Independent advisor The Health Insurance Group, which works to provide customised health and wellbeing solutions to businesses and individuals on a global scale, has highlighted the role of stress in mental wellbeing and how employers can support their staff, even when the stress is being caused by factors outside of work.
Indeed, the Health Insurance Group stated that personal circumstances can often be the biggest cause of stress for employees and have a knock-on effect in the workplace. This is why, the company said, if businesses really want to look after the mental wellbeing of their employees, they need to remember to support employees through personal difficulties too.
To do this, it is important that employers create a culture where employees feel able to discuss private concerns without fear of being reprimanded. The Health Insurance Group said that one example of this is employee mental health forums, where employees can discuss concerns in a safe environment.
Brett Hill, Managing Director at The Health Insurance Group, said: “Personal stress can often spill over into the workplace, so it makes business sense to ensure that employees are supported and put back on track. Knowing that an employer has helped through a difficult time – be it with emotional, legal or financial support – has a knock-on effect with employer branding and loyalty too, as employees remember they were supported, rather than being left to fend for themselves.”
The Health Insurance Group’s advice is nicely complemented by the findings of Vitality’s new Britain’s Healthiest Workplace study, which found that British businesses could save £61 billion per year by prioritising health and wellbeing. The study, which was developed in partnership with RAND Europe and the University of Cambridge, found that mental health is a significant driver of productivity loss, accounting for £38 billion of the total cost to businesses last year, £17.2 billion of which stems specifically from workplace stress.
“For the sixth year in a row, Vitality’s Britain’s Healthiest Workplace data illustrates the huge cost of absence and presenteeism to British businesses. With this data showing that employees lose, on average, over 35 days each a year, it is becoming impossible for businesses to ignore the link between ill-health and productivity,” said Neville Koopowitz, CEO at VitalityHealth.
The company is calling on business leaders to help their employees to engage with the health and wellbeing initiatives available to them at work.