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Mental health and wellbeing have never been more prevalent, and fortunately, more and more people are willing to speak up about it to break the stigma around mental health. Despite sport being a notoriously high-pressured industry, athletes like Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka have made recent headlines, pulling out of the Olympics and Wimbledon due to their struggles with mental health and anxiety. Simone Biles spoke about the need to "protect our minds and our bodies", and added: "We are people, at the end of the day".
In a recent survey conducted by Search Consultancy, we spoke to employers across all sectors and found that 47% of companies have invested in mental health resources in the past 12 months. From an employee perspective, 28% of candidates state that they receive wellbeing benefits, whilst 63% rank it a very important employee benefit. Whilst the importance of other employee benefits such as training, pensions, income protection, flexible working, flexible holidays and commission varied from sector to sector, all sectors ranked wellbeing support as the most important employee benefit.
So, how do we contribute to creating a positive culture of wellbeing, where individuals are comfortable speaking about their struggles and the effect this has on their performance at work?
Are you a business leader or manager serious about cultivating a culture of wellbeing and supporting employees? The Stress Management Society offer a ‘Seven Pillars’ framework organisations can follow to foster a culture of wellbeing for their employees. Start by asking yourself what parts of the below tactics do you already implement and what processes could you adopt going forward.
1. Engagement – Regularly, effectively and meaningfully engage with your workforce.
2. Exemplification – Business leaders and managers should exemplify the standards they wish to see across the organisation, particularly concerning wellbeing, work-life balance, communication and culture.
3. Empowerment – Give your people the tools, skills and confidence to take responsibility, make decisions and contribute positively. Plus, empower them to take control of their own well-being.
4. Empathy – Being empathetic to the broad and diverse needs of the modern workforce, taking into account diversity and inclusivity.
5. Encouragement – Do your employers feel valued? Consider if you’re motivating them in a variety of ways, including both financial and non-financial rewards.
6. Embedding – Do your processes, policies, and procedure embed the value of wellbeing into your company culture?
7. Evaluation – Do you have tangible metrics in place that allow you to measure success? These metrics could be reduced absences, staff turnover or increased performance and productivity.
The modern workforce needs and demands resources to help them cope with their mental health and emotional wellbeing. Employers who are making this support more accessible within the workplace will simultaneously make investments that provide real improvements in employee outcomes and consequently company performance. Cultivating a culture of wellbeing will not happen overnight, it requires buy-in from everybody in the organisation and consistent efforts to make it happen.
Want more insights into how employees and employers rank the importance of mental health resources and wellbeing support in your sector? Download the Salary & Benefits Guide to find out more.
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