Workplace Trauma ... Check on Your Employees

The month of May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Not talking about this is a social illness. The term "suffering in silence" has become all too common—especially at work.

Even before the pandemic, mental health costs were a high cost for businesses. In 2018, employee mental health costs rose twice as fast as all other medical expenses (full article). Imagine how things are compounded as we live through this pandemic.

As a Professional Career Coach, I have worked with hundreds of people and heard numerous stories of individuals experiencing workplace depression, anxiety, and trauma. Disclaimer: I am not a clinician nor claim to be one. I advise anyone experiencing mental health issues to seek help from a licensed medical professional (doctor, therapist, counselor, etc.) ASAP.

As a coach, I create the space for my resume and career coaching clients to speak about their current and past work experiences. Before we jump into common themes from their stories (and my own), let us get a high-level understanding of depression and workplace trauma.

Depression in the Workplace Happens

Depression is not just about having a bad day. Depression, left untreated, may have a significant impact on work performance. It can look like decreased productivity, irritability, absenteeism, low energy, withdrawal, and possibly even anger and anxiety.

Absenteeism - This missing work/calling-in. In the United States, workplace depression accounts for $23 billion in lost workdays each year (full article). People are the heartbeat of the business, and your business is losing money when your people are not okay.

Presenteeism - This refers to employees who can come to work, but their mental health symptoms impact their productivity (time management, concentration, physical tasks, attention to detail, and communication).