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The important link between mental health and business success



In today’s fast-paced business world, mental health has become a critical factor in the workplace, influencing productivity, employee retention, and ultimately, corporate success.

With recent statistics showing the impact of mental health on business outcomes, companies are increasingly prioritising employee well-being as a core component of their business strategy.

Rising awareness and economic impact

The conversation around mental health has gained considerable momentum over the past decade, with employers becoming more cognisant of the role mental well-being plays in achieving business objectives.

According to a 2022 report by Deloitte, poor mental health costs UK employers up to £56 billion a year, an increase from £45 billion in 2019. This escalation highlights not only the growing prevalence of mental health issues but also the economic imperative for businesses to address them.

Productivity and engagement

Mental health issues can severely affect an employee’s productivity and engagement. The Mental Health Foundation notes that 1 in 6.8 people experience mental health problems in the workplace. Employees struggling with mental health issues are more likely to report high rates of absenteeism and presenteeism—being present at work but operating at a reduced capacity.

A study by Mind, the mental health charity, reveals that addressing wellbeing at work increases productivity by as much as 12%. Consequently, businesses that invest in mental health support not only enhance the well-being of their employees but also boost their bottom line.

Strategies for improvement

Leading companies are adopting a range of strategies to improve mental health in the workplace. These include:

  • Training and awareness programmes: Many organisations are implementing training sessions for managers to help them recognise signs of mental distress and provide appropriate support to their teams.
  • Creating an open culture: Encouraging open discussions about mental health can destigmatise these issues and make employees feel more supported. For example, Barclays has initiated a ‘This is Me’ campaign promoting open conversations about mental health, which has been instrumental in breaking down stigma.
  • Invest in a comfortable working environment: Creating a workspace that prioritises both comfort and productivity allows employees to feel more at home in their workspace, leading to better relationships and higher productivity. Source: Trade Parts Finder
  • Flexible working options: Flexibility in the workplace can alleviate stress and contribute to a better work-life balance. Allowing employees to tailor their working patterns to suit their mental health needs can lead to more sustainable working practices.

Future directions

As businesses continue to navigate the challenges of the 21st century, the integration of mental health into corporate strategy will become increasingly prevalent. Innovative approaches such as digital mental health tools and wellness apps are likely to become more widespread, offering new ways for employees to manage their mental health with the support of their employer.

Providing employees with access to professional mental health services, like counselling and therapy, will also demonstrate a firm’s commitment to their overall health and can help in early intervention.

The link between mental health and business success is undeniable. With substantial evidence backing the economic and human benefits of mental health support in the workplace, UK businesses are set to continue this crucial investment, recognising that a healthy workforce is not just an ethical priority but a business one too.

Investing in mental health is not only good for the employees but also essential for building resilient, successful businesses in today’s competitive environment.

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