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  • Joanne Quinn (WYIM)

Mental Health & Wellbeing in the Workplace for Leaders & Decision Makers



With 82% of recruitment consultants experiencing stress at work, an expected crisis in mental health due to the coronavirus and poor mental health in the workplace costing employers £45bn each year, can your company afford not to take employee mental health and wellbeing seriously?


There are many factors in the workplace that can negatively affect employee wellbeing in normal times such as lone working, no breaks, long hours, unrealistic targets, deadlines and workloads and poor managerial support. Increases in anxiety and fear due to the coronavirus is an additional factor exacerbating mental health issues. Risks around these need to be addressed in addition to the financial cost of poor mental health in the workplace, companies also have a legal obligation to tackle work related stress.


Investing in mental health and wellbeing is proven to have a positive return on investment through reductions in absenteeism, increases in productivity and improved employee retention. Studies have shown that for every £1 invested in wellbeing, you can expect to receive an average of £5 return on investment. However, you can’t put a price on how invaluable this investment is in terms of building a healthy and engaged workforce with low stress levels.


But investment needs to be spent wisely to create a mental health and wellbeing programme that provides positive results, making a difference to employees' lives and your business.


A great way of creating a mental health and wellbeing programme is to follow and implement the 6 standards outlined in the Thriving at Work, which was an independent review into how employers could improve support employee mental health. These standards have recently been refreshed and are clearly outlined in ‘The Mental Health at Work Commitment’.


The 6 standards recommend employers to:

1. Create, implement and communicate a mental health at work plan 2. Consider working conditions 3. Improve mental health awareness 4. Improve organisational confidence and capability 5. Provide mental health tools and support 6. Increase transparency and accountability through reporting


Through following and implementing a comprehensive roadmap for each of these standards you can be assured that the wellbeing of your employees will be positively impacted.


Useful information and resources can be found at:


https://mhfaengland.org/

https://www.mentalhealthatwork.org.uk

https://www.mind.org.uk/workplace/workplace-wellbeing-index/slices/form/

https://www.hse.gov.uk/stress/standards/


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