Five good reasons why key stakeholders should consider employees’ mental health in their planning for 2018.
Here are our reasons why stakeholders should consider mental health:
Capturing the best and brightest
Research tells us that in a competitive market, the best and brightest are attracted to, and state their wish to, work in an environment where they ‘feel valued and supported’, principally when they or their colleagues encounter personal challenges.
Legal and regulatory obligations
Whilst you would think that most organisations would be likely to have, as part of any planning process, the reduction of any risk concomitant with legal or regulatory obligations breaches, incredibly only 39% of them have guidelines in place to support employees with mental health issues and only 24% of line managers have any form of support or training in this area.
By putting into place a well thought through policy, ensuring line managers are aware of organisation best practice in dealing with mental health concerns and engaging with staff in a fair and compassionate way, can reduce the risk of being in breach of regulatory standards or the law.
Deloitte’s research (commissioned by the authors of the Stevenson/Farmer report) found that poor mental health costs the UK economy as much as £99bn each year. Absenteeism alone costs UK companies annually an estimated £8bn, while presenteeism, where employees with mental health issues are present but not wholly productive, costs £17-26bn. This is equivalent to between £1,205 and £1,560 per year, per employee.
If costs can be reduced, even by only a few percentage points through effective prevention, it would make a significant difference to both individual organisations, their finances and the economy as a whole.
Reducing sick leave and staff turnover
As has been shown, absenteeism through mental health issues engenders not only a human cost but a financial one too. Companies investing in constructive intercessions are better placed to reduce human resources issues, including recurring and long-term absences, grievance procedures and high turnover of staff, which are all a drain on resources and create additional cost.
Importantly, the research by Deloitte also reported a £4.20 return on investment for every £1 spent, on workplace mental health interventions.
Safeguarding corporate reputation
Demonstrable compassion and understanding toward employees who are dealing with issues around mental health is not only good for their personal well-being, but can also safeguard and actively promote the public profile of a company.
It seems obvious to say that any adverse PR and/or an Employment Tribunal finding that your organisation is involved with is something to be avoided.
With the Stevenson/Farmer report calling for greater employer transparency on how they support people with mental health concerns, businesses need to think ahead and prioritise this issue.
If you are looking to promote positive mental health in the workplace, then contact us today to discuss your Occupational Health needs.