Calls were made for firms to do more for their staff after 48% of employees reported they did not receive a well-being check-in during 2021.
Mental Health First Aid England (MHFA) recently conducted a poll of 2,000 employees and uncovered that 48% stated their employers had failed to complete a well-being check-in on their mental health during 2021. MHFA have stated that this is a worrying increase of 25% in comparison to employees asked in 2021.
Of those who did receive a well-being check-in, only 27% reported a monthly check-in from their employers, a 60% decrease from the year prior.
Senior Employment Relations Advisor at the CIPD, Rachel Suff, said that it was ‘disappointing’ to see so many organisations failing to complete wellbeing check-ins with their employees on a regular basis. Suff stated “Managers need to make sure they are setting aside time to check in with their team and ask about their wellbeing, while HR also need to make sure senior leaders view health and wellbeing as a priority and they create a culture where people feel able to talk about any issues they’re having,”
MHFA England called on employers to increase support for employees and revisit their policies to help fuel productivity, reduce sick days, increase retention and attract new talent. Simon Blake, Chief Executive of MHFA England stated “If we get the basics right, we can build workplaces where wellbeing and productivity fuel each other,” Blake continued, “That is why we are encouraging all employers to adopt wellbeing check-ins as part of a comprehensive strategy.”
Paul Feeney, Chief Executive of Quilter furthered this point, warning that as the country continues to move away from coronavirus restrictions and many employees return to the office, people are feeling the impact of the past two years.
“We cannot expect an immediate mental health rebound and must ensure employees arrive at work feeling supported and listened to,” Feeney said, adding that employers have played a “vital role” in creating supportive and safe workplace cultures.
The recent MHFA survey also found some improvements since the pandemic started with 24% of employees reporting they felt they could always bring their whole self to work, up from 16% pre-pandemic. In addition, nearly a third of employers (32%) of employees stated they would be comfortable discussing their mental health since the pandemic.
However, while 39% of employers believe that offering fully flexible working would support their employee’s mental health, only 20% reported that they had introduced this into their workplace.
When asked how employees would prefer to discuss any mental health issues they may have, nearly half (47%) stated they would be most comfortable discussing mental health face-to-face, with only 13% stating they would feel more comfortable discussing mental health remotely.
Louise Aston, wellbeing director at Business in the Community (BITC) said the onus was on employers to demonstrate they genuinely care about wellbeing.
They could do this “by regularly listening to their people and providing tailored, personalised solutions that take an equitable and inclusive approach to protect and enhancing the well-being of everyone”
Supporting your employees with any mental health struggles they may have is essential, especially due to the unprecedented circumstances many employees have been forced into since the pandemic started.
If you require assistance with implementing better systems to help support your employees with their mental health, or wish to discuss this topic further, feel free to get in contact with our team to find out how we can help.
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