Mental health needs to move up wellbeing agenda, says BITC
While the results from the second Business in the Community (BITC) Workwell FTSE100 benchmark showed the average company score on the up, the provision of mental health support continues to be a low scoring area. Indeed, there is almost no reporting of psychological health being measured or addressed.
Stephen Howard, chief executive, BITC, commented: “We are encouraged that the broad picture on public reporting around employee engagement and wellbeing is one of improvement. The findings have shown that what gets measured gets managed, with clear examples of leadership highlighted through this process. However, the lack of reporting on mental health emphasises the culture of silence around this issue. When one in four adults will experience a mental health condition in any given year, there is much to be gained by employers in publically disclosing the specialist support services they do have in place."
The continued low level of reporting on provision of mental health support has led to the development of the BITC Mental Health Champions Group, which pledges to tackle the growing issue of underreporting on mental health, end the culture of silence around mental health in the workplace, and ensure that mental wellbeing is recognised as a strategic boardroom issue.
Although mental health continues to be an underreported area in public reporting of employee engagement and wellbeing, BITC says it is likely that companies have more policies and programmes in operation than they currently report externally but trends, intelligence or learnings from these initiatives are not being put in the public domain. Research5 shows that 85 per cent of UK companies offer an Employee Assistance Programme as part of their support but the benchmark score for the provision of Employee Assistance Programmes only scored six per cent.
Other key findings from this year's benchmark report show that the highest scoring BITC Workwell segments were Diversity and Inclusion (companies with detailed reporting increasing from 25 to 45 per cent) and Health and Safety (from 29 to 60 per cent), showing how compliance drives measurement and reporting. BITC says that Barclays, British Land Company, BT, GSK and RBS were leading companies in the process
You can access a copy of the full report here.
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