HR's Role in Employees Mental Health Wellness and How To Do It Right

Shefali Vasave | January 14, 2022

Before the pandemic, employees often faced a high-stress work environment in many competitive industries. As a result, work stress was considered a part of the job, and it was rarely acknowledged as a problem that needed fixing. However, the worldwide pandemic shed light on the importance of employees’ mental health wellness and its impact on work. Today HR and mental health have become an important topic of discussion.

In May 2021, the term ‘Great Resignation’ was coined to describe an unprecedented number of American workers resigning from their jobs. The number one reason they cited was poor treatment by employers during the pandemic. Is this the beginning of mental health support being considered a right of an employee?

Are Employees’ Mental Health and Wellness a Priority for Your Company?

The World Health Organization has acknowledged that there has been a significant increase in mental illness over the past decade, with the most common diagnosis being depression. Mental health support in the workplace is constantly being discussed, but do companies address this?

It can be challenging for employees to maintain their mental health when they do not get the proper attention/care they need. As a result, many companies are now taking mental health seriously. By doing so, they are helping their employees maintain a better mind space, and, in turn, greater productivity. HR and mental health are no longer mutually exclusive.

“Research has shown that leaders, in particular, have a special role in reducing employee anxiety during major crises. For example, many of the studies done around crisis communication after 9/11 showed that many employees felt it was hugely important to hear the voice of the leader, whether live or through email, phone messages, or social media.”

- Andy Brown, Chief Executive Officer at ENGAGE

For a successful mental health wellness program, your organization must be on board with the process. This will require some preparation and training of leaders and managers. You should also clearly understand what you want to achieve as an organization and what steps you can take. A mental health HR policy may be just what you need to positively impact other areas of your work culture.

Common Myths About Hiring New Employees With Depression or Anxiety

Depression and anxiety are severe health issues that affect a person's daily life. In most cases, they are classified as mental illnesses. The uncertainty and anxiety the pandemic caused have only exacerbated them further.

Here are some common misconceptions about hiring employees with depression or anxiety. This will give you more informed access to their decision-making process when interviewing candidates with these mental issues.

  • Employees suffering from depression or anxiety are unable to work in high-stress situations.
Although some studies indicate that employees with depression or anxiety are less productive, it is more likely that they are just not getting the needed support to do their best. Studies show that when employees with depression or anxiety receive support and engage in activities that provide them with happiness, they can be more productive than their counterparts.

  • Employees with depression or anxiety cannot work in stressful environments.
While it's true that depression and anxiety do have some associations with stress, there are many ways to overcome them and still maintain a successful career. Nearly half of adults with mental illness symptoms report taking on new work responsibilities since they started experiencing them.

  • Employees with depression and anxiety are unstable.
It is a common misconception that those with mental illnesses are unstable. Recent studies show that those with depression or anxiety are more likely to be victimized at work than to act out violently.

  • Employees with depression and anxiety can't do their jobs.
Employees with depression and anxiety may have a more challenging time getting started on tasks, focusing on tasks, and feeling motivated about work. But, if their workload is adjusted to be more manageable, they may do their jobs well.

  • People with depression or anxiety are not good employees.
Depression and anxiety can cause problems at work, but so can many other personality traits. Employers should look for signs of productivity and consider working with the candidate to create a solution.

Many employers think that there would be an increased risk in hiring someone with depression or anxiety. It's important to understand that there are many misconceptions about mental illness, and it is often difficult for those suffering to seek help. Employers must be aware of the risks of untreated depression and anxiety and the benefits of treatment. Mental health awareness can help you develop a program that identifies, supports, and even treats mental health concerns well ahead of time.

Developing a Comprehensive Employee Well-being Program For Your Organization

The benefits of a comprehensive employee well-being program are numerous. It increases productivity, reduces absenteeism due to sickness, and improves the work environment. But more importantly, it helps employees feel valued and respected. It also makes employees feel that their employer cares about them personally, which improves morale.

Organizations need to understand why they want this program in place. Is it because the organization seeks to provide better insurance benefits? Is it because management can see that there is a problem with absenteeism? Or is it because employees are looking for a sense of meaning in their work life?

Mental health awareness is crucial, but it's not enough for your organization to only focus on the symptoms. Instead, the goal should be to work towards prevention, which can be achieved through mental health training.

It can range from getting your employees to understand mental health to making them feel like they're not alone in their mental health journey. Employers should not wait for employees to come to them to ask for help. Instead, they need to invest in mental health awareness and workforce wellness programs that provide education, resources, and tools that help their employees when they need it most.

How HR Can Improve Employee Mental Health and Well-being with 5 Tactics

There are many benefits to conserving the health and well-being of employees. It can result in higher morale, more productivity, and better decision-making.

HR must ensure that employees have health and well-being. They can do this by implementing these tactics:
  1. Creating a space for a wellness committee to meet with the company's HR department.
  2. Enlisting the help of professionals like psychologists, psychiatrists, and licensed therapists to assess the company's workplace culture and provide recommendations for improvements.
  3. Hosting workshops or training sessions on mental health for employees.
  4. Allowing employees to bring their pets to work
  5. Incorporating Mental Health First Aid is another excellent way to update your mental health program. It is a series that teaches a variety of skills, including:
- Recognizing the signs and symptoms of mental illness and substance use disorders
- Learning how to assess someone's level of risk for suicide

Conclusion: How Can You Help Employees Get Back on Track?

In-house HRs have a unique opportunity to bring in a particular atmosphere that drives towards an employees’ mental health wellness. There are many ways to do this: setting up a fitness center, arranging a monthly mental health day for everyone in the office, or hosting regular stress-relief events.

HR professionals should not underestimate the importance of their role in helping their employees achieve and maintain a healthy mind and body. With an increasing number of employees reporting a decrease in mental health, companies must have a mental health benefits program. In addition, a mental health HR policy must have a holistic view of the company and its employees’ needs to create a company culture that promotes good mental health.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most common mental health issues in the workplace?

The most common mental health issues in the workplace are anxiety, depression, and substance abuse.

How can employers help with mental health issues in the workplace?

Employers can help by providing mental health support in the workplace, including talking to each other about mental health issues. They can also provide mental health awareness training to employees and managers.

How can we change the culture in the workplace to be more mentally healthy?

We can change the culture in the workplace by reducing the stigma around mental health and making it more acceptable to ask for help. We can also provide workplace programs that teach employees self-care skills and recognize signs of stress or burnout.



AVTAR is one of the most successful recruitment and diversity consulting brands in India. It was started in the year 2000, since then rapidly gaining industry attention & recognition for its unconventional work in talent strategy consulting, D&I advocacy & proactive CSR.


Five Most Promising Areas of HR Tech Investment in 2022

Article | March 25, 2022

Introduction: Why Investment in HR Technology is Surging? HR technology is much more than a buzzword. It’s a necessity. HR technology has transformed processes over the past decade, providing organizations with the tools, insights, and capabilities to be more agile, efficient, and connected. However, today’s HR technologies are required to keep up with the unprecedented pace of the market.Thefuture of HR tech will include comprehensive solutions that help with recruitment and selection, on-boarding, performance reviews, learning management, and more! As businesses look for ways to become more efficient in an increasingly competitive environment, let’s explore some of the areas where technology investment is currently focused. “AI is our friend, if we use it in such a way. But never forget that it’s people who hire people, so we’ll always need a human element in the end.” - Arran Stewart, Co-Founder and CVO Virtual and Augmented Reality in Recruiting Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have been around for some time and their use in recruitment and employee experience is growing rapidly. VR technology is a high-potential area for HR tech investment, and the rise of remote hiring and hybrid work cultures has only made it more significant. For instance, Jet.com, an ecommerce company, is making the most of VR to showcase its corporate culture and office space. Jet.com has been able to connect with its new hires by showing events like its ‘happy hour’ celebrations to provide a glimpse into its every day operations. KFC has been using VR since 2017 to train its staff to cook its signature fried chicken. The German railway company, Deutsche Bahn used VR to attract and engage the young talent pool. The company reported a significant increase in applications from young, skilled professionals after this move. Blockchain in Employee Benefits Blockchain finds mention in almost every discussion about game-changing technology trends worldwide. And blockchain-driven HR technology isn’t far behind. For HR professionals who manage large volumes of employee transactions, blockchain HR technology could be a catalyst in ensuring robust cybersecurity. In 2020, APG and PGGM, asset managers of the two largest pension funds in the Netherlands, reported that they were testing a system based on blockchain to simplify administering pensions. Blockchain enables HR managers to provide on-demand pay, allowing employees to withdraw their accrued earnings any time they want. In addition to providing 360-degree control, blockchain has a feature called ‘smart contract’ that allows companies to automate their payments to independent contractors and vendors. These clear advantages have made blockchain a subject of future-proof technology investment. Intelligent Chatbots for HR Support and Service Delivery With the scope of global HR management expanding during the pandemic, recruiters need all hands on deck to attract, hire, and retain talent. Tech giant IBM developed chatbots to address this issue. IBM’s Watson Candidate Assistant (WCA) has transformed candidate engagement for IBM. The organization receives 7,000 resumes every day. WCA’s ability to match applicants with the right opportunity helped convert 36% of applicants compared to a website without the chatbot. The business case for AI-driven chatbots is clear. As chatbots become the norm on technology platforms and career pages, investment and research in the area will only grow. Personnel Today reports that over 62% of organizations plan to start using AI in 2022. Automation Improves Applicant Tracking Applicant tracking systems, or ATS, are a staple in every recruitment process. Just as global HR management software eliminates the need for paperwork and repetitive tasks, resume screening can be enhanced. With the advancement of HR technology, it has become imperative to use automation for screening applicants. For instance, leading cloud data management provider, Informatica integrated automated reminders into their ATS. This was done to reduce manual follow-ups between recruiters and hiring managers. 80% of hiring managers responded quickly and enabled recruiters to experdite their candidate search. This is just another case of HR technology yielding real-world results. Predictive Analytics in Recruitment Processes HR tech investment continues to boom in the field of data analytics. Predictive analytics is a relatively new tool that can predict an applicant's potential to succeed in a job and recommend them for a specific position. HR departments use predictive analytic tools to identify high-potential candidates, who are likely to succeed at the company. The predictive model uses data like skills and experience and factors in personality traits like openness and conscientiousness. This also enables employers to develop a fit index to match an applicant’s resume with an ideal-match candidate profile. In fact, LinkedIn uses predictive analysis to match candidate resumes to existing job openings. With an increase in technology investment, predictive analytics will be able to do much more for recruiting managers in the near future. In a Nutshell HR processes are completely different than they used to be a few years back. Transformative technology and HR solutions have changed the way HR processes are managed. The future of HR tech investment is not about lowering costs but about optimising it for benefits. While the main objective is to increase business efficiency, many areas of HR technology need to be disrupted to achieve new heights of employee engagement and experience. HR tech investment is a way to make sure that the company can stay competitive in the digital era. With a lot of opportunities available and rising competition, companies need to invest in HR tech to stay ahead of the curve. Frequently Asked Questions What is the top obstacle preventing organizations from making HR tech investments now? The top obstacle preventing organizations from making HR tech investments currently is a lack of understanding. Many companies are still unclear about what HR technology platforms can work for them and how to use them in their organization. What are the industry trends in HR Tech? HR tech companies are focusing on how to make it easier for managers to hire and retain talent. They aim to provide a more personalized experience for employees. Additionally, they want to make it easier for HR professionals and managers to find talent in their own backyard. What does the future of global HR management look like? The future of global HR management looks bright. With new technology, it’s easier for HR managers to keep track of their workforce and streamline the entire hiring process.

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Inspiring Quotes from Women Leaders Creating a Difference

Article | March 8, 2022

“It’s not only about raising ourselves, but also raising other women, because when we rise together, we rise so much higher!” – Eliza VanCort, Author and Motivational Speaker, Eliza VanCort. International Women's Day has been celebrated for over a century, with the first gathering held in 1911. Since then, women have proven their worth in virtually every field, from politics to business to academia. Today’s women are striving to uplift other women, are brands in themselves, and are breaking barriers in their personal and professional lives. This year’s International Women’s Day campaign theme #BreakTheBias promotes and glorifies this change. On this International Women's Day, we have compiled inspiring quotes from women leaders we've had the pleasure of communicating with. Take a minute to celebrate their achievements and contributions to their industry. Foster Connections and Build Trust “When we create a positive experience that fosters connection and builds trust, we increase the probability of a future business transaction.” – Carrie Missele, Director, Inspirant Group. Gain Knowledge from Peers “Professionals (especially young professionals) gain a vast majority of their knowledge from their peers - watching, listening, asking questions, and building relationships with others.” – Amber Vanderburg, Founder, The Pathways Group. Boldly Communicate Value “Communicating value is especially important for an agency because agencies are in the ideas business. Ideas are abstract and abstract things are difficult to value.” – Jody Sutter, Founder, The Sutter Company. Analyze to Stay Competitive “The most essential way to stay competitive is to continuously analyze for product-market fit.” – Julia Markish, Director, Advisory Services at Lattice

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5 Proven Ways Employers Can Simplify Applying for Jobs Online

Article | March 4, 2022

Why Abandoned Online Job Applications Result in Poor Hiring? Applying for jobs online has been the go-to process of finding jobs for millions of applicants. Online hiring has come a long way with the rise of job boards. It has become easy to apply for jobs worldwide and across industries for applicants whose skills match. This also means recruiters must sift through an unusually high volume of resumes to find the relevant job applicants. To do this, many employers have developed a lengthy online application process. The belief that this will filter out applicants that don’t match the job requirements and that serious, well-matched talent will complete the lengthy process has slowed down online recruitment. According to CareerBuilder, 60% of job applicants abandon their applications midway. They also don’t complete applications that take longer than 20 minutes. So, are employers sabotaging their recruitment process with lengthy forms? Is there a way to capitalize on online recruitment while also hiring better talent? This article will give you five tips on how you can design your online recruitment process without losing top talents. #1 Develop a Clear Hiring Process It goes without saying that it is important to be clear on what you are looking for in a candidate. Numerous traditional job postings are generic, ambiguous, or don’t communicate the right message. Apart from communicating the skills and qualifications you’re looking for, here are just some things that can make your online job posting stand out: Be specific about the level of skills you need. Some jobs don’t require candidates to be experts in certain areas. Make it clear what is expected from them. Add a human touch to ensure candidates know there are people, not just software systems, that are seeking their skills. Set up a system for responding to online job applications. Job searching can be tough and brutal for applicants, and responding to them will help you stand out. Ensure your online application process is smooth and user-friendly. You don’t want to tire potential employees with a poor application process. #2 The Value of Online Candidate Profiles Online candidate profiles provide a place for candidates to express themselves and tell their story in their own words. It also gives employers a chance to get to know more about the person they are interviewing. The value of an online profile is that it allows recruiters and hiring managers to get insight into a candidate’s personality. In a world of job boards, applying for a job online is easier than ever, and so the barrage of unqualified applications is disproportionately high. Candidate profiles give employers the opportunity to sort applications meaningfully. Simple screening questions like a candidate’s willingness to move or start immediately can help recruiters save huge amounts of time and money. Whether you’re screening LinkedIn profiles or job boards, using candidate profiles is a smart way to ensure you find the information you need while also making background checks easy. #3 Make the Interview Process Easier and More Interactive Technology has transformed the way companies hire. Integrating interactive ways for people to apply can do wonders for your recruitment process. This is especially true for job roles that require creativity and outside-the-box thinking. For instance, Kforce, a job board, enables applicants to submit online applications with audio and video clips. Another case in point is the leading research organization, PricewaterhouseCoopers. The firm has an online recruitment process that uses psychometric screening to help HR managers review applicants’ suitability. “When we create a positive experience that fosters connection and builds trust, we increase the probability of a future business transaction.” - Carrie Missele, Director at Inspirant Group #4 Embrace New Technologies for an Effective Online Recruitment Strategy Premier financial services organization, J.P. Morgan Chase is leading the way in the use of technology when it comes to hiring job seekers fresh out of college. The company uses a game that tests applicants on their job-hunting motivations as well as investment decisions. This helps recruiters get a deep insight into applicants’ interests, skills, and attitudes. Is finding the perfect candidate possible? Allstate, a leading insurance firm, is aiming to recruit the best match. The firm’s screening process for its agent recruitment involves an online form that is scored against existing Allstate model agents. The scoring is instant and applicants can proceed to the second round immediately. Embracing technology like AI for screening resumes and video interviews is another great way to cut down on hiring time, improve communication with candidates, and eventually boost your employer brand. #5 Use Social Media Platforms Efficiently Social media has metamorphosed from a socializing platform to a multipurpose business machine. From selling to customer care to recruitment, businesses are now using social media for more than just increasing brand awareness. Social media recruiting is a great way to reach your target talent pools and customers simultaneously. This is especially significant as both groups tend to overlap. According to Glassdoor reports, over 79% of job seekers use social media in their search. In addition, a 2019 survey by Jobvite revealed that 35% of respondents learned about new opportunities from social media. Therefore, integrating social media into your online recruitment process can help you leverage its reach. In Conclusion Attracting and recruiting the right candidates goes beyond the regular recruitment process. In fact, according to WetFeet.com, 20% of job seekers apply to companies after having viewed their product ads. Branding and marketing in HR are more important than ever before. However, this doesn’t mean that you neglect the foundation of the online hiring process. Whether you use traditional job application methods or an online application process, ensure that it is user-oriented. It should encourage the right people to apply and make your company seem like a good place to work. Frequently Asked Questions What are the advantages of the online recruitment process? The online recruitment process has many advantages. First, it is accessible to a much wider audience than traditional methods. Second, it allows companies to process and interview more candidates in less time and with fewer resources. Third, it reduces the cost of recruiting and hiring new employees. What are the disadvantages of the online recruitment process? Online recruitment that uses AI is known to be discriminatory. In addition, the lack of face-to-face interaction in an online recruitment process can lead to well-matched candidates being screened out in the first step itself. How to implement a clear hiring process? The following steps will help you create a clear hiring process: Define what you need Create job descriptions Define the qualifications for each job description Prepare for interviews by doing background checks and preparing interview questions

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3 Companies Acing the Remote Onboarding Process And What You Can Learn

Article | March 3, 2022

Organizations worldwide had to reimagine their hiring processes almost overnight in 2020. As a result, the role of human resource professionals has become increasingly challenging. From optimizing hiring processes to cultivating new remote-friendly company culture, the transformation was unprecedented. However, as the grip of the health crisis loosens, companies are increasingly acknowledging the value of remote work. Virtual workers are the focus of new policies, strategies, and even processes, even as remote offices move to hybrid workplaces and virtual workers become more important. But looking forward, human resource teams still have their work cut out for them. There is much to calibrate, and it must be done quickly. And it all starts with a sound onboarding process. In this article, we talk about how recruiters can fine tune their remote onboarding process and leverage the advantages of the new hybrid working culture. Definitive Remote Employee Onboarding Checklist According to a Global Workplace Analytics study, businesses lose approximately $600 billion to workplace distractions. It also states that remote workers report being 35-40% more productive than those who work in an office. Understanding what your remote workers need to do their job well is the key to achieving your productivity goals. Here’s the new hire onboarding checklist to help you do just that. Virtual Paper Work Paperwork is the bane of HR professionals everywhere. But it doesn’t have to be tedious. Make your HR process agile by using automation technology like e-signature, which lets new employees sign, edit, and view forms. It automatically fills in candidate information across different documents to make the process faster and more efficient. Logistics While many organizations could smoothly transition to remote work, some need more planning. For example, if your employees require specific equipment and systems to do their work, you need to streamline the process of delivering equipment and integrating new hires into the new systems . Welcome Kit Engaging employees is a top priority for human resource professionals today. With remote work, it becomes even more imperative. Include a welcome kit as a part of your new hire’s onboarding checklist. It can provide a sense of direction for new remote workers. Additionally, you can include a company handbook with company information like benefits, points of contact, and maybe a voucher for free lunch. Buddy System Fitting into an existing social office system can be daunting for a new hire. A buddy system can mitigate new workplace anxiety to a great extent. Assign a go-to person when onboarding new employees. They will guide the new hire to settle in, ensuring that the new remote worker doesn’t feel disconnected from the rest of the organization. Orientation Orientations should continue to be a to-do on every virtual onboarding checklist. Conduct a virtual orientation when onboarding new employees to address the company overview, history, the roles and responsibilities of the new hire, and HR procedures and policies. Company Culture Briefing your HR team about onboarding best practices should cover company culture as an essential topic. You want to make new hires feel welcome and align with your company’s culture as quickly as possible. Feedback Check with your new hires about their progress and seek feedback about their remote onboarding process. Conducting a survey is a great way to identify pain points. You can then tweak your employee onboarding process accordingly. “It may sound simple, but we need to listen to our employees in order to be a force for change.” - Brandy (Rosner) Zimmerman, Vice President of People Operations at TaskUs How Three Industry Leaders Are Using Onboarding Best Practices HubSpot HubSpot, a leading marketing software provider, pivoted to a remote onboarding process by developing remote work guides. The company also tracked the live participation of new hires on its internal education system, Learn@HubSpot, to map out learning and immerse new hires in the process quickly. Vistaprint As part of their onboarding best practices digital printing giant Vistaprint makes extensive use of live orientation and a new hire social. Also, the company plans to implement a 100-day training program that will provide a remote-first learning experience for new hires. Salesforce The tech giant is leading the virtual employee onboarding process, having recruited 10,000 people. Salesforce integrated networking opportunities for new hires to get acquainted with current employees. The organization also has a dedicated business technology team to handle the logistics of setting up remote workers with the necessary systems. Conclusion: Automating the Employee Onboarding Checklist The process of onboarding new employees is a time-consuming and expensive task for any company, especially those with a remote workforce. According to Digitate, new hires are twice as likely to look for other opportunities if they had a bad onboarding experience. It is an essential step towards hiring and retaining talent and reducing overall hiring tasks. Not every component of the virtual onboarding checklist has to be manual. With automation and artificial intelligence, you can streamline the employee onboarding process. Frequently Asked Questions What are the most important factors to consider when onboarding new employees remotely? The most important factors to consider when onboarding new employees remotely are: How well the company knows the new hire before the employee arrives How well the company can assess and train remote employees The company’s culture and how it is expressed in different locations What is the best way to start a remote employee's first day? A remote employee's first day is just like a regular employee's first day. First, they should be introduced to the company and the team they will be working with. What documents should be sent to a remote employee before they start work? Some of the documents to send as part of your remote employee onboarding checklist include: Employee handbook and contract of employment Processes, procedures, and policies Guidelines on how to use the company's equipment or software Company's intranet site Company's social media profiles Policies on email usage in the workplace

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AVTAR is one of the most successful recruitment and diversity consulting brands in India. It was started in the year 2000, since then rapidly gaining industry attention & recognition for its unconventional work in talent strategy consulting, D&I advocacy & proactive CSR.