Mental wellbeing at work is no longer an a0er thought. The evidence for the business case is overwhelming.  Physical and mental health should go together. If a member of staff is being physically assualted would you tolerate it? Yet a lot of mental assualt takes place in the workplace, with liBle or no provision for promoCng employee mental wellbeing. By promoCng mental health in the workplace, we are creaCng workplaces that manage individuals and systems to promote producCvity. Processes and systems need to be put in place to prevent mental health issues. You will not wait to cut your fingers several Cmes in a washing machine before installing a guard. In a post covid workplace, employers need to put guards between the job and the person. Mental health is the number one reason for work related illnesses. 

 

There is a business case for wellbeing programs. According to CIPD HEALTH & WELLBEING AT WORK REPORT 2018, organizaCons with a wellbeing iniCaCve have 44% beBer employee morale and engagement, as well as 31% lower sickness absence rate. Research by Price Waterhouse Cooper based on 55 companies showed:

Reduced sickness / absence by 45%

Reduced staff turnover by 18%

Reduced accidents and injuries by 16%

Increased employee saCsfacCon by 14%

Reduced resource allocaCon by 9%

Increased company profile by 8%

Increased producCvity by 8%

 

Wellbeing is strategic. Senior leadership and board must be involved. And it is beyond having mindfulness and wellbeing days at work. There must be metrics and data that inform decisions. So0 and hard metrics that measure wellbeing at work should be developed. So0 metrics would highlight behavioural and perceptual responses such as complaints, arguments, conflicts, quality of work, response Cme and Job saCsfacCon. Hard metrics provide informaCon on stress related sickness absences and turnovers, which will inform management why people are leaving or why they are people geeng sick. This informaCon would drive relevant wellbeing training programs and EAP services.

 

This leads to an important quesCon. Who should carry out this funcCon? Would exisCng HR roles possess adequate knowledge of mental health issues and soluCons? OrganizaCons now need to have a director of mental wellbeing that works under the HR department, or an external wellbeing consultant that provides the services on a retainership arrangement.

 

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