The ‘Heads Together’ campaign reports that 1 in 6 British workers suffer or have suffered some from of mental health issue. That means that your business and your people are likely to be affected at some point. 

With over 70 million sick days taken due to mental health problems, yet a mere 2% of people feeling comfortable to contact their HR department for help, it is clear the issue is prevalent and employers have a responsibility to help.

The impact of those sick days is estimated to cost businesses in the region of £2.4 billion a year – so it’s in both the organisation and employees interest to put mental health wellbeing on the agenda.

What your organisation can do today:

  1. Start at the top. Designate a Board member to champion mental health and diversity. Review HR policies and procedures to see how you can best care for your team and what proactive measures you could take to support their wellness.
  2. Develop an approach that is sensitive and action oriented, which could include:
    • Peer to peer support and mentoring.
    • Leadership training programmes for line managers and team leaders on identifying early signs, and how to support team members with specific needs.
    • Provide employees and line managers with access to support mechanisms and occupational health to empower them to support themselves and their team.
  3. Review your everyday working culture to ensure that it’s as healthy as possible. Research has shown that regular activities can help foster positive wellbeing, especially those that contribute to CSR initiatives.
  4. Get regular feedback from your team. This could take the form of polls, surveys or focus groups. Importantly, the organisation needs to be seen to be acting on this feedback.
  5. Ensure that your staff are well versed in your policies especially those regarding any form of discrimination and that lines of reporting issues are clear and available.
  6. A great way for your business to start the conversation is to get involved in supporting local and national initiatives such as ‘Mental Health Awareness Week’ and ‘Time to Change’. This kind of activity can really help to promote a positive culture of understanding that embraces people’s personal dynamics.

The focus of being a responsible employer is shifting. Investment in a healthy corporate culture and working environment is key, as is the ability to demonstrate care for the individual. It would seem that having a people-centric business strategy built upon the wellbeing and happiness of your team is a challenge worth accepting.

Join us for our next breakfast event on ‘The Culture Challenge’ focusing predominantly on shifting culture and attitudes to enable business transformation. Book you place now. The event will be held on 12 March 2019 at 9am Carlton House Terrace, London.