Employers need to focus on their staff wellbeing and mental health, according to the latest report by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

The report from the professional body for HR – which coincides with Mental Health Awareness Week – suggests that line managers should be trained in order to spot early signs of employees suffering from stress and mental health problems.

Promoting good mental health within the workplace

The report also highlighted the importance of promoting good mental health within the workplace in order to ensure the business remains fully functional.

CIPD have also stressed that it is vital for organisations and employers to acknowledge that at times employees cannot leave their personal lives at home.

The CIPD also recommended that employers should:

  • Monitor workloads of employees and address frequent late working of individuals
  • Increase internal communications in regards to offering employees additional support, such as counselling services
  • Look at the culture of the business; do employees feel they can speak out when they are struggling?
  • Organise a “lunch and learn” session on mental health awareness across the entire organisation

Increasing focus and productivity at work

Dr Jill Miller, Research Advisor at the CIPD, said the research found that two fifths of UK employers have witnessed an increase in the number of reported mental health problems in staff over the past 12 months, becoming “an issue they just can’t ignore”.

While addressing mental health is the right thing to do, she added that “investing in employees’ mental health also makes clear business sense”, as healthy, happy employees are more focused and productive in the workplace.

Miller also added that while individuals will openly speak about a broken arm, there is still shyness around “hidden illnesses” which should no longer exist.

Tackling stress and mental health problems in employees can enhance retention and ultimately create a fruitful workforce.