What is Poor Mental Health REALLY Costing Your Business?
Coping with C-19’s mental health fallout is costing UK businesses. Maybe no big surprise.
The bigger surprise is that, in spite of 67% of HR leaders identifying mental health and stress issues as their business’s biggest wellbeing challenge, over 50% of businesses have simply stood still for the last year on their wellbeing strategy and resources.
Why is this?
According to an admirable survey of 400 HR leaders*, a lack of senior management support for wellbeing is preventing businesses from tackling mental health in the workplace.
31% of those asked said a lack of buy-in from senior leaders was the biggest barrier to implementing wellbeing strategies (ahead of ‘limited budgets’ and a ‘lack of time’).
So what can you do to present a cogent case for starting, sustaining or increasing investment in wellbeing programmes at your workplace?
Let’s start with some nerve-prodding data*:
- Poor mental health cost employers between £33 billion and £42 billion in 2020, a rise of 16% in the last 4 years
- The cost of absenteeism due to reasons of mental health increased 10% in 2020, an increase of £1.3 billion from 2019
- The current price tag of mental health conditions now stands at an estimated £1,300 for every employee in the UK economy
- Burnout and presenteeism (ie employees are in the room but not fully functioning) are on the charge with 36% of workers revealing their workplace/wfh productivity is being negatively impacted by mental health on a weekly basis
- 76% of workers feel their productivity has stagnated or fallen over the last year
- 45% of sick leave is mental health-related
- 35% of workers say their mental health has declined during Covid
- 34% say their morale is poor
- 27% say they are less engaged year on year
- 22% are concerned about losing their job
- 21% said they feel lonely more often
- 15% have symptoms of a mental health condition (such as stress, anxiety, depression)
And just to nudge those employers who might think the above doesn’t apply to their world:
- 93% of workers who have taken stress-related leave have lied to their employers about the real reason behind their absence
- 67% feel scared, embarrassed or unable to talk about mental health concerns with their employer
Research by Business in the Community (BITC) has shown that work-related mental health problems are caused largely by increased pressure and workload, and lack of support. Negative work relationships, lack of trust in managers and the poor handling of organisational changes are other prominent factors.