Three quarters of employers don’t have a workplace mental health policy, research by the Institute of Directors (IoD) and YouGov has found.
The survey of 1,150 employees and 586 employers reveals that stress and anxiety affect the productivity of 32% of employees.
The research found that:
- 77% of employers haven’t introduced a mental health policy in the workplace
- 7% have had discussions with employees about mental health issues in the last year.
- 93% of businesses say that stress can affect staff performance
- 82% of companies think they should introduce a mental health policy to promote emotional wellbeing.
Simon Walker, director general of the IoD, said:
“Huge progress has been made, but society still has a long way to go in increasing awareness and understanding of mental health issues.
“Businesses have an enormous role to play in creating an environment where such issues can be discussed openly, effectively and safely.”
Combating workplace stress
According to the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas), employers risk subjecting their employees to undue stress if they:
- demand unreasonable amounts of work
- do not allow staff a say on how and when they work
- fail to provide support
- do not foster good working relationships among colleagues.
In order to minimise workplace stress Acas advises that employers:
- consider the needs of their workforce
- involve employees in decision making processes and listen to their concerns
- set clear and defined goals for each individual
- have clear procedures for misconduct, bullying and grievances.
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