Mental health problems (burnout, mental fatigue, depression, self-deprivation, loneliness, insomnia…) lead to the loss of productivity.
Those losses represent big cost to companies, and to the individuals affected by it.
Francisco Miranda Rodrigues, member of the Order of Psychologists (Portuguese Psychologists Association), said that the loss of productivity caused by mental health problems can represent an approximate cost of €212 million per year to small and medium-sized enterprises and €117 millions to big companies.
We can say that mental health problems can cost €329 million per year to companies, but you have to evaluate the other side:
- How much does the workplace’s culture and environment cost’s to employees as individuals per year? Together, both values (companies costs plus employees costs) may help managers to evaluate the financial implications and what is the budget allocated to rethink the cultural environment that is being promoted in their workplaces.
How to avoid mental health problem?
First of all, remember that any cultural/environmental change in a workplace is done individual by individual, one at the time.
Then think about your workplace, imagine that you have a mental health issue.
With which people would you speak to about it?
Imagine their reaction in this kind of situation.
Would you feel free to talk openly about your experiences without fear of judgement?
Because the great majority of people have a stigma about mental health and will judge you weather they mean to or not.
A fact is that: Long hours of work, excessive workload, poor relationships with colleagues and a lack of support from managers, colleagues, and fear from judgments, leads to serious mental health problems in your team, sooner or later.
António Horta-Osório, chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group, shared in a recent opinion article the mindset that Lloyds Banking Group is working on adopting and embedding in the company cultural environment:
“The action we have taken in recent years has been based on talking to our colleagues. We have learned lessons along the way, which I believe can be adopted by any employer, of any size. We share our personal experiences, and our culture is one of mutual support. "
António Horta-Osório also shared that:
"Last year we launched a competition on social media for colleagues to share their top tips for improving mental wellbeing at work, which continues to be a live conversation today. More than 2,000 colleagues shared entries, which included simple tips such as understanding nutrition, getting enough sleep, or simply having a walk during lunch breaks.”
As a result, of their effort to change their company mindset, for example, an employee felt able to share how he was feeling with his line manager, and "together they worked on a recovery plan. They discussed workloads and pressure points, and met regularly to keep on top of things.”
• Would you like to be able to do the same, as an employee?
• As a manager, would you like that your team felt free to do the same?
Keep in mind: Changing the corporate mindset about mental health is the most fundamental step for change to begin in your workplace, because, if we create the right environment, we get the right performance of a person.