Empowering Wellness: How Talent Technology Supports Mental Health in the Workplace

At Talent Tech Labs, we advise talent leaders on the technology solutions that will make a fundamental impact on their HR practices. One of the most rewarding tech strategies we recommend to clients centers on improving employee wellness, with a special emphasis on mental health. The month of May marks Mental Health Awareness month and we are delighted to recognize the new and exciting technologies that provide robust support for the mental well-being of today’s workforce. To learn more about how Talent Tech Labs can help with your organization’s mental health mission, join our community or contact us at hello@talenttechlabs.com.

The Importance of Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental Health Awareness Month was established in the United States in 1949 and is observed every May. The mission of Mental Health Awareness Month is to destigmatize the mental health challenges that millions of Americans face. Organizations like the National Alliance on Mental Illness lead in educational efforts towards taking care of mental health and bringing awareness to its importance as a factor in overall wellness. Mental health affects all areas of life, and with an ever-evolving workplace landscape, the convergence of mental health and the workplace holds great opportunities for fostering mental wellbeing.  

The World Health Organization approximates that 12 billion workdays, equivalent to a cost of $1 trillion, are lost every year due to poor mental health from conditions such as anxiety and depression. Yet, the effects of mental health are often overlooked as factors for productivity in the workforce. As Gen-Z has entered the workforce, mental health is becoming a more predominant topic, and for good reason. According to the University of California Berkeley, there is substantial rationale for investing in programs to support employee mental health. In the same manner that poor mental health contributes to decreased productivity and more sick days, the promotion of mental wellness offers organizations a fantastic opportunity to not only increase employee satisfaction and productivity, but also experience up to 800% ROI due to increased productivity, fewer sick days and lower turnover rates. 

How Talent Technology Supports Mental Well-Being

Features of talent technology can benefit mental health throughout the lifecycle of talent acquisition and management for candidates and employees. Technologies can contribute to factors that are known to aid in mental wellness such as reducing stress, increasing connection with others, improving sleep habits, and achieving work-life balance. Here are some of the ways that technology systems such as ATS, VMS, and workplace benefits can contribute to mental health.   

Improved Communication

Applicant tracking systems create streamlined communication for candidates and recruiters, increasing engagement for both parties. Quick responsiveness enables candidates to receive valuable feedback that informs their job search process. Having information from portal updates and responsiveness from recruiters empowers candidates through their job search. Similarly, improved communication is closely tied to increased transparency throughout the hiring process. Increased transparency in feedback allows candidates to be treated as individuals and feel that the process is personalized. 

Employee Listening Tools  

Improving employee experiences through employee listening tools is an effective method for supporting company performance and employee satisfaction.  When employee sentiment is understood, it can guide and drive continuous improvement processes. Identifying sources of friction within a team enables management to enhance workplace cohesion and improve overall well-being.

 The Use of AI Algorithms  

Talent technology not only equips candidates with empowering information but also offers valuable insights for hiring decisions. For instance, using AI algorithms in hiring can foster a more equitable and inclusive candidate experience, promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace. By reducing hiring biases, this technology encourages prospective candidates to apply to companies they might have otherwise overlooked. New York City’s Bias Audit Law, Local Law 144, exemplifies how AI increases transparency in hiring. Enacted in 2023, it mandates that employers disclose their use of AI and ensure the information adheres to anti-bias standards. AI’s evolving applications hold great promise for enhancing workplace wellness.

Benefits and Incentives  

In alignment with recruiting talent, companies have begun investing more in physical, financial, and behavioral well-being to ensure talent retention and to create the best workplace environments that are most attractive to workers. According to Forbes, 92% of workers say that it is important for employers to provide mental health benefits. 

Mental Health Care Coverage

Employees express desire for their insurance plans to cover mental health services. Covering mental health care providers allows workers to get professional help to address many conditions, including stress. The American Institute of Stress cites that 83% of workers report struggling with work-related stress. 

Sleep Incentive Programs

These programs may be available to employees to encourage them to get an adequate amount of sleep. Poor sleep is associated with reduced productivity and overall health. Sleep incentive programs such as Sleep Score Labs track employees’ sleep via an application and rewards employees who meet specified goals. Financial rewards may be offered for those who reach sleep goals. Incentivizing behaviors that promote mental health is a productive way to also destigmatize the shame associated with discussing mental health in the workplace. 

Financial Security 

Financial stress can manifest itself in both physical and mental symptoms. Worrying about financial security can impact employee wellness with increased levels of anxiety, sleep problems, and high blood pressure. Financial security can be overwhelming and distracting for employees whose focus should be on their jobs rather than this point of stress. When holistically considering workplace wellness, it is important to acknowledge how substantial financial security is as a factor for promoting mental health. Harvard Business Review studies show that when an individual has financial health, they can experience greater wellness and bring their best selves to the workplace. To support financial wellbeing, innovators continue to develop applications that assist employees with all aspects of their financial health, ranging from budgeting tools to finance calculators to comprehensive financial planning. 

Conclusion

Mental Health Awareness Month is a valuable time to recognize the importance of supporting mental wellbeing in the workplace. Innovators are constantly developing new and exciting technologies that are helping ensure today’s workforce is supported from a mental wellness perspective. By enhancing communication, reducing stress, and promoting work-life balance, these tools are transforming the workplace into a more supportive and inclusive environment. This focus on mental wellness not only benefits employees but also drives higher productivity and satisfaction, contributing to the overall success of organizations. To learn more about how Talent Tech Labs can help with your organization’s mental health tech strategy, join our community or contact us at hello@talenttechlabs.com. Also follow us on LinkedIn to stay informed on the latest talent technology insights and updates.