A new ‘benchmark’ study, which is the first of its kind, ranks the UK’s largest 100 listed firms on their approaches and management of workplace mental health, including reporting.
The CCLA Corporate Mental Health Benchmark evaluates firms’ public disclosures on workplace mental health using 27 assessment criteria including psychological safety frameworks and then ranks firms across five tiers according to their approach to management and reporting.
In terms of results so far; a majority are ranked across tiers three, four and five, with just three companies Centrica PLC, Lloyds Banking Group PLC and Serco Group PLC deemed leaders in workplace mental health management and disclosure.
The goal of the benchmark is to help employers create inclusive environments that promote good mental health and wellbeing and highlight the productivity gains of doing so.
Another aim is to bridge the gap between companies discussing the importance of workplace mental health and actively managing and reporting on it. The current issue facing these firms is seen in the 93% of the 100 companies that acknowledge workplace mental health as an important business issue, yet only 34% publish formal objectives and targets. Furthermore, only 11% disclose any related key performance indicators (KPIs).
Lack of effective buy-in on workplace mental health initiatives is also seen in the 44% of companies that have a clear position on promoting “a culture of openness on mental health” yet public advocacy from the CEO is “broadly lacking.” Furthermore, only 35% of benchmark company CEOs have publicly made a commitment to promote mental health.
The research did also reveal some positives about firms taking workplace mental health seriously in response to escalating needs from the pandemic. Analysis showed that three-quarters (76%) of companies have developed multiple workplace initiatives to raise awareness of mental health in the workplace, and 91% of companies report that they provide employees with access to mental health services.
While there is progress in employers engaging with workplace mental health, efforts will be futile if firms don’t effectively manage and report on workplace mental health programmes and measures, as how else will they be able to know what is working and how to improve workplace mental health over the long-term in line with changing needs?
Paul Farmer CBE, Chief Executive Officer of mental health charity, Mind, said: “Mental health affects every employer. In 2020/21, we surveyed over 40,000 staff working across 114 organisations taking part in Mind’s Workplace Wellbeing Index. Two in five (41%) told us their mental health had worsened during the pandemic.
“Under the Equality Act 2010, employers have a legal duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled staff, which can include employees with mental health problems. Investing in staff wellbeing also makes business sense, as employers who promote good mental health at work are more likely to report higher productivity and morale, as well as reduced sickness absence.
“We are pleased to be supporting CCLA’s new benchmark creating a structured, scalable way to help the UK’s largest companies build on the progress they’ve already made when it comes to identifying and tackling the work-related causes of poor mental health within their organisations.”
David Atkin, Chief Executive Officer, The Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), said: “As we continue to live with COVID-19, workplace mental health is no longer a hidden topic for businesses – they need to ensure that the lessons from the pandemic are not forgotten and that they continue to prioritise support for employees.
“Investors can play an important role in encouraging the companies they invest in to adopt workplace mental health strategies and engage with them to help drive best practices. Accountability is also key, and reliable tools such as the CCLA Corporate Mental Health Benchmark will help investors understand the relative performance of companies and engage accordingly.”
Elizabeth Sheldon, Co-Chair of the CCLA Corporate Mental Health Benchmark
Expert Panel and Chief Operating Officer, CCLA, said: “It is only in thinking and acting systemically that we can hope to meet the major sustainability challenges of our time. We consider corporate mental health to be one such challenge; healthy companies require healthy workers.”
In this article, you learned that:
- The CCLA Corporate Mental Health Benchmark evaluates firms’ public disclosures on workplace mental health.
- Three listed firms in the benchmark; Centrica PLC, Lloyds Banking Group PLC and Serco Group PLC have been named leaders in workplace mental health management and disclosure.
- The current issue facing these firms is seen in the 93% of the 100 companies that acknowledge workplace mental health as an important business issue, yet only 34% publish formal objectives and targets.