With new research showing that poor mental health costs UK employers £45 billion a year, now more than ever is the time to take action on wellbeing. Mental health-related problems for businesses, including presenteeism, absences, and staff turnover, have increased 16% since Deloitte’s last survey in 2016.
Changes in work practices, particularly the ‘always on’ culture, have made it harder for employees to disconnect during their downtime, and employers haven’t yet figured out how to adapt to this new work culture.
Research from the CIPD found that two fifths of UK businesses have seen an increase in stress-related absences, with management style increasingly identified as the source of stress.
Less than half of businesses have trained managers on how to effectively deal with employee stress, and barely a third have trained managers in how to spot warning signs in staff or support employees with their mental health.
A lack of confidence that line managers can deal with stress, coupled with a staggering lack of wellbeing policies and an almost complete lack of training programmes are contributing to the crisis of wellbeing at work.
To coincide with VinciWorks’ new online mental health course, we’ve compiled some guidance for improving wellbeing at work.
Actions to take
Display your values. Be brave and talk about what you are doing openly.
Think about lifestyle as preventative medicine. What healthy living behaviours, from fruit in the office to subsidised gym memberships, can your business offer?
Actively promote a healthy work / life balance. Options like a four day work week, self-managed holiday policy and flexible working arrangements empower employees to control their own work day and can boost wellbeing as well as productivity.
Use smart data. Ask people how they’re doing and experiment with what interventions improve overall happiness.
Get emotional. The cold world of business can often sideline the values, motivations and behaviours that make us human. Engage with emotions. Make work a place employees can bring their whole self to.
Invest in your managers. They can be both the source of, and solution to, wellbeing problems at work. Training them to spot signs of stress, have emotional agility and support staff who have issues can make all the difference.
Train everyone on mental health. Mental health at work is everyone’s responsibility – not just that of first aiders or senior managers. Company-wide training not only breaks down stigma but helps demonstrate a commitment to changing the culture.
VinciWorks’ mental health training and reporting solution
VinciWorks has a range of mental health and wellbeing training solutions available. Our mental health course, Mental Health: Wellbeing at Work is designed to give users an understanding of some of the causes of stress at work, what can happen when it’s not dealt with and how employees and employers can help reduce unnecessary stress and improve wellbeing at work. The course includes a “stress at work” self-assessment that can be integrated with our reporting tool, Omnitrack.