New research shows an apparent disconnect when it comes to how managers rate their own ability to promote wellbeing in the workplace and how staff view their manager’s performance. It’s a reality that shows even though mental health at work is starting to get the attention it deserves, there’s still a way to go to ensure it becomes a key priority for organisations.
According to Mind’s third annual Workplace Wellbeing Index 2018-19, which polled nearly 44,000 employees, including 15,824 individuals with management responsibilities, from over 100 organisations, two-thirds (66%) of managers feel confident promoting employee wellbeing. However, less than half of staff (45%) feel their manager would be able to spot if they were having problems with their mental wellbeing.
The research also found that 41% of managers believe their employer contributed to their skills to support employees experiencing poor mental health, while 56% of employees said their organisation supports their mental health. Just over half (51%) believe the culture at their organisation makes it possible to speak openly about mental health issues.
Mental health problems are common among staff
It would appear that mental health issues are common among staff, with the Mind research finding more than seven in 10 employees (71%) have experienced mental health problems in their lives. A further 53% are currently impacted by poor mental health in their place of work.
Speaking about the findings of the research, Emma Mamo, Head of Workplace Wellbeing at Mind, said: “With mental health problems so common among employees, it’s important that every workplace – no matter the size – makes staff wellbeing a priority. It’s also vital that employers make sure managers know how to spot and support colleagues who might be struggling with issues like stress, anxiety or depression.”
One of the things the Mind research does is get people talking about mental health issues in the workplace and helps break down some of the traditional barriers that have been associated with this somewhat taboo subject.
The more conversations that are started relating to mental health issues, the more confident and relaxed people will be talking about them.
However, with 53% of workers currently experiencing mental health issues and a seeming lack of confidence in how managers support employees, perhaps another question arises as it is likely that the same proportion of managers are themselves suffering similar issues.
Therefore, how can a person who has problems of their own be equipped to manage and help others. Employers, therefore, need to recognise this and invest in appropriate services to assist with the management of mental health matters.
I joined Premier Choice Group as a Healthcare & Protection Consultant in 2017, where I now look after the needs of over 200 clients nationwide. Prior to joining the Premier Choice Group, I worked for a large Private Healthcare Insurer, VitalityHealth, and managed SME and Individual clients across the country.