The Importance of Supporting Employee Mental Health and Wellbeing
Updated: Feb 4, 2021
We know you have heard it all before: mental health, wellbeing within the workplace… We know, we get it, but it’s important, probably more important than you realise?
So, why is workplace mental health and wellbeing so important?
Hi, my name is Leila Hobart and I’m the founder of INSPIREUK; a centralised solution for corporate mental health and wellbeing. I’m a trainer counsellor and personal trainer who focuses on mental health aspects and I’m extremely passionate about helping corporates understand and recognise the need for improvement within their organisations.
Let’s start by looking at mental health outside of the workplace. MHFA England produced a report in October 2020 that 1 in 4 people experience mental health issues each year. In the same report, MHFA also reported that mental ill health is the second-largest cause of burden of disease in England - These statistics are a real cause for concern and should not be ignored. The common misconception about mental health is that those who suffer cannot work and that poor mental health is a sign of weakness. This is not the case.
The last year has proven more than ever that everyone has mental health, whether it’s good or poor. No one is immune to the feelings that surround many of us this last year due to the COVID pandemic. The pandemic has caused most organisations to adapt to working from home and many employees be isolated in the process.
How mental health affects those in the workplace
Now it’s time to revert back to the origins of this article: Mental health in the workplace. Employees are the backbone of your organisation, but you know that, right? They are the core to your business, but you don’t need me to tell you all of this. What you need me to challenge you on is asking you this: ‘how healthy is your workforce’? Are they working smart or are they working hard? If it’s the latter, perhaps it’s worth taking a check on their wellbeing and mental health.
Deloitte published a report in May 2020 that poor mental health is costing UK employers an average of £42 - £45 billion per year, a rise from 2017 which is phenomenal. They also reported that investing in your business and employees is paramount for a number of factors:
Reduction of employee turnover
Boosts employee morale
Increases productivity, innovation and creation
There is no doubt that employers have to do more to support their staff. MHFA England reported in October that 1 in 6 people within a workplace will suffer from mental health. Whether you are an organisation that has 5 employees or 2,300 employees, investing in your workforce is essential. But where do you start with it all? Is it as simple as delivering a one-off workshop on resilience and calling your employees to have an honest chat to find out how they are doing? Yes, it can be… if you have implemented a wellbeing and mental health strategy within your organisation already.
The difficult part for most small / medium businesses is knowing where to start. How do you tackle such a sensitive subject? The honest answer is ‘bring in the experts.’ Often, as an organisation, you will be focusing on doing what you do best: So, in this instance, it’s always better, more affordable and effective to bring someone in to help. Whether that’s through one-off workshops or the full implementation of a wellbeing and mental health strategy for your business. As a business, you don’t want to be spending hours of your time delivering a workshop on mental health - You have enough to do as it is.
Finding the right provider for you
Always, always, ALWAYS check credentials, qualifications and insurance - This is extremely important. An EAP (employee assistant programme) is always a good place to start. But, this is often only a base line for what you want to achieve. EAPs are good for your business but they won’t necessarily deliver the outcomes you want from a mental health and wellbeing programme.
Make sure that when you choose a provider, they are listening and ‘bespoking’ the schedule to your needs, business’ size and requirements. The importance is around getting the delivery right for your audience so that they leave having learnt (and continue to learn) about mental health and wellbeing.
It’s not just a phase
Mental health and wellbeing is here to stay - It’s not just a phase and it’s essential that growing organisations take action to support their staff, whether they have good or poor mental health. Making reasonable adjustments is important in taking businesses forwards to ensure that your employees are working effectively for your business.
How INPISREUK can help you..
At INPISREUK we are focused on helping SME’s with their mental health and wellbeing strategy and delivering workshops. We work on a targeted approach to your organization as we understand that no two businesses operate the same way. We work with you and your employees to deliver outcomes on enhancing the workplace for the better. We aren’t about quick fixes we are here to support you long term. Whether that’s through the delivery of a one off workshop or a full implementation of a strategy. We bring in leading experts to help you and your business.