EXCLUSIVE: 39% of employers support mental health

New research has revealed that fewer than four in 10 UK organisations believe they adequately support mental health for modern-day purposes.

The findings from global professional services organisation Aon were compiled from the views of 100 UK and 700 global businesses. It identified the resilience of organisational workforces, which were assessed against 10 key resilience attributes set out by the World Health Organization. By answering a series of questions, companies were able to assess their current wellbeing strategy and how successful they are at creating a resilient workforce.

More than one-quarter (28%) of employers don’t believe they support mental health in a way that fits the modern day, while 33% took a neutral view on their practices in this area.

As well as analysing mental health support, the research also highlighted organisations’ views about whether they are developing in terms of staff financial security, inclusivity, adaptable skills, physical health, and clarity and purpose.

More than half (58%) of UK businesses stated they are positively embracing inclusivity, 67% are delivering clarity and purpose for their employees and 65% are operating a compassionate and engaging community.

In addition, UK businesses assessed themselves least favourably in developing financial security for employees, with just 37% managing this positively. A total of 19% felt they were failing in this area, with another 44% reporting their practices are neutral.

Mark Witte, head of health and risk consulting, Health Solutions UK at Aon, commented that while many are working out details of a return to the office, employee engagement is not faring as well.

“Mental health support is a key example; though firms are providing mental health resources, the survey reveals that managers are not confident in addressing mental health issues, their tool kits are not targeting underlying health risks, their communication campaigns aren’t effective enough and leadership don’t have the metrics to track change,” he said.

Witte added that employers can take several measures to improve employee resilience, but the first should be to articulate a strategy by setting “realistic goals and finding meaningful metrics that show value on investment”.