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Supporting the mental health of your employees during Covid-19

Recent research from Benenden Health indicates that many workers are struggling with their mental health due to the Covid-19 pandemic. By implementing a few simple steps, employers can better protect the positive wellbeing of their people in these testing times.

26th May 2020
Business Health and Wellbeing Services Provider
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Benenden

A few months ago most of your employees would have never heard of Covid-19, but now it’s the biggest factor affecting their daily lives. 

So here at Benenden Health we conducted our own research to understand how this is impacting employees and share insights into the challenges Covid-19 poses to their daily life, work and mental wellbeing.

Our research – which ran between 15 and 20 April 2020 and comprised 2,455 respondents – shows up to 23 million people in the UK could be struggling with poor mental health as a result of the current climate.

Over a third of respondents feel the pandemic has negatively impacted their mental wellbeing

Even more worryingly, the pandemic is causing over 1 in 10 people to suffer from poor mental wellbeing for the first time. These people may be particularly vulnerable as they’re unsure how to get help if their stress or anxiety is prolonged, and without the right support this could lead to long-term health issues.

The impact of balancing work and childcare

Having children at home was identified as a key stress factor. More than half (58.31%) of the respondents with children aged 0-16, whose mental wellbeing has been negatively affected, reported that balancing working from home and childcare was having an impact. Of these, a third (33.59%) are worried they’re not performing to their best professional capacity.

A third of employees felt unsupported by their employer 

Sadly, many employers don’t seem to be doing enough to support their workforces at a time when they’re most susceptible to poor mental wellbeing, with over a third of individuals surveyed (37.80%) saying more support from their employer would help, particularly in the form of:

  • Knowing their job is safe (22.04%)

  • Providing mental health or wellbeing support (8.19%)

  • Being more understanding about the pressures of juggling childcare with working (7.8%)

Tips for supporting your employees 

While it’s not surprising to see the effect the Covid-19 pandemic has had upon the mental health of the UK public, what is surprising is that businesses aren’t taking simple steps to help support their workforces and protect positive wellbeing at a time when many people are struggling.

As an employer, there are a few key steps you can take to help support the mental wellbeing of your workers, while inspiring greater loyalty, productivity and motivation. These include: 

  • Offering assurances (where possible)

  • Promoting open communication between senior management, line managers and employees

  • Heightening manager awareness of compromised mental wellbeing

  • Providing access to mental wellbeing support

  • Clearly signposting available employee wellbeing services

  • Being mindful of different employees’ needs

  • Offering flexibility where possible

  • Keeping in mind and encouraging a healthy work-life balance

Download our free guide for more details on the specific recommendations for supporting the mental wellbeing of employees at this time, and for more insight into the scope and scale of the problems your employees may be facing as a result of Covid-19.  

 

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