Financial problems have had a negative impact on the mental wellbeing of over half (55%) of senior managers in small to medium enterprises (SMEs), according to research on behalf of merchant banking organisation Close Brothers Invoice Finance.
A GMI survey of 900 SME owners and business managers across the UK and Ireland, conducted in August 2018, revealed that a third (33%) of respondents have felt anxious due to monetary stressors, and 8% have felt depressed.
According to the research, those in the most senior roles were more likely to be affected. Over four-fifths of chairs (83%) and chief executives (86%) said that their organisation’s financial problems or concerns had adversely affected their wellbeing, compared to 43% of other managers.
Nearly half of managing directors (48%) and chief executives (46%) said the problem had made them feel anxious, and 10% of both groups had felt depressed as a result.
David Thomson, chief executive at Close Brothers Invoice Finance, said: “Leadership plays a vital role in creating a culture that prioritises the wellbeing of its people, but as our research shows, managers can be affected by workplace mental health issues too.”
According to the research, over half (56%) of organisations with a turnover of more than £250,000 have a policy or system in place to support employees with common mental health issues, including stress and depression.
Thomson said: “A whole system approach that embeds mental health awareness into internal routines and offers support for employees at all levels is the most effective policy that [organisations] can adopt. From stress to depression and breakdowns, we must take all mental health seriously.”
He added: “Healthy staff are a business asset and responsible employers should ensure that the importance of both mental and physical wellness is recognised within their [organisation]. By promoting openness, providing a supportive environment and ensuring robust mental health working policies are in place, we can help people to reduce stress and thrive at work and beyond.”