Anne-Marie Robinson, from MK-based fitness retreat Body Mind Reboot, writes for Celebrate:MK about how business should invest in mental health to combat worker unhappiness.
Did you know that 56% of British workers are unhappy in their jobs?
That figure is dwarfed by the price tag of workplace illness which a recent government paper put at £100bn per year in the UK alone but it’s not all doom and gloom.
A recent Harvard business review estimated that the ROI on a comprehensive and well-run wellness programmes can be as high as 6-1.
Market forces are changing every single day and this has an impact on your business. In today’s world it is the first time that you’ve got so many generations and cultures in the work force at the same time.
You have the baby boomers, the gen x’s the gen y’s and very shortly you are going to have the gen z’s and they all see the world completely differently.
So, your additional challenge, besides everything else that goes on in business on a day to day basis, is to build a business where you engage this workforce because there are widespread and costly behavioural health needs happening in your businesses every single day and it plays out in 2 ways:
1. Absenteeism due to ill health whether it be physical or mental
2. Presenteeism, so “I am here, but I am not really here.”
An organisation that creates a place where a real person can come and bring their whole self to work, those are the ones that win in the current relationship economy.
Life is messy and trying to be happy in this world is messy and often what happens is that for various reasons, predominantly fear, we avoid that messiness and we don’t talk about it.
Organisations who develop wellness strategies that inculcate into the DNA of the company, who look at the whole person, no matter how messy that may be, they are the organisations that truly have authentic relationships with their people and the more you do that the more loyalty you will embed.
The reality is that 1 in 7 problems faced in life relates to mental health and specifically to stress related root causes be it personal or work life.
UK businesses are now creating a culture where it is ok to talk about mental well-being and are putting in place different enablers that allow people to be open and are training managers to facilitate having these types of conversations.
People want to work for organisations whose purpose they believe in. They want to have growth opportunities, training and development, and they want to work for leaders and managers who really care about them.
More and more employees are wanting time, flexi time, remote working, wellness days and more focus on family time and yes ultimately they work for a salary but what they also want is a feeling of health and wellness and the more they feel that the better for you as a business leaders.
If people are healthy and well and truly want to be within your organisation, then you are going to benefit greatly.
You would have lower attrition with less people leaving and greater productivity because the presenteeism would be lower.
Remember, a return of investment on a comprehensive and well-run wellness programmes can be as high as 6-1.
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