19% of older line managers do not think staff wellbeing is integral to their job

86% of employers are changing approach health and wellbeing due to Covid-19One in five (19%) line managers aged 55 and above do not think that supporting staff wellbeing is integral to their job compared to 7% of younger line managers, according to research by return-to-work rehabilitation organisation Working To Wellbeing.

Its Window to the workplace survey, which surveyed 510 UK line managers and 1,068 UK workers, found that 19% of line managers aged 55 and above are on the fence about whether supporting employees’ wellbeing is part of their role, while 62% agree that it is, compared to 18% and 74% of line managers aged 18-34 years respectively.

In addition, more than one-fifth of older line managers said they struggle to talk to their teams about their mental health and wellbeing, with 22% stating that it does not come easily to them, compared to 11% of those aged under 34 and 13% aged 35-54.

More than half (55%) of line managers aged above 55 felt they have been equipped with sufficient resources to support their employees’ overall wellbeing, compared to 69% of those aged under 34.

Conversely, 40% of employee respondents aged 55 and above said they are happy talking to their line manager about their mental health, compared to 54% of under-35s and 53% of those aged 35-54. Less than half (46%) of older workers felt confident having a conversation with their line manager about their wellbeing at a time of crisis, compared to 65% of those aged under 35.

Dr Julie Denning, managing director, chartered health psychologist at Working To Wellbeing and chair of the Vocational Rehabilitation Association, said: “As the UK population ages and the cost of living soars, the multi-generational workplace will be very much the norm in the years ahead. From a workplace wellbeing perspective, it’s crucial that employers recognise the challenges, as well as the opportunities, this can bring.

“Our research indicates that there is a potential divide between the generations when it comes to appreciating the responsibility that a line manager is often placed with and the confidence and know-how they have to support colleagues’ wellbeing.”