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An investment not an expense

Apart from the risk, it makes good economic sense to ensure adequate management of psychological issues in the workplace. The cost of mental ill-health is estimated to be 2% of GDP, or approximately $40 billion per annum. Estimates of ROI on improving psychological well-being are $2.30 for every dollar spent on prevention and solutions. There are probably no more valuable untapped productivity streams than the promotion of a psychologically healthy workplace.

These benefits typically take the form of improved productivity, via reduced absenteeism and presenteeism (reduced productivity at work), and lower numbers of compensation claims.

  • Implementing multiple targeted actions is likely to lead to further increases in ROI, noting that the cumulative benefits of multiple actions will be less than their sum as actions may apply to the same group of employees.
  • The productivity gains generated from different actions may vary depending on the industry and size of an organisation.
  • Actions tend to be more effective when implemented in smaller sized organisations because the single most critical success factor is employee participation. This may mean that actions are best implemented on a team or group basis in larger organisations.
  • In order to achieve a positive ROI, organisations will need to have addressed the critical success factors for change. In particular, implementing one or several actions is unlikely to be effective unless there is leadership and management support for improving the culture and mental health of the workplace.

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