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Business Urged To Adopt A Human Face: Focus On Mental Health

Posted on October 10, 2016 at 12:00 AM

Kudos to the UK's Institute of Directors for highlighting a very important issue in business - mental health.

Industry sectors vary on how seriously they take this issue,depending on many factors. But it is undeniable, I think, that financial sevices has been on Red Alert for many years. And then there's Brexit.

A new survey of IoD members - which amounts to more than 800 business leaders - reveals that they are more aware than ever before of the importance of good mental health in the workplace. But there is a lot more to be done.

On the plus side, more than 80% of IoD members think a workforce with good mental health is very important to the success of a business. Members believe poor mental health can contribute to poor quality of work and poor decision making, as well as conflict between colleagues. Less than 2% think a workforce with poor mental health makes no difference to business success.

And more than half – 54% - have had employees speak to them about mental health issues, including stress, says the IOD.

But, despite business leaders being aware of the dangers of poor mental health, only 14% have a formal mental health policy, preferring to deal with issues on a case-by-case basis. (my emphasis)

It's clearly time to connect each and every boardroom with humanity as a whole. Changing the rituals and setting the precedents on what is acceptable in terms of a human response to human frailty is extremely important from those in leadership positions.

Today - on #WorldMentalHealthDay -the IoD announces that for the first time ever it will be recognising a Leader in mental health with a Director of the Year Award at its annual celebration of business success on October 21st. T

The first ‘Leader in Mental Health Awareness’ award will be given at its Director of the Year Awards on October 21st at the Lancaster Hotel in London.


The IoD says it will be hosting a series of events throughout 2017 to raise awareness of mental health issues in the workplace, with a particular focus on opening up the conversation for small- and medium-sized businesses, which often lack the resources of larger corporate organisations to address their employees’ mental health.


“Businesses increasingly recognise the importance of good mental health in the workplace. Opening up the conversation, so that employees and employers can discuss mental health in the same way that they talk about physical health must be a priority for the UK as a whole" said Simon Walker, Director General of the IoD.

In the UK, that might still be a teeny bit revolutionary.



Categories: Governance, Scrutiny, Communication