The Cost of Poor Mental Health in Business, It Is Affecting Your Bottom Line
I am someone who has worked in a variety of businesses in Senior HR positions, including Channel 4, AstraZeneca, Camelot, Subex to name a few and am passionate about the benefits of counselling for individuals, businesses and organisations.
This article hopefully will make you think how counselling can help your business and is one of the key reasons I set up 3 Shires Therapy and re-trained over several years to become a counsellor and therapist.
Because I have worked in demanding roles I am well aware of the demands placed upon individuals and businesses where people are stretched in any number of directions and like the proverbial elastic band sometimes individuals break.
I believe fervently that the counselling process can give individuals and organisations incredible benefits, both beneficial to the individual, beneficial to the business and beneficial to the financial bottom line.
Good mental health can only benefit individuals and individuals make up businesses, so helping one will inevitably help the other.
Mental health issues in the workplace cost the UK approximately £70 billion annually and 91 million working days are lost to symptoms of mental health, so it will be affecting your business now. (UK Government figures).
The WHO have estimated that for every £1 invested in mental health by a business the return is £4 and investing properly the return can be as much as £10.
So it actually makes sense to invest the same way as you would with any item in your business, if you could get 50% extra out of a machine for a small investment it would be a no-brainer, the same can be said of your staff.
The message is being listened to be enlightened businesses.
I have seen a number of businesses, including the likes of GSK, begin to take this seriously as they realise the economic benefits as well as the benefits to their staff.
All organisations face continual problems from bereavement, both at work and at home, abuse, bullying, substance abuse and many more besides so how best to deal with this.
You could just put your head in the sand and when an individual has a problem perhaps remove them from the organisation or just give them time off. However, that is like putting a sticking plaster over a gaping wound.
Naturally there is the cost to the individuals and their family as all of this will take a toll.
However, lets again look at the cost to the business, in simple terms such as recruiting if you lose a member of staff, firstly it is never good for a business and it is disruptive. The cost to the business to recruit a replacement can be as much as £30,000 for a key management position and that was in 2014 (HR Review 2014), some now estimate closer to £50,000.
If you are wondering why the figure is so high its not just the recruitment fee, which sits around 20-30% of their salary, there is training, getting them up to speed and a number of other “invisible” costs that businesses hardly ever consider.
So, wouldn’t it be better to try top help the individual and ensure all your staff have good mental health.
Ensuring that they remain productive, ensuring that they remain loyal because you are putting something back.
Also having an open and sharing no blame culture where individuals are encouraged to seek help when they need it.
Surely that is a much more powerful and business like way to run a business.
There are some key things businesses can do such as :
Enforcing working hours
Avoid staff working and being isolated at work
Ensuring deadlines are realistic and spreading workloads across all employees
Provide support services such as counselling and encourage discussion and awareness of this by coaching managers.
Promoting healthy eating and exercise
Yes, obvious but how many companies adopt this? Look at the successful businesses and you might be very surprised.
As an individual manager you may also be able to spot some obvious warning signs such as
Rapid changes in mood
Drop in work rate, missing deadlines and deliverables
Trouble focussing, this can take many forms
Anxious and fidgety behaviour
This could be the time to see if an individual does need support.
In todays world with all its technology we tend to forget that the only resource a business really has are its staff and like the key equipment businesses have the staff need looking after too.
Supporting your staff in difficult times is not a cost, it really is an investment.
Successful businesses will make sure this is part of their success.
If you are unsure of how counselling can benefit your business please give me a call or email me at kim.dudko@3shirestherapy – we are “Passionate about mental wellbeing”
Kim Dudko—Lead Therapist at 3ShiresTherapy
Therapist, Counsellor, Coach and Corporate Consultant