Mental health wellbeing
Employee mental health has been put under sustained pressure over the last few years. However, only one in ten employees say that they would be honest about needing a mental health day, suggesting that stigma around mental health very much persists. The mental health crisis is prevalent, with NHS waiting lists getting longer. The latest Health & Safety Executive report indicates that 914,000 workers suffer from work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2021/22.
"Only one in ten employees say that they would be honest about needing a mental health day, suggesting that stigma around mental health very much persists."
Wellbeing programmes are crucial to encourage people to speak up. Uniting employees throughout organisations through an open and transparent culture can also highlight what an organisation truly values and fosters long-term loyalty. Values can provide the framework to equip employees with a sense of purpose and drive, furthering employee engagement.
Various tools, from apps to mental health first aiders to employee assistance programmes, can give employees various options when deciding which tools best support their own wellbeing. However, the greater focus on the individual, their priorities and their needs is welcome as it highlights how wellbeing is multi-dimensional. It encompasses the financial, physical and mental wellbeing of an individual and to what extent their workplace can support a healthy balance of daily demands.
An integrated approach to wellbeing through benefits
During 2023, employees will need greater support to deal with the challenges raised by the cost of living crisis. A regular review of employees and their circumstances should be in-built into every Line Manager’s approach over the next year.
While 72 per cent are offering discounts of high street products and services, some employers are reporting that they are relaunching their benefits package to ensure that employees understand what is on offer to them.
The top three benefits of offering a pension scheme, offering an Employee Assistance Programme and offering life insurance demonstrate how long-term wellbeing is key for many employees. Many employers are increasingly offering benefits that cover financial, physical and mental health – treating wellbeing in its entirety.
For others, culture forms a huge part of how employees can be supported. New ways of working give employees more control over when and where they work. Hybrid and flexible working options can help reduce commuting costs, open up employment opportunities to wider demographics who have to balance home and work life, and provide balance that bolsters wellbeing for employees.