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Caring for mental health employees is not just a 'nice to have'​, it's essential

01 September 2021

Written by Rupert Pleasant Guernsey Finance

One of the most valuable lessons I, as the Chief Executive of WE ARE GUERNSEY have learned over the past 18 months is that caring for the mental health of our employees is not a ‘nice to have’, it’s absolutely essential. 

Which is why I was honoured to be asked to contribute to the first ever Channel Islands’ Wellbeing Report, produced by Marbral Advisory and We Talk Wellbeing

The report sets out in unequivocal detail that a successful business is one that takes this issue seriously and adopts processes and policies to ensure it happens.  

I truly believe that it is fundamental that we enable our people to get the right work/life balance. A happy employee is a productive employee making fewer mistakes, with higher productivity and less conflict. 

As a business, we have established internal processes with a mental health group that seeks to ensure that a culture exists where managers support their team. 

That culture includes a recognition that managers need to encourage staff to adopt healthy habits such as taking a lunch break, acknowledging that emails should only be sent and received within a certain timeframe and the creation of a culture of clear, respectful communication. 

While the first Covid lockdown left some team members feeling in very poor mental shape, we moved quickly to adopt processes and procedures designed to foster positive mental health and resilience, which is recognised as key for helping our employees to thrive. 

Stress, depression and anxiety among the general workforce, accounts for 51% of work-related ill health and 55% of working days lost in 2020, in the UK.  

The data-driven report clearly sets out the evidence. The global research on organisational wellbeing demonstrates that in order to have a productive and thriving workforce and to continue to develop impactful organisations, people need to be well. The long-term effects of poor wellbeing results in people, teams and organisations who are sick and who risk burn-out. The road back from burn-out is long, arduous and extremely costly to the organisation’s bottom line. 

Here at WE ARE GUERNSEY we acknowledge that we won’t always get it right, but the steps we have taken so far are in the right direction and we are all working towards creating a harmonious, happy office where our team members enjoy coming to work. 

We know that a happy workforce is a productive workforce- which is good for business and ultimately good for Guernsey.

More information, and a link to the report itself, can be found here.

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