Employers fail to monitor wellbeing and mental health alongside staff engagement

Mental ill health still not being addressedMonitoring of employee engagement and wellbeing by FTSE 100 companies improved over the past year, but organisations are failing to measure or address the psychological health of employees. The latest Business in the Community (BITC) Workwell FTSE 100 benchmark showed an increase in the average company scores from 21 per cent to 25 per cent while reporting across the five identified areas of BITC’s Workwell Model; Better Work, Better Relationships, Better Specialist Support, Better Physical and Psychological Health and Working Well increased from 53 to 63. 86 per cent of companies now report on four or five of these themes. But despite this, there was almost no evidence that psychological health is being measured or addressed, and the provision of mental health support continues to be a low scoring area (11%).

In the second Workwell FTSE 100 benchmark, which aims to encourage employers to create healthy, engaged and flexible workforces by analysing information made available by FTSE 100 organisations; the overall highest score achieved had also increased, from 64 to 69 out of a possible 96. Leading companies included Barclays, British Land Company, BT, GSK and RBS.

Commented Stephen Howard, Chief Executive of Business in the Community: “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.”

“Through the Workwell benchmark we remain committed to helping businesses use data effectively to demonstrate responsible people management and drive improvements in business performance.”

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.

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