THE Caribbean Voice commends the Institute of Private Enterprise Development (IPED) “for ensuring that all managers and leaders completed sessions on emotional intelligence, as part of an ongoing effort by the company to secure employees’ mental health for their own well-being and then for the people they serve every day” as reported in a section of the media. In effect, IPED has recognized that when employees start to feel better about their mental health, they also feel better about their jobs and are more engaged at work. In fact, more than 80% of employees who receive treatment report improved job satisfaction.
Thus TCV urges all businesses to consider this very practical initiative, which is becoming part and parcel of human resources development globally. IEPD’s model included “contracting a psychologist to do an assessment on challenges workers are encountering on and off the job” the results of which “ contributed to changes to some policies and processes and provided insights into areas of training and development”. The company also “introduced its Wellness Programme whereby each employee is given the opportunity to speak to a therapist for two hours paid for by IPED”.
While some businesses may baulk at the cost, the fact is that soon enough the benefits will not only justify the costs but also result in increased profitability far offsetting the mental health investment. As well, absenteeism is tremendously reduced; workers’ resiliency, engagement and job satisfaction are maximized; the work environment becomes healthier and safer; the stigma around mental health issues is reduced thereby building awareness and acceptance outside company walls and sending a positive message to customers; loyalty and retention are tremendously fostered and overall productivity, morale and commitment become significantly boosted.