What is the cost of poor mental health? More than you think. In the UK, businesses bear the cost when staff suffer, and no two employers have the same approach. The law around employee support states responsibility, but the structure this follows and the level of personalisation that it comes with differs from one business to another.
Every week we see new reports about the cost of poor mental health to employers across the UK of all sizes. And every week we also see first-hand the impact that vague policy has on the team member when they are struggling.
We work with businesses of all sizes around the world and have no doubt that positive attitudes to mental health that run through a business like a vein benefit everyone. From senior management to junior employees, and regardless of if you have a job for life, are new in post or on a temporary contract.
Businesses positively thrive when they take the wellbeing of their staff seriously. We’re in no doubt about that – and the data speaks for itself. In 2019, research from the Robert Walters Group found that 84% of employers believe that staff who feel their mental wellbeing is supported at work are less likely to leave and seek another employer.
Many businesses support the Mental Health First Aid peer support infrastructure. When staff volunteer to take on an advocacy role it comes with the best intentions. But we’re finding this year that MHFA teams are unprepared for the situations they are facing, despite receiving the basic MHFA training. Our collective workforce was dealing with a mental health crisis. And then a global pandemic delivered a new set of problems.
The bottom line is that businesses bear the brunt of the cost of poor mental health. But taking charge and building a robust mental wellbeing policy reduces this cost. And it is the first step to building a happier, healthier more productive workforce.