The goal of Business in the Community’s (BITC) Wellbeing Leadership Team is to build a movement committed to positioning health and wellbeing as strategic boardroom issues, with a focus on mental health, moving the dial from good to great as they drive collective action through evidence-based, practical solutions. Focusing on both big businesses and their supply chains, this will create environments where individuals and organisations can be at their best.
How member companies can get involved with the Wellbeing Team’s campaigns
Following the results of the Mental Health at Work Survey 2018 survey, we urge employers to
- Talk: Break the culture of silence that surrounds mental health by signing the Time to Change Employer’s Pledge
- Train: Invest in basic mental health literacy for all employees and first aid training in mental health for line managers
Wellbeing is underpinned by four inextricably linked pillars: physical, mental, financial and social wellbeing. BITC advocates that employers take a preventative, holistic, whole-person, whole-organisation approach to embedding wellbeing into their cultures. This, in turn, supports thriving people, business and communities.
BITC’s BUPA Health and Wellbeing 2019 Award finalists are examples of businesses that have successfully adopted this approach and can articulate measurable impact.
Generally, employees are well protected from physical injury at work and the same should apply to psychological safety. However, Business in the Community’s Mental Health at Work 2018 report in partnership with Mercer highlighted that 61% of employees have experienced mental health issues due to work or where work was a related factor. Our Wellbeing Leadership Team members are focusing on the reduction in mental ill health, where work is a related factor, by looking at ways of tackling the root causes of poor mental health and the role of work promoting positive mental health.
BITC’s third Mental Health at Work 2018 report, in partnership with Mercer, demonstrates that positive improvements are being made. The 2018 survey highlights that employers are increasingly taking an active role in supporting good mental health at work, with 85% of managers acknowledging that employee wellbeing is their responsibility (up from 76% in 2016).
Although the survey demonstrates that positive improvements are being made, the pace of change is too slow; 61% of employees have experienced mental health issues due to work or where work was a related factor.
Headlines from the Finalists for Business in the Community's Responsible Business Awards 2019 - The Bupa Health and Wellbeing Award
- A third of Anglian Water staff have accessed online information on financial wellbeing
- Costain has 300 trained mental health first aiders – one for every 15 staff
- 50% of construction workers suffer from mental health issues
- Heathrow recorded 80% reduction in work-related stress absence in 2018
1. A focus on financial health of staff
So much non-work related stress is caused by money worries. Anglian Water is offering low-cost loans to employees, as well as a loyalty savings scheme. Since launch, 300 applications have been made for loans.
2. Making managers more accountable
Each of Costain’s project directors are responsible for delivering against its wellbeing strategy with a number of goals to meet. These include halving the amount of lost time as a result of wellbeing-related issues and maintaining an employee engagement score of more than 70%.
3. Staff training is key
Building a better understanding of mental health issues among staff is crucial to identifying why and how colleagues might be feeling – and taking action to help them. At Costain, for example, all senior managers must complete mental health awareness training, and the business now has more than 300 mental health first aiders – one for every 15 employees. Heathrow encourages staff to become volunteer ‘buddies’ to spot signs of somebody struggling and offer confidential support.
4. Technology plays a role
At Kier Group, which has an ageing male-dominated manual workforce, innovations such as Robocut, a remote-control grass cutter for highways verges, is minimising exposure to traffic and vibrations. Vans now have slide-out racks to prevent workers leaning in to access equipment. In the office, there are standing desks.