Kavitha’s keynote: Men’s wellbeing in the spotlight

This week is Men’s Health Week. Running until Sunday (20 June), to coincide with Father’s Day in the UK, it puts men’s wellbeing firmly in the spotlight, aiming to increase awareness of issues that disproportionately affect men, encourage them to be more conscious of their health and inspire them to seek help should they need it.

New research from Legal and General, launched to coincide with Men’s Health Week, examined what wellbeing means to employees, whether men and women hold different views about what it means, and how it could be improved in the workplace. It revealed that needs in this area vastly differed between the genders, while at the same time highlighting why the focus should be on how employers can support their male staff in particular.

In terms of their overall wellbeing, more than half of men prioritised mental health over their physical health, cited by 54% and 44% of respondents respectively. These percentages were considerably lower than those among women, with 74% acknowledging mental health and 71% citing physical health.

Not only do men and women have different views on the definition of wellbeing, but they also have different ideas on what can make it better. The study showed men’s wellbeing at work could be improved by believing what the company stands for and having a sense of purpose much more than for women (37% versus 15%).

Other research this week also highlighted statistics with an impact on wellbeing, finding that the UK and western Europe have the lowest engagement levels across the globe. Pa Sinyan, managing partner at Gallup Europe, which carried out the survey, explained that even before the pandemic employees wanted an employer to support their wellbeing and said that global worry, stress, sadness and anger have been trending up the past decade. He believes “organisations are in a unique position to improve lives and performance simultaneously”.

It’s no secret that our working lives have an impact on our wellbeing and employers have the power to protect and enhance this, should they so chose.

Kavitha Sivasubramaniam
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