Mental Health: A Path to a Resilient Workforce and Business Recovery

MetLife Employee Benefit Trends

Mental Health: A Path to a Resilient Workforce and Business Recovery

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The pandemic and its aftershocks have upended life and work as we know it. With a modern-day collision of financial, social, and physical worries, the strains of this moment endanger employee mental health—and with it, business viability.

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A mental health crisis awaits, and the resulting productivity and engagement impacts could be severe. But by taking a proactive approach, employers can help employees navigate the challenges of this uncertain time. In so doing, businesses can bolster their post-pandemic recovery, strong as ever.

However, a few barriers stand in the way: like recognition of signs, underestimating symptoms, or, fear of stigma. All the while, the stress of our current moment not only persists—but grows.

That’s why resilience in the workforce is critical. Let’s explore what can help workers manage and rebound from stress and adversity, and how employers can foster resilience in the workplace to drive business outcomes.

Mental Health Impacts on Worker Productivity

Poor mental health has always been directly linked with reduced motivation and employee output.

Compare Employees Mental Health against Productivity and Engagement

86% Employees without mental health concerns Productivity
60% Employees with mental health concerns Productivity
79% Employees without mental health concerns Engagement
47% Employees with mental health concerns Engagement

But now, as COVID-19 impacts workers from every walk of life, this era’s new challenges threaten business health at an even greater scale.

Download the report to see how these effects have materialized since the start of COVID-19.

Risks of Stress on a Mass Scale

The many stressors of COVID-19 affect employers and employees at an unprecedented magnitude. And yet, employers may not be prepared to manage those impacts at scale, and employees themselves may not know they’re struggling in the first place.

Worse still, stigma holds people back from getting help.



of employees say they "feel burned out"


of employees report symptoms of the World Health Organization’s definition of burnout

Since COVID-19 began, 77% of employees report feeling major financial stress. Learn more about who is stressed and why in our 2020 Financial Wellness Report.  Download Report >

Workplace Resilience Matters

Resilient employees can adapt amid uncertainty and change. They have mental fortitude, remain positive in even the toughest times, and can bounce back more easily from adversity.

They also drive improved worker output and positive morale: Compared to the least resilient employees, the most resilient employees are more likely to be...

Compare Employee Resilience against Productivity and Engagement

96% Most resilient Productive employees
60% Least resilient Productive employees
94% Most resilient Engaged
47% Least resilient Engaged

These attributes can significantly influence a company’s ability to recover and thrive.

Driving Resilience in the Workplace

With these new challenges, employers need to take a more proactive and sustained approach to mental health:

Step 1: Make mental health a priority in the workplace and take tangible actions to drive positive holistic well-being.

Step 2: Build an open and supportive workplace culture that addresses mental health problems while also helping preempt them.

Step 3: Create an ecosystem of support programs, from employee assistance programs (EAPs) to voluntary benefits.

Employees with access to EAPs are more likely to be resilient



Employees without access to EAPs are less likely to be resilient


When executed thoughtfully and in an action-oriented way, these strategies can help alleviate stress, improve well-being, and build emotional and economic resilience for years to come.

Explore more insights on mental health and resilience in the full report

Download Report