Invest in employee mental health and boost your productivity

Invest in employee mental health and boost your productivity

UK businesses are facing a huge and ongoing problem, one that is expected to cost employers around £33-44 billion this year alone. With over 600k workers forecast to be struck down during 2020, it’s calculated that 12.8 million days will be lost through absence, alongside a steep drop in productivity from staff who are affected but still come to work.

We aren’t talking about the current pandemic, but the devastating effect poor workplace mental health has on UK firms.

As Suffolk based mental health training providers Three Eggs explain, having a good workplace mental health culture provides benefits for every employee – and every part – of a business:

“Businesses that support a positive mental health culture work better because they aren’t losing people through resignations, or high absenteeism. And as many studies have shown, when employees report their mental health is good, they can be as much as three times more productive. Not to mention the fact that a happy workplace nurtures creativity and a willingness from people to bring more to their jobs. Which all plays a huge part in allowing businesses to meet their strategic goals.”

But as company Director George Bradley and his team often see, the warning signs are not always apparent:

“HR managers may identify absenteeism as an indicator that staff are struggling with mental health, but the flip side of the coin is presenteeism, where staff still turn up to work, but their productivity is limited. And this can often be harder to identify. But once you detect it in an organisation, it’s a clear sign that things may not be right within the mental health culture of that workplace. And if this isn’t effectively addressed, it will sap the talent and performance levels of the business as a whole over time.”

Finding the positives

However, George is positive about how Three Eggs can help businesses address the issue of mental health welfare in the workplace.

“Once we’ve met with a HR or business director, and established that changes are needed to address the issues that mental health welfare at work may be causing, it’s amazing how fast things can start to turn around. And I’m talking measurable results, not just through wellbeing surveys, but on wider business stats like productivity goals and retention figures.”

The process starts with an initial meeting so the Three Eggs team can understand the existing culture, and from there create a bespoke plan designed to suit the organisation’s needs. This includes raising the profile of mental health in the workplace, hosting workshops, and providing training and ongoing support lines for Mental Health First Aiders.

And George is quick to point out the need for establishing an internal support network from the top down:

“Mental health affects the whole business, but ensuring an effective, educated and engaged management team is key to establishing a strong and lasting culture of positive support. When it comes from the top, it really underlines the seriousness in which a company takes mental health issues. And this gives people at all levels the confidence they need to be able to talk about issues openly.”

From a financial perspective, your senior team members have a greater impact on your turnover should their productivity suffer through poor mental health.

“Investing in the mental health of your senior team means you’ll ultimately get a greater return on your investment. We conduct Reflective Practice Groups where our clinical specialists provide help and advice to team members, with the aim of developing strategies for coping. And senior leaders get confidential phone and email support to help them handle complex issues, and help guide their decisions. And when required, we can provide prompt and direct access to clinical assistance. Typically, we provide referrals to your team members much faster than the NHS or even a private practitioner will be able to.”

As workplaces face greater challenges than ever before, now is the time to invest in looking after your employee’s mental health. It’s not only an investment in your staff, but your businesses’ ability to thrive and meet goals too.

Mental health first aiders 

Three Eggs are running a number of courses to help business identify a strategy for dealing with the issues raised – aimed at understanding mental health in the workplace and equipping designated Mental Health First Aiders. For further information and to book visit their website.

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