Making the business case for workplace mental health is essential. Mental ill health is a growing problem costing UK industry billions a year in sick pay, turnover and lost productivity. This article discusses what your business can do to solve the problem and why maintaining good staff mental health is vital for business success.
Mental ill health is a major issue in today’s society that has both human and financial costs. The recent Thriving at Work Report (Farmer and Stevenson, 2017) estimates the cost to UK businesses to be somewhere between £33 billion and £42 billion. That’s £1300 per employee per year due to lost productivity, increased sickness absence and increased staff turnover.
Despite a number of high-profile public figures ‘coming out’ about their mental health disorders, a stigma still surrounds the issue of mental health in the workplace. Recent research has found that only 1 in 10 of employees would feel comfortable disclosing a mental health condition to their line manager and only 24% of managers had received any form of mental health training (Business in the Community. Mental Health at Work Report 2017).
The reasons behind this stigma are complex, but tackling the issue and investing in the mental health of your staff pays off. When Deloitte (2017) analysed 23 companies that had done exactly this, the results showed a consistently positive return. For every £1.00 spent on mental health interventions on staff, on average companies saw a return of £4.00.
Financial benefits from mental health training include increased productivity and performance, decreased sickness absence and reduced staff turnover. There are also savings to be had in terms of a reduction in time spent covering for sickness absence, which exarcebates demands on remaining staff, as well as the retention of skilled and experienced members of staff.
Employers also have legal responsibilities to look after the health of their employees. The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (1999) require that risks to both mental and physical health are assessed – one does not take priority over the other. Given the government’s increased focus on mental well-being at work, and our increasingly litigious society, employers risk further financial penalties for not fulfilling their legal obligations.
We know that the workplace can be a force for good. Studies have shown that work can improve the mental health of those suffering with a condition if the environment is supportive. The 2017 Deloitte report suggests that the biggest benefits are achieved when companies put interventions in place at an early stage – so the time to act is now.
Delphis offers face-to-face workshops and online courses to help delivered and developed by highly educated business managers, academics and teachers. We are committed to guiding companies along the path to creating healthy, productive and rewarding working environments for their staff. It makes a great deal of sense to invest in the mental well-being of your staff. The financial argument is compelling and caring for your employees is the right thing to do.
If you still have any doubts, here are just a few of the positive comments we received at workshops in Birmingham and London this week from one major multi-national client:
“Very relevant and informative… engaging and inclusive style… worth spending a whole day on… need to roll out to whole company… loved the takeaway workbook… pretty much perfect.”
Please get in touch to discuss how we can provide customised mental health training for your organisation that fits your needs.