Mental health in the workplace has been brought into the sharp focus of the national gaze recently with the release of ‘Thriving at Work’, a review of mental health and employers ordered by Theresa May earlier this year. Amongst some shocking statistics included was the estimated £33-42 billion cost of poor mental health to UK employers and the 300,000 people a year with mental health problems leaving their jobs – a much higher rate than those with physical health problems.
This week has also seen ‘National Stress Awareness Day’, with figures released detailing the dramatic effect of stress on the workplace (11.7 million annual working days lost), and seeking to establish a clear understanding of what stress actually is. The definition of stress is closely tied to that of pressure, and whilst differing types or levels of pressure can increase productivity and be a good thing, stress is never positive. Broadly, stress is the exposure to excessive or inappropriate pressure, where pressure doesn’t necessarily refer to an amount of work, but possibly the type of work or the nature of the task itself. In the research that contributed to his popular definition of stress, psychologist Richard Lazarus found that stress can arise when an individual perceives the demands placed on them to exceed the resources that they have available.
This means an individual that you work with or manage, whom you don’t think has a particularly large workload, could actually be extremely stressed because they don’t think they have the capacity or skills required to complete that workload to a satisfactory level.
Fortunately, research shows plenty of solutions to the problem of mental health in the workplace. Deloitte’s analysis of case studies where investments had been made to improve mental health in an organisation, conducted in support of the ‘Thriving at Work’ report, found a consistently positive return on investment, even as high as £9.98 per £1 investment in the case of the Australian Fire Service’s manager mental health training programme.
Eliesha offers a wide range of learning and development solutions to support the report’s official recommendations that UK employers “produce, implement and communicate a mental health at work plan” and “develop mental health awareness among employees”.
Delivering engaging, innovative learning programmes in personal resilience, emotional intelligence, mindfulness and around coping with and managing professional change has formed a key part of our 16+ years’ experience.
We would be delighted to talk to you about your training requirement or your desire to meet the report’s recommendations, so email firstname.lastname@example.org with any enquiries, large or small.