‘People with ill mental health are always off sick’- this is still a common misconception that needs correcting. The Mental Health Foundation’s report ‘Added value: mental health as a workplace asset’ shows that the value added from people who have mental health challenges is greater than the costs of such investment. The estimated gross value added is 12.1% of overall UK GDP for this group. If people with mental health challenges are properly supported at work, then the economic output from the workforce would be higher.
There are many benefits when mental health concerns are managed effectively in the workplace, for the organisation and the individual as well as the economy. People are more engaged and happy in their work through improved morale. Performance and productivity is likely to increase. Fewer days lost due to absenteeism and reduced staff turnover, as the intention to leave the workplace due to mental illness is reduced. This in turn is reduced costs of sick pay and cover. The research from The Health and Safety Executive shows that good practice benefits everyone.
The most valuable asset in most organisations – you guessed it, are us humans who help create the wealth in the company. Investment in positive workplace wellbeing, will always give a return in terms of cost and value. Relationships between staff, customers and suppliers will improve, that lifts the reputation of the organisation as a good place to work and do business with. Resilience for the individual as well as organisations is needed now more than ever. Make workplace wellbeing a priority.