It’s a well-known fact that unhappy employees will not be working to their full potential. We’ve even done some research in to the facts* -
- One in four EU citizens will suffer from mental health issues in their lifetimes
- Stress, anxiety and depression are in the top three causes of illness in the workplace
- In one year, the European Economy lost €136.30 billion because of depression alone, compared to the loss of €36.1 billion due to cardiovascular diseases
- Poor mental health and feeling stressed at work will influence a lot of things; productivity, office morale, loyalty, staff retention, recruitment, sick leave, etc.
- 29% of people who retired early was due to mental health issues, in the US that’s equivalent to over two million people
We’re here to ensure your business and employees do not become part of the statistics above. We’ve put together a few things you can do/offer to help your employees feel happy and safe in their workplace.
- Provide a clear and structured career progression path, with clearly defined goals. Nothing makes an employee feel more valued than with the realistic promise of a promotion
- Offer a good work-life balance. We live in an age now that people do work from home and do work remotely, and it’s proven to be successful. No one enjoys the feeling of being chained to desk. If you can show that you trust your employees, they will give back. At the end of the day, you wouldn’t hire someone that you don’t trust!
- Keep up to date with the current market rate salaries. Underpaid employees will feel undervalued. We would also suggest that annual salary reviews are available to employees.
- Reward your employees. Whether that’s quarterly bonus’, or a lunch out on a Friday. It will boost morale in the office and shows that you will reward hard workers.
- Create a nice office space, whether that’s up-to-date tech gadgets, or office plants. No one will work productively in an office space with leaky pipes and broken floor boards. An investment in the office space, is a long-term investment into your staff.
- Nutritional talk is spreading like wildfire in the well-being industry. Something as simple as providing fruit or smoothies for the office will help employees feel focused and happier – “An apple a day, keeps the Doctor away”.
Tom Martin, the Divisional Manager for Pensions & Benefits and Compliance & Risk Recruitment here at Alexander Lloyd put a statement together with regards to his personal experience, and his view on what businesses can, are and should be doing.
“This is a massive topic at the moment, and something that is getting (for the most part) the coverage and acknowledgment that it deserves and warrants. One of the most eye-opening aspects of this for me has been that this transcends industries; whether you’re a Pensions Administrator or a Head of Compliance, your well-being is important and should be recognised, and yet so many companies are doing next to nothing to provide support.
As someone who has struggled with their mental health in the past, I cannot express how much I personally advocate a workplace that empower individuals to gain their own mental wellness.
Sure, most of us in Recruitment have a laugh and a joke; we sometimes mess around and within Alexander Lloyd, I have always been part of the team known for being the raucous one in the corner. But, it is a safe, engaging, supportive and collaborative environment; where anyone who is struggling can speak up and seek out support, comfort, flexibility re: working hours and time off, and the freedom to obtain help.
EVERY company should be striving for this. If you're not, your colleagues are looking to leave. Simple. How do I know this? Well because I speak to so many of them so regularly. The ones leaving because they’re bullied. The ones leaving because they are ostracized by their colleagues because they work part time around their child's school hours or caring for relatives. The ones struggling with caring for and/or losing someone that they love, only to be ordered to return to work because they have deadlines to meet and clients to retain! They call us to get them out, and from this, we know the good and the not-so-good employers in this respect.
There is a client that I have worked with countless times over the past 9 years who I feel have got it right. Their Managers and Business Leaders are empathetic to their staff, they promote flexible working and acknowledge that mental health is a reason to take a day or longer off at short notice, and they provide regular ‘well-being hubs’ to ensure that their colleagues know what to do if they a) have someone in their team who needs support or b) they need support themselves. It should come as no surprise that they are consistently one of the main firms that we have candidates approach us wanting to work for because of this! In addition, they offer the chance for staff to dedicate time to passions outside of work (charity work for example) and allow sabbatical leave; to give people the freedom to take time off (usually around 6 months) to focus on something for them (travelling the world, starting a separate, side-line business, being a stay-at-home parent etc.).
For these reasons, candidates care less about the money and more on the culture and the support that can be given to them; allowing them to focus on staying well, and because they stay well and dedicate time to their own well-being, they are more often delivering peak performance.
Whatever is going on, it’s OK to not be OK! If you’re an employer, you need to ensure that all of your colleagues know this and can be afforded the time and safe-space to speak up and seek support about their mental health and well-being!”
*Facts from - https://ec.europa.eu/health/sites/health/files/mental_health/docs/workplace_keyfacts.pdf