42% have seen staff leave due to lack of mental health support

25% of employers have seen valued staff leave their jobs due to lack of mental health support

Just under half (42%) of employers have experienced an employee leaving their organisation because they felt their mental wellbeing was not being cared for, according to research by Benenden Health.

Its survey of 1,008 UK non-furloughed employees, and 1,003 business owners and directors also found that a quarter (25%) of respondents have seen a key member of staff leave the organisation for this reason. In addition, 55% of staff would seek a new job if their mental wellbeing was not being supported by their employer, increasing to 78% among employees aged 18-24, compared to 42% among those aged 45-54 and 38% of over 55s.

Furthermore, over half (57%) of employees said that it would increase the likelihood of them joining a new organisation if it had a supportive mental wellbeing policy. Just under half (46%) of employees said their job had become more stressful in the last two years.

One-third (36%) of employees believe that mental wellbeing is a priority for their employer, although 58% of employer respondents said that they genuinely care about the mental wellbeing of staff. Despite this, just 53% of organisations have asked their staff what they would like to see in terms of mental wellbeing support.

When employee respondents were asked what mental wellbeing support they would value the most, 46% said they would value free counselling, 45% would appreciate mental health sick leave, 41% would like regular reviews of workload, and 35% said they would value a confidential mental wellbeing helpline.

Bob Andrews, chief executive at Benenden Health, said: “It is concerning that employers have reported losing good staff due to poor mental wellbeing provision, something that employees clearly consider important and which could be creating a perfect storm for UK organisations.

“The data highlights a missed opportunity for employers to listen to their staff and promote good mental wellbeing within their organisation, as this can have a real positive effect not only on the health of employees but also on absence rates, productivity, recruitment and retention.

“Organisations that do not take an interest in strengthening their mental wellbeing provision also risk missing the opportunity to access a talent pool that would be loyal to an employer that prioritises positive mental wellbeing.

“It is important that employers do not just talk the talk when it comes to mental wellbeing, but also put things into practice to support their staff.”