The Tech Box

The Tech Box – November 2021

A New Competitive Edge – Mental Health Offerings


recent Gallup analysis

found 48% of America's working population is actively job searching or watching for opportunities. Compound that with difficulty acquiring workers amid record-high job openings, and you can understand one of the big problems facing our industry right now: labor.

In a

2021 Harvard Business Review

(HBR) survey, 50% of respondents had left jobs due to overwhelming and unsustainable work. That's up


since 2019. The "Great Resignation" of 2021 finds people departing from their jobs and searching for a more sustainable work-life balance.

If you need a competitive edge to keep your employees or bring in new ones, here's a suggestion for you – bolster your mental health offerings.

Mental health symptoms are not new to the workplace. In

2019, 59%

of people surveyed for an HBR study reported at least one mental health condition. That number edged up to

66% in 2021


Younger employees, especially millennials and Gen Zers, are demanding investments in workplace mental health programs pushed by, among other things, the Covid-19 pandemic.

There are many benefits to investing in mental health offerings. The HBR study found that workers who felt supported by their employer tended to be less likely to experience mental health symptoms and were less likely to underperform and miss work. They also had higher job satisfaction and intentions to stay at their company.

Here are some suggestions on ways you can increase mental health offerings at your plant(s):

Provide managers with the proper training to recognize symptoms of stress and depression. Stressed-out employees can underperform and underproduce while also losing engagement with workSome companies are also monitoring the effect of supervisors on worker well-being. The lost productivity of disengaged employees is equal to


of their yearly salary.

Offer access to facts about mental health in town halls or workshops or through a mental illness awareness campaign. Employers could provide educational or storytelling videos and brochures to employees about poor mental health and its signs and symptoms. Give employees anonymous surveys or other opportunities to participate in decisions about issues that affect stress at work. Normalize the discussion of mental health by having senior leaders share personal stories in video messages.

Make available health insurance with no or low out-of-pocket costs for counseling and medications. Accessible mental health treatments have the potential to retain some of those employees who decide to leave on their own.

Replacing workers requires two times the team member's annual salary, leaving you less competitive.

This pandemic changed the way we work and view work.

Many are reflecting on what a quality job looks and feels like, and roughly


are willing to quit to find one. Reversing the tide of resignations requires managers who engage and give workers a sense of purpose, inspiration, and motivation.



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Chase Kammerer is the Manager of Technical Services at Fibre Box Association (FBA). If you have technical questions about the corrugated industry, you can reach him direct at