Intrinsically, work is good for us. Simply having a job gives us a combination of self-esteem, companionship and status. The Royal College of Psychiatrists says this, and also lets us know that some workplaces contribute to mental ill-health.

Our mental health is constantly in flux – we won’t always be happy, we won’t always feel sad. But our stays in each hotel will vary from person to person. No two people will have the exact same experience or reaction to it.

Our levels of mental wellbeing impact how we interact with the world around us, how productive we feel and how well we find ourselves coping with the stresses of life. Only around 20% of the UK population experiences high levels of mental wellbeing, and about 15% suffer at the other end of the spectrum. Employers are losing an average of 6.6 days per employee per year. 40% of those absences are attributed to stress and the larger the company the greater the number of days lost (Nuffield Health).

With that much time being lost it’s no surprise that having good mental health, and support when mental health is suffering, is essential to business performance. The question is, what is your business doing to show its people that they are appreciated and supported?

 

What can your business do?

There still exists much stigma when it comes to talking about mental health issues. 95% of employees calling in sick because of stress actually gave a different reason because of this stigma. To create a culture where your people aren’t afraid to speak up means building a fully engaged leadership team. A team which models behaviours that all managers can see and follow. Time To Change has excellent practical ideas on what an organisation can do.

As well leading by example, you can invest in Mental Health First Aid training. This will give your first aiders the confidence and tools to recognise early signs of a mental health condition and provide appropriate support where needed. And what could be better than someone from the very top of the organisation being one of the mental health first aiders?!

Improving employee wellbeing, productivity and retention aren’t nice-to-haves. Doing this is an essential part of ongoing success and good corporate citizenship.

(This blog was first published here)