Although 61% of employees have experienced a mental health issue due to work, or in which work was a contributing factor, 64% of managers put their organisation’s interests above staff wellbeing at some point, and 12% do so every day, according to a workplace mental health report by Business in the Community (BITC).
YouGov research for the Seizing the momentum, mental health at work report, published on 8 October in conjunction with Mercer, also reveals that only 60% of employees feel their line manager is genuinely concerned for their wellbeing.
David Oldfield, chair of the BITC wellbeing leadership team and CEO of commercial banking at Lloyds Banking Group, said: “I would encourage all businesses to challenge themselves on what more they can do to support their colleagues and ensure that a positive approach to mental health and wellbeing is embedded in the culture of the organisation.”
While 65% of managers responding to the survey acknowledged that employee wellbeing is their responsibility, only 30% of line managers reported that they had received any training on mental health.
According to the report, 39% of managers have been approached by someone wanting to talk about a mental health issue, 10% within the last month. However, 68% of managers still believed there are barriers to providing support for the mental wellbeing of those they manage. Also, 30% of managers reported not having any workplace facilities or services that could help wellbeing and mental health.
The research found that 16% of employees felt able to disclose a mental health issue to their manager, but 11% of those who disclosed an issue subsequently faced disciplinary action, demotion or dismissal.
Over half (54%) of employees feel comfortable talking generally in the workplace about mental health issues. However, 56% do not feel comfortable talking about money issues at work, and 34% reported that their financial situation negatively affects their mental health.
Tony Wood, partner and UK managing director of Mercer Marsh Benefits, said: “We have made progress but we still have a long way to go. We call on all employers to build on the significant contribution they already make to the nation’s mental health and wellbeing.”