The automobile industry has successfully contributed to the global market and development. It has driven innovation and generated billions of dollars in investment and millions of jobs and livelihoods.
The automobile industry comprises a broad range of companies and organizations. It involves designing, developing, manufacturing, marketing, and selling. In short, it is a large-scale and intensive industry. Factors like productivity, efficiency and output are the sole determinants of employees'success here.
The United States is the largest single automobile manufacturing enterprise. It is in the total value of products, value-added by a manufacturer, and the number of wage earners employed.
But, the trends in the global automobile industry are changing.
Psychological Health as a major issue in the Automobile Industry:
Employees in this industry face psychological and behavioral health issues, amongst other challenges. Psychological health includes the mental, social, emotional, and spiritual dimensions of health.
The long hours and shift-based schedules allow them little time to relax. Moreover, the automobile industry is physically demanding, repetitive, and even dangerous.
While physical injuries are visible, cognitive health issues are invisible and hence, neglected. So, it remains a significant concern among the employees of the automobile industry.
It lacks a caring and empathetic work culture.
The repercussions of mental health issues can negatively affect the automobile business. According to BEN, poor Mental Health could cost the automotive sector £1.2bn a year.
In 2019, stress was identified as a significant factor among employees in the Automobile Industry. Out of all, anxiety had the most detrimental impact on employees' health.
As per the study, lack of proper sleep is the most common cause of stress and anxiety. At the same time, sleep is crucial for the appropriate functioning of the body.
According to the Mental Health Foundation, sleep problems are a cause of stress.Poor sleep has affected the employees of the automobile industry's well-being by 64%.
A recent report has shown that ignoring mental health costs at least $11 billion alone to Australian companies.
There are serious inconsistencies in the support offered to employees by employers. Mental health issues remains ignored.
Here are 6 reasons why Psychological Health Problems remains an issue in the Automobile Industry:
It is a highly competitive industry
It has more need for manual work
Employees have to make constant efforts to meet the rising opportunities and risks
There is continuous pressure to cope up with the constant evolution to compete in the market
They need to balance their technological growth with government regulation and plans
Also, stay ahead in the demands of the global markets
5 steps the Automobile Industry must ensure for Employees
The Guardian published, "what do mental health services and the automotive industry have in common? You would be forgiven for thinking "not a lot" on the face of it, but they are moving ever closer together."
Car manufacturing arguably had the most significant impact on mental health care. And, it has been growing since.
It is something that should not be left unrecognized and untreated.
Resources that Managers or HR can offer immediately:
1. Measuring Behavioral Health of the Employees
Behavioral health must be a transparent priority. The behavioral analysis encourages healthy modes of communication, social skills, and other activities.
It also addresses adaptive learning skills. It includes hygiene, self-sufficiency, punctuality, and positive employment settings.
Behavioral health problems even before the COVID-19 crisis were widespread. According to an analysis by McKinsey, COVID-19 could result in a 50 percent increase in behavioral health problems.
There should be monthly assessments of the employees' performance. It is necessary to look into an employee's psychological health by providing them special perks and benefits programs.
Employers need to feel and act towards the issue of employees' Behavioral health.
2. Empathy and Leadership
Ben's whitepaper survey found that 24% of employees who encounter an issue with their mental health would prefer to approach a line manager than a colleague (13%) or HR (12%). The report also "highlights the real need for line managers to be trained in how to support their team members, not only when someone discloses an issue with their mental health, but also to recognize the signs."
Work-related stress is a significant cause of Mental Health. As a result, it affects other aspects of life. So, employers can provide psychological health training or workshops on how to manage stress.
Good mental health is a criterion for a positive work environment.
Also, HR can arrange off-duty video conferences to discuss wellness. Arranging laughing therapy sessions for employees can positively impact their overall well-being.
Such an initiative will keep the employees happy and productive throughout the year.
3. Providing Effective Services or Measures
Technology is a boon.
Today, treating mental illness is not troublesome. Online intervention is an effective strategy. It has many advantages like greater accessibility, convenience, and cost-effectiveness.
Employers can provide free services and access to such healthcare services.
Online cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) demonstrates comparable clinical outcomes as face-to-face therapy.
CBT is a short-term behavioral health treatment. Behavioral health professionals recognize and address the employee's negative behaviors.
It encourages stressed employees to discuss how they think about themselves and the surroundings. They help them to think about positive actions and their benefits in the workplace.
Employers can also provide employees with corporate health and wellness apps like, Vantage Fit.
4. Strengthening onsite Mental Health services
Onsite mental health services are a comprehensive plan.
Like spending time with teammates besides work-related issues. Employees can organize; Lunch and Learn sessions or 'Fun Fridays' in the workplace. It will help employees mingle better and love their workplace.
Also, reduce absenteeism, increase productivity and retention by maintaining a positive work environment. It improves employee engagement.
Every workplace must arrange a recreation room for the employees where they can take a break. Apart from that, encouraging workplace yoga can be beneficial.
5. Ensuring adequate Psychological Health Coverage
"Workers want better Mental Health Benefits, Too, with 27% of employees desiring support for stress, burnout, and other Mental Health Issues."
Companies must encourage Mental Health coverage to sustain and provide better solutions. A comprehensive health insurance plan is a holistic plan.
Employees prefer to work in companies with employee engagement programs. Such benefits include programs that give attention to how to handle psychological health.
Addressing employees' well-being coverage also includes:
Want to know more about mindfulness meditation at work? Check out this article!
Quiet rooms are very prevalent these days at workplaces.
Further, employers can provide telehealth programs.
And focus on counseling sessions available through Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs). Nowadays, "Emotional Assistance Programs" seems to be a more preferred word.
Creat a company-wide psychological health plan
Offer free counseling or professional advice on stress reduction techniques
Encouraging positive communication with co-workers
Train your managers on wellness strategies
Keeping an eye on employees needs and requirements
Implementing strategies to avoid bullying and unprofessional behaviors
Encouraging employee engagement perks and benefit programs
Encouraging intellectual wellness practices in the workplace
Offer "Mental Health Days" for when employees need a break
Ensure employees' workloads are manageable
Offer resilience training
Regular check-ins with employees
Offer flexible scheduling
Pass on information about health and nutrition
Set planners for employees to reduce substance abuse
The automobile industry should no longer identify mental health conditions as a stigma.
The treatment of mental and behavioral health is a collaborative effort. Ensuring health and wellness is a significant part of Company culture.
Cultivating a psychological health plan in the auto industry will need both short and long-term actions.
Health and well-being are essential at every stage. From childhood to adolescence and adolescence to adulthood.
And, it can be made easy for employees only by recognizing their works and celebrating their achievements.