health benefits.

Better Mental Health Starts With Health Insurance Plans

The reality is that job seekers are looking for better benefits that provide mental health coverage. Even though there are plenty of health insurance plans that might cover a visit to the doctor, the occasional emergency room visit, and even a broken bone or two, a lot of plans don’t provide any coverage for mental health.

So, businesses need to find health insurance plans that cover mental health issues. Some of the elements you may want to look for in your health insurance plans include:

  • Outpatient Coverage: You should offer health insurance plans that provide coverage for outpatient visits with a psychiatrist, psychologist, or therapist.
  • Inpatient Coverage: Some individuals might require inpatient therapy for mental health issues. Find health insurance plans that provide inpatient treatment coverage, as this will help you ensure your employees are in the right frame of mind to be productive every day.
  • Substance Abuse and Addiction Treatment: People of all backgrounds may struggle with substance abuse and addiction treatment issues, so you should find a health insurance plan that provides coverage for substance abuse treatment. You can show your workers that you care about their mental health and well-being, fostering a sense of loyalty that will help you attract the top talent.

If you provide better health insurance, including health insurance that covers the treatment of mental health issues, you’ll have an easier time attracting and retaining top talent.

Give Extra Time Off

Sometimes, you can provide your employees with better mental health benefits simply by giving them a break. You might even find employees who are willing to take a slightly lower salary if they get an extra vacation day or two.

Even though it is certainly nice to provide your employees with extra vacation days, time off comes in many shapes and forms. Many people feel invigorated when they give back to a community that has given them so much. If you create opportunities for your employees to engage in volunteer experiences, you might have an easier time attracting top talent, particularly those fresh out of school. Some of the most common charitable endeavors you might have in your community include:

  • Volunteering at a local homeless shelter
  • Volunteering to clean up garbage along roads and in local parks
  • Helping children who come from disadvantaged backgrounds
  • Assisting at the local animal shelter

You may want to encourage your employees to give back to the local community. This could be one of the best ways to improve your employees’ mental health. This extra benefit could convince talented candidates to sign with your company.

Sponsor Free Therapy Sessions

There are numerous instances where people might need to see a therapist. Perhaps one of your employees has had a death in the family. Maybe you work in an industry where you face death on a regular basis. Perhaps there was a traumatic experience at the office. Regardless, your employees might be looking for a session with a therapist, but they can be prohibitively expensive.

You may want to consider sponsoring a few free sessions for each of your employees per year. For example, you may want to allow each of your employees to visit a therapist free of charge once per quarter. Or, you may want to offer an extra session if one of your employees deals with a death in the family. If you show your employees that you are willing to provide them with access to a therapist, they will know that you care about their mental health. Don’t forget that there is also an emergency help hotline your employees can call. A number of companies, including Target and Starbucks, are also offering more mental health resources to ensure their employees feel supported.

Bring Pets To The Office

If you really want to separate yourself from the crowd, consider letting your employees bring their pets to the office. If you have ever been to a local children’s hospital, you have probably seen dogs walking around playing with not only the patients but also the employees. 

Of course, you should make sure nobody is allergic to dogs or cats before you bring them to the office. But, this could be a great way to give your employees a bit of extra comfort. If you are concerned that the pets might distract your employees during the day, you may want to confine the animal to common areas. There’s nothing quite like petting a fluffy animal, and you might be surprised at what this can do for the mental health of your employees, such as reduced stress, reduced anxiety, and a better mood overall. Take a closer look at some of the pet therapy options in your area.

Attract Top Talent With the Right Mental Health Benefits

In the end, these are just a few of the many mental health benefits you might want to offer to your potential employees. It can be difficult to convince top talent to take one of your open positions, particularly following the massive resignation we recently saw; however, talented people still need jobs, so why not convince them to sign with your company? You can separate yourself from the other companies in your industry if you offer better benefits. 

Sources – Quitting is just half the story: the truth behind the ‘Great Resignation’ – Trends in anxiety among adults in the United States, 2008–2018: Rapid increases among young adults – Recovery in a quiet and welcoming environment – Volunteering and Health Benefits in General Adults:cumulative effects and forms – SAMHSA’s National Helpline – 9 companies boosting benefits so employees don’t feel isolated or lonely in the middle of the coronavirus crisis – Paws for Thought: A Controlled Study Investigating the Benefits of Interacting with a House-Trained Dog on University Students Mood and Anxiety