According to research, employees are hesitant to disclose personal difficulties with their managers or bosses

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Only a small percentage of employees are comfortable addressing mental health, financial concerns, or grief at work, suggesting the need for improved management training.

According to recent statistics, just two out of every five employees feel comfortable addressing their mental health with their line manager, prompting experts to recommend that businesses examine their training policies.

Only 41% of more than 2,000 UK workers who worked from home during the pandemic indicated they would tell their boss about their mental health problems, according to the poll.

Similarly, according to the BHSF study, just a third of employees (36%) would feel comfortable sharing physical health issues with their boss, while 28% would discuss financial worries, and only 22% would address sadness.

Experts have urged businesses to do more to assist managers as a point of contact for employees as a result of the findings.

While managers should not be giving mental health advice, Rachel Suff, senior employment relations consultant at the CIPD, believes that “they should be aware of the early symptoms of stress and mental health and be able to link to suitable support agencies.”

“Employers should also address inappropriate working practises, such as unreasonable workloads and a poor work-life balance, which can exacerbate mental health problems,” Suff said.

Ruth Wilkinson, the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health’s (IOSH) head of health and safety, agreed. While it’s understandable that many employees are hesitant to address mental health or personal issues at work, she believes that effective leadership can make it simpler.

“Creating a mental health-friendly workplace must begin at the top.” If there is to be sustained constructive change, individuals in charge of a company must exhibit a clear direction,” Wilkinson added.

She went on to say that while there is a lack of understanding, training, and resources to provide proper support, organisations that invest in putting “the right mental support in place for their people are reaping the rewards” with higher levels of engagement and morale, as well as lower absence rates.

According to the research, half of the employees interviewed (50%) indicated their employer did not provide health and wellness assistance throughout the pandemic. Similarly, 45 percent had unfavourable thoughts about returning to work, with 9 percent expressing “great anxiety” about their return.

Only 5% of respondents indicated their employer had provided additional employee support services to assist employees in returning to a more normal work schedule, compared to 73% who said their business had not. Another 22% claimed they had no idea.

However, there were some encouraging results: nearly two-thirds of respondents (57%) said their company showed greater respect for mental health difficulties than they did a year earlier, compared to only 8% who stated the contrary.

See how HealthBoxHR can help your business help manage your employees mental health with our Mental Health Management Tool – ensuring that your employees and managers always have a free communication channel when needed. 

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