Good Mental Health is good for business

Smart employers know that their businesses are only as strong as their people and that the experiences, wellbeing and motivation levels of each and every worker are fundamental to how well the business performs as a whole.

recent survey by the Mental Health Foundation found that nearly two-thirds of people say that they have experienced a mental health problem.

More than four in ten people say they have experienced depression and over a quarter of people say they have experienced panic attacks.

In fact, just 13 per cent of individuals live with high levels of good mental health, with people aged 55 and above being the most likely to take positive action to help themselves deal better with everyday life.

When you then look at the workplace, Mind’s research in to wellbeing at work identified that 21 per cent of employees interviewed said that they had called in sick because of workplace stress. 14 per cent of staff members had resigned from a role and 42 per cent had considered resigning because of work-place stress.

So, if you thought this was a small issue then think again.

Everyone needs to take care of their mental health just as they would their physical health. And considering how much time we spend at work, it’s not surprising that it can affect our mental wellbeing. The extent to which a business understands this and takes positive action to support employees’ mental health makes all the difference.

Over the past couple of months, I have been working with two small businesses who have team members on long-term sickness. As part of my work, I have been helping these businesses support their valued employees back into the workplace. Engagement is at the heart of this – understanding whether there are factors within the employees’ place of work that could be improved or addressed that may be impacting on their wellbeing, and also establishing a culture that encourages team members to support one another. It’s no mean feat – these are delicate conversations and need to be done in a compassionate way – which is why they have called in external help.

Although neither situation for my clients have been caused by their workplaces, they are both now working with me to put in place support mechanisms that operate across the business to support their employees during difficult times.

So, for any employers that have high levels of sickness or employees on long term sick. I would suggest asking yourselves – is there something more we can be doing. My experience of working with lots of businesses has shown me, that by supporting employee mental wellbeing, they reap the benefits through enhanced morale, loyalty, commitment, innovation, productivity and profitability.