Solutions for Businesses
The UK workplace is under pressure to adhere to all the changes in legislation on employment law and pensions and they are now faced with the need to understand Mental Health and the wellbeing of their staff.
Use of training in the workplace tends to steer towards health and safety, customer service and sales, yet the mental health of employees has a far greater financial impact on the business than other areas. It is still typically ignored due to costs and lack of understanding and implications in the business.
'With awareness of Mental
Health growing rapidly,
UK Industry is under
pressure to find a
workable and affordable
solution to the wellbeing
of their employees'
"Mental ill-health, such as depression, stress and anxiety, costs
businesses over £1000 per employee every year. This amounts to
almost £30 Billion a year across the UK economy."
Currently Employers are Responsible for
Adhering to the HSE 6 Management
- Demands – this includes issues such as workload, work patterns and the work environment
- Control – how much a person has in the way they do their work
- Support – this includes the encouragement, sponsorship and resources provided by the organisation, line management and colleagues
- Relationships – this includes promoting positive working to avoid conflict and dealing with unacceptable behaviour
- Role – whether people understand their role within the organisation and whether the organisation ensures that they do not have conflicting roles
- Change – how organisational change (large or small) is managed and communicated in the organisation.
There are many factors within and beyond the workplace that contribute to mental illness. However, employers need to be mindful with the management of the wellbeing of their staff during change, not only within the organisation but external affecting the individual.
Mental ill-health, such as depression, stress and anxiety cost businesses over £1000 per employee every year, amounting to almost £30 Billion a year across the UK economy. Not to mention millions of working days of lost production, recruitment and absence.
The complexity of mental health makes it a challenging for line management, who are often at the frontline of supporting colleagues and offering additional support.
The Centre for Mental Health estimated that an employer could cut the cost of mental health in lost production and staff by about a third, by improving the management of mental health at work through education and listening to staff feedback on what would make the workplace a healthier enviroment.
There are many factors that will contribute to mental health problems, and not listening or understanding, could prove to be very costly to the individual and the business.
Internal factors affecting mental health:
- Workplace organisation changes
- Changes in management and how messages are cascaded down through the ranks
- Fear of redundancy
- Employee / Employer disputes
- Peer-to-Peer bullying
External factors affecting mental health:
- Relationship breakdown
- Family problems
- Health issues such as alcohol or substance abuse
- Domestic violence
Unlike many visible illnesses, the stigma has still not been lifted on Mental Health, with people still feeling it is difficult to explain to an employer and easier to keep quiet. The issue is often only highlighted when the staff are off sick or, worst case, resign.