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Productivity and mental health

How you can boost your company’s productivity and invest in staff – it’s a win-win.

We’ve just heard from the budget briefing that the UK economy growth is being downgraded and one of the main reasons is poor productivity. We produce less in an hour than the rest of Europe…even the French and Italians who have a much more laid back view of life!

So why? Well one of the main reasons for our poor productivity is…wait for it…poor mental health at work.

Theresa May commissioned a report, called Thriving at Work in January. The results are shocking. Here’s some top line results:

  • Up to 300,000 people with long-term mental health problems have to leave their jobs each year: that’s twice the rate of people without those issues
  • Poor productivity due to poor mental health costs employers between £33 billion and £42 billion a year
  • It costs government between £24 and £27 billion and the economy as a whole between £74 and £99 billion.

Revolutionising the way mental health at work is seen is an absolute priority…and do you know it’s easy to do. Deloittes, the huge financial management company was a major contributor to the Thriving at work report. A huge part of their work was looking at existing best practise in mental health interventions at work across Germany, Canada, Australia, France, Belgium and Sweden.

They looked at the return on investment of 3 different types of initiative:

  • Reactive mental health support (i.e. supporting employees through therapy) had an ROI of 5:1 i.e. for every £ they spent on employee therapy, they got £5 back.
  • Pro-active mental support (i.e. workshops for line managers and health coaching) had an ROI of 6:1
  • Awareness raising and culture change around mental health had an ROI of 8:1

A company-wide seminar on stress, anxiety and depression, explaining how and why we experience it and that they should be beaten, not managed or medicated would go a very long way to do achieving that.

When there’s no longer a stigma about having a mental health issue, we can talk to our colleagues and our boss at a very early stage. In fact a decent boss will pick up a struggling subordinate very easily.

When we can talk about things early and we don’t bottle things up, we have so much more clarity and capacity to sort things out before they become a real problem. For every £1 spent on mental health culture change, the company gets £8 back.

On that basis, every company should be setting up a simple mental health education programme

The Mark Newey Method online Liberation Programme is the perfect way for employees to look deeper after an initial introduction seminar.


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