The effect of poor mental health on your business.
Updated: Jan 23
The problem of poor mental health in the workplace is far greater than many people have imagined. Despite the relative noise and discourse surrounding the subject, industry is dragging its heels when it comes to preventing and treating the cause and effects of this prevalent issue.
Some stats (credit: Farmer/Stevenson and Deloitte);
15% of the workforce in England are suffering from some sort of mental health issue
The cost to industry is placed at around £33 - £42billion per annum
The wider cost to the economy is estimated to be upwards of £99billion
The cost per employee due to lack of productivity is in excess of £2,000 per annum in some sectors
This problem is massive and growing. What’s more worrying is that a mere 11% of the top 100 companies in the UK have revealed the initiatives for dealing with the problem in annual reports.
Stress and Depression are crippling conditions and many sufferers in the workplace are being let down through a lack of appropriate framework and terrible leadership. The type of leadership that cares not for the individual, their needs or problems, instead the focus is on squeezing every last drop out of a workforce in the pursuit of profits. Worse still, are those in positions of authority who bully, harass, and destroy the confidence (and lives) of employees, sometimes for little or no reason. Ignorance perhaps. Or possibly because their exposure to poor leadership has meant they have no other measure by which to lead.
Business leaders have a responsibility to their staff that goes beyond the physical ‘Health & Safety’ requirements, to think otherwise is foolish and outdated. I see companies struggling with a whole manner of different problems and yet with the right approach and proper leadership, there is every opportunity to avoid problems, let your people flourish and enjoy the benefits of ‘good & healthy’ business.
The benefits are numerous: there is less absenteeism; lower staff turnover and fewer recruitment costs; retention of talent means your pool of expertise is maintained; you are helping people achieve their potential that then allows them to do the same with the people they lead; increase in productivity and a happy workforce.
There are no downsides to good leadership and a proper framework from which mental health issues can be avoided or dealt with sensitively. It can only be a benefit to business and business culture if companies tackle this problem head-on and with the right mechanisms in place.
‘’It’s tough at the top!’’
The old saying is perfectly true and it may be that you are a Leader or Manager who is struggling with nowhere to turn. This is especially true of those who are running their own business or those who don’t have HR or anybody to talk to. The good news is that there are a number of organisations and charities who can help offer advice and guidance.