Just a third of companies have increased their wellbeing spend since the start of the pandemic, despite the fact half of employees say working through a public health emergency has left them feeling either overwhelmed or burnt out and more than a third have felt depressed in the past six months.
The stark findings have come from a survey commissioned by digital mental health provider SilverCloud, which involved 1,000 employees in medium to large organisations (employing more than 100 people) and a parallel survey of 500 company senior business leaders.
More positively however, the report ‘Making Mental Health Top of the Agenda’, also concluded there is a correlation between companies that invest in their workforce’s mental health and improved performance.
More than half (55%) of employers polled said they had seen an increase in staff productivity, 40% had seen increases in profitability, and 61% reported a reduction in staff time off.
There was also an awareness of the business and societal value that investment in mental health support can play. Of those companies that had an environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy, three-quarters included mental health and wellbeing as part of it. A further 40% of employers said they viewed mental health as a strategic issue.
Dr Carolyn Lorian, head of clinical transformation at SilverCloud, said: “These findings reinforce the crucial role that businesses can play in supporting their workforces to unlock human and business potential; however, just 28% of employees believe employers are doing enough, and 50% actively want more support. This gap between employee reality and employer perception and action needs to be addressed.”
Professor Cary Cooper, professor of organisational psychology and health at Manchester Business School at the University of Manchester, added: “There are many ways in which businesses can build a stronger, more effective, sustainable and resilient organisation – from making mental health a board-level priority, to upskilling line managers, and offering digital mental health tools that can support people to self-manage their mental health anytime, anywhere, and on their own terms.”