Employee mental health was high on the agenda as over 200 business gathered in Derby recently to attend a ground breaking summit discussing employee well-being.
The Wellbeing @ Work Summit was presented by East Midlands based health & well-being experts, Unlimited Wellbeing and featured 6 guest speakers including Dr Holly Blake, Associate Professor of Behavioural Science at the University of Nottingham, who explained that mental health problems in the workplace are costing UK employers over £30 billion every year with a staggering 91 million working days being lost.
Dr Blake went on to explain that whilst awareness of mental health issues is improving, much more needs to be done. “Just over half of British employees agree that their organisation encourages openness about mental health or provides support to those affected which also means that half don’t, whilst only 39% feel that their employers are promoting positive mental health & well-being.
The summit attracted business leaders and professional from a wide range of industries who were keen to learn more about the challenges facing British businesses including rising absence and presenteeism rates among workers as well as ongoing low productivity and health related problems.
Unlimited Wellbeing, Chief Operations Officer, Dave Leverton opened the summit by promising that the event would inform, educate and inspire delegates as well as encouraging collaboration and sharing of ideas. This promise was delivered as guests not only heard from the panel of experts but were also treated to an hilarious laughter therapy workshop as well as a hugely popular session from self styled ‘Rest Bandit,’ Paul Dickinson, who demonstrated how our rest time more effectively can significantly enhance mental health and quality of life. “Many of us no longer have a work life balance anymore,” explained Paul. “We have a work life blend – our work and home life are intertwined which is just not sustainable.”
Many delegates took to social media to share their views using the hashtags #EMWAW and #wellbeingatwork
On Twitter, Henry France tweeted; “Let’s get some #wellbeingatwork into my life. Healthier staff = better morale and less time off. Thanks for organising @unltdwellbeing.
Leonne Starr updated her LinkedIn by posting, “Really interesting morning at the East Midlands Wellbeing @ Work Summit. Great to hear statistics being shared about the huge impact of poor mental and physical health in the workplace.More companies need to be aware of the financial implications of not taking care of their staff, not just in a reactive manner but by being proactive in their approach.”
Unlimited Wellbeing CEO, Sanjiv Corepal closed the summit by encouraging employers to ensure that organisational well-being initiatives become more strategic to meet the needs of individuals, rather than just tick boxes. “At Unlimited Wellbeing we develop continuous long term partnerships with clients that evolve and add sustainable value. Employee well-being should never be treated as just another project to complete.”