According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 1 in 10 U.S. adults report symptoms of depression. In an Employee Benefit News article, it claims that while navigating employee mental health can be tricky for HR since not all symptoms are noticeable, a few hidden indicators can hinder overall productivity. Those indicators are:
- Procrastination and missed deadlines
- Difficulties with memory and learning
- Team morale -- if one person is depressed, it often affects the entire department or project team
The recommendation is to be proactive and create a preventive culture. HR professionals can do this by referring employees to available resources, such as an employee assistance program. However, in some instances this approach may not be enough. Employers should encourage face-to-face communication with employees in order to enhance trust and reduce the feelings of isolation. Managers should be trained on how to handle emotionally difficult conversations and identify at-risk employees. HR staff should also be flexible with their methods of intervention and adjust these as needed.