Physical health has historically taken priority over mental health. But, according to Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of mental health charity Mind, a “quiet revolution” is taking place across businesses, and employers are waking up to the fact that good mental health within their organisation is crucial to their success.
Employers have a duty of care to their employees to ensure that they stay safe in the workplace, but hazards at work extend beyond trips and falls. Work related mental health problems can be just as dangerous, which is why it is your obligation as an employer to ensure that you have a robust mental health policy in place. Health and safety procedures have long been a familiar sight on break room walls and in company handbooks, but now mental health is finally taking its rightful place in company policies.
Successful businesses rely on their workforce to be productive and profitable. Farmer states “Smart employers know that organisations are only as strong as their people - they depend on having a healthy and productive workforce.” By providing a place where employees feel that they are heard, respected and valued, staff will be more engaged in the business and able to perform at their best. Supporting your staff in their mental health will boost the productivity of your workers and enhance morale, all while increasing profits.
Poor mental health costs employers up to £42 billion a year in lost productivity, poor performance and staff turnover. This direct correlation between economic cost and poor mental health should serve as a wakeup call to employers who might think that mental health is no concern of theirs. From a business perspective, protecting the bottom line and mitigating the risks caused by poor mental health should be prioritised in the same way as other business objectives.
By cultivating a workplace with an atmosphere of different strengths, skills, backgrounds and demographics, companies are better placed to understand their customers and approach their business with innovation and creativity. Ensuring that you recruit and retain diverse talent, including those with mental health problems, will also boost your brand image, by proving that you are a responsible, supportive and forward-thinking organisation.
Mental health has long been the quiet taboo, something that affects everyone but is never discussed. Bringing mental health issues out of the shadows and into the conscience of your organisation will give your business the opportunity to thrive, alongside your team.
Here at Security Watchdog, we support Mind and other charities with regular fundraisers to help show our support for great causes.