How to Use Your Mental Health Program to Increase Retention—woman holding mug and looking at desktop computer

How to Use Your Mental Health Program to Increase Retention

Amelia Wilcox
December 16, 2021
October 9, 2022

A recent survey from Gartner found that an astounding 91% of HR leaders are worried about employee turnover in the near future.

This blog post delves into how HR teams can use mental health initiatives to create a community, not just a great place to work.

HR leaders have found that creating a place where employees feel they can bring their whole being to work increases their loyalty, productivity, and happiness.

This blog post is inspired by expert insights from our December Brain Trust. You can watch the panel discussion on this topic below.

How to Use Your Mental Health Initiatives to Increase Retention

Mental health programs aren't just a trend. 60% of employees "would feel more motivated at work and more likely to recommend their organization as a good place to work if their employer took action to support mental health."

But it's not just about having a mental health program; it's all about what you do with it.

Don't have a mental health program yet? Don't fret. We have an article on that, too: Your Guide to the EAP Implementation and Search Process.

1. Supporting Diversity

Mental health programs that provide a diverse array of resources—and connect employees to counselors and practitioners from a variety of backgrounds—are ideal. This ensures that everyone at your company has tools to support them, no matter their history or stage in their mental health journey.

Employees want to be appreciated for who they are. Providing the resources to fit their specific needs is a great way to show your appreciation and increase your organization's overall sense of belonging.

Try talking to your vendor's Client Success Manager about your concerns if your current EAP or mental health platform provider doesn't have diverse counselors or services to meet various employee needs (like meditation, yoga, therapy, and more). You can also add a mental health program to your current EAP.

By providing a variety of resources (not just gym memberships!) and having a designated DEI leader or committee, employees spend less time assimilating so they can focus more on contributing.

Related: 6 Reasons Why Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace is Critical

2. Addressing Burnout

Burnout may account for at least 50% of your company's annual turnover.

In high-stress fields, HR leaders have successfully provided retention bonuses for employees that stay with the company for a certain period. For instance, this could apply to healthcare workers pushing through a COVID surge.

Companies have also provided stress management and burnout prevention seminars to help employees. Give employees back time by adapting schedules and eliminating unnecessary meetings.

If you don't already, consider allowing employees to have flexible schedules. Employees say that this is one of the most powerful ways to improve mental health at work. Companies that provide employees remote work options have 25% less turnover than companies that don't.

Related: 5 Major Signs of Employee Burnout and How to Address Them

3. Connecting Personally

One of our Brain Trust attendees had a great insight: "Keep 'human' in human resources."

Taking just a few minutes each day to reach out to ask a few employees how they are doing can make workers feel seen and cared for. Especially in a remote work environment, this can make a significant difference in someone's day!

You can also direct employees to helpful mental health resources your EAP provides. Remember to remind your employees at least once per quarter about the mental health benefits you offer.

Talk to your employees about creating a better company community as well. Ask them what they love about your company and things that would help them feel more connected to your organization.

90% of employees say they are more likely to stay at a company that listens to and acts on their feedback.

4. Designating Mental Health Leaders

One HR leader designated "Mental Health Champions" to help lead the mental health conversation at work and support struggling employees. They can also serve as a point person to direct employees to the mental health resources your company provides.

If your company leaders aren't already, encourage them to share their mental health story with your team. This can increase the likelihood that employees will seek support. It will also help employees feel a deeper, personal connection with your company's leadership.

Related: How to Talk About Mental Health in the Workplace

For more employee retention tips for HR leaders, check out How to Increase Employee Retention.

Stop stacking benefits. Start being well. Set a Nivati demo


By participating in/reading the service/website/blog/email series on this website, you acknowledge that this is a personal website/blog and is for informational purposes and should not be seen as mental health care advice. You should consult with a licensed professional before you rely on this website/blog’s information. All things written on this website should not be seen as therapy treatment and should not take the place of therapy or any other health care or mental health advice. Always seek the advice of a mental health care professional or physician. The content on this blog is not meant to and does not substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Amelia Wilcox
Amelia Wilcox
Amelia Wilcox is the Founder and CEO of Nivati, a leader in corporate massage and employee mental health support since 2010. Her high-growth B2B company provides employee stress management tools that arm businesses with actionable data and positive employee experiences to improve wellbeing, boost morale, and increase engagement. Amelia has exponentially grown her company from a solo living-room service business to an international technology brand.