3 February 2022

Nearly half of HR managers have considered quitting due to pressure of employee mental health crisis

  • Experts warn of risk to HR wellbeing and retention
  • Ability to set boundaries around mental health support at work essential
  • Ninety percent of HR managers noticing signs of burnout in workforces
  • Nearly 4 in 10 (38%) admit to having conversations with employees about their mental health outside of working hours
  • Over a quarter (27%) regularly have to complete tasks outside of working hours due to volume of mental health issues they’re facing

New research reveals that almost half of HR managers (45%) have considered leaving their current roles due to the pressure of dealing with employee mental health and burnout. Concerningly, the research shows that 90% of HR managers are currently noticing signs of burnout in their workforces.

The survey of 200 UK HR managers by Wellbeing Partners, clinical experts in employee mental health, reveals that when handling rising burnout and mental health concerns, HR is struggling to set boundaries for their own psychological safety. 

Thirty-eight percent of HR managers admit to having conversations with employees about their mental health outside of working hours, nearly a third (31%) look at emails outside of work and over a quarter (27%) regularly have to complete tasks outside of working hours due to the volume of mental health issues they’re facing. 

On top of this, more than 1 in 4 (26%) feel they can become overly involved in employees’ personal lives and/or mental health issues and 23% have compassion fatigue from supporting struggling employees.

A lack of boundaries surrounding mental health support is contributing to high numbers of HR professionals contemplating leaving their organisations, according to an expert. 

Lou Campbell, Programmes Director at Wellbeing Partners, states:

“While HR has a duty of care to support employees suffering with their mental health, they often neglect to look after themselves. For people in supporting roles, it’s useful to know what the appropriate boundaries are when discussing mental health issues with colleagues, to avoid becoming enmeshed or overly involved. Appropriate boundaries ensure that the conversation stays psychologically safe for the employee, and avoids compassion fatigue for HR.

“Knowing the skills around setting boundaries and signposting to appropriate support is even more vital in a time when attracting and retaining staff is highly competitive; organisations must support HR to reduce the risk of key HR talent leaving their organisation as they deal with surging levels of employee burnout.”
Indeed, the study supports wider research revealing increasing symptoms of burnout HR needs to respond to. In the Wellbeing Partners survey nearly half of HR (49%) say their employees are struggling to find motivation and stay focused, over 4 in 10 (42%) agree that employees appear regularly tired or drained, a third (33%) say that employees seem to careless about work and over a quarter (28%) feel that employees are finding tasks overwhelming or uninteresting. As well as this, 26% state that employees appear resentful or cynical towards work or their own colleagues.


Campbell summarises:

“It’s clear there is mounting pressure for HR, but there are some initial actions they can take to support employees while setting boundaries for their own wellbeing. Ensure that supportive conversations with employees follow a framework, and schedule these conversations at a time when you have the energy and capacity to be supportive. Aim to finish work on time most days and give permission to switch off to avoid compassion fatigue.

 “Knowing when to signpost employees onto wellbeing counsellors and EAPs is also a technique that HR professionals can learn, affording them more time and energy for their wider role, and ensuring that employees get appropriate professional support.”

For more information about Wellbeing Partners suite of services for HR and people teams please contact [email protected].

Office Mindfulness

Wellbeing Partners is the leading provider of office mindfulness services all over the UK. We deliver mindfulness workshops and regular mindfulness meditation sessions to working people onsite in their offices. Find out about what mindfulness is and how it can benefit your business:

Mindfulness is a mental state where the individual is fully focused on what is happening in the present moment, rather than being preoccupied or “lost” in thoughts, concerns, memories and projections.

In scientific terms, when we are mindful of the present moment, we are using the “prefrontal cortex” part of our brain which processes our current experience. This part of our brain is often referred to as the Executive Control Function and when we use this part of our brain regularly, it thickens – in a similar way to a muscle getting stronger the more we exercise it.

When we engage the prefrontal cortex regularly, two fantastic things happen:

First, our stress response system switches down, and so our stress and the resulting anxiety reduces. This gives us a chance to be calm.

Second, our executive control function improves, meaning we have:

  • Enhanced complex decision-making
  • Increased creativity
  • Greater control of actions
  • Enhanced attention and focus
  • Better planning and initiation
  • Enhanced problem solving techniques
  • Faster working memory
  • More efficient reasoning
  • Improved emotional regulation and behaviour
  • Capability to observe and acknowledge emotions without feeling overwhelmed by them.

All of these elements are hugely powerful in terms of empowering employees and the subsequent benefit to business. Office Mindfulness can transform the workplace.

Wellbeing Partners provides daily or regular office mindfulness meditation sessions, workshops and ongoing programmes at companies and organisations across the UK. We focus both on reducing stress and anxiety, and enhancing brain power – increasing decision-making capabilities, developing creativity and improving concentration – elements of mindfulness which can give your business an advantage over its competitors.

Please email [email protected] or call Nick Winfield on 07773 767248 to find out how your workplace can benefit from the transformational powers of office mindfulness.

Wellbeing Partners also provides Stress & Anxiety Workshops, Inhouse Counselling and Psychotherapy Services, Wellness Week Workshops and Comprehensive Wellbeing Programmes including Fitness, Nutrition, Physio, Pilates, Yoga, Massage, Mindfulness and Counselling.

 

What is Mindfulness and how can it benefit your business

Mental Health in the Workplace

February 2016 – According to a new report on mental health of employees from Business in the Community, only a third of employees would admit to stress, anxiety or depression as the genuine reason for taking time off work, despite mental health issues being the leading cause of absenteeism and presenteeism in the workplace.

70 million days of work are lost each year across the UK due to workers suffering from stress, depression and other mental health issues. Silence on the issue from employees is both crippling for the individuals and increasingly costly for employers. The Centre for Mental Health calculates that absenteeism alone costs the UK economy £8.4 billion per annum.

Is it time for your company to consider a stress & anxiety management programme to reduce the burden of work-related stress issues in your workplace?

Even in companies where there is no clear indication of workplace stress or anxiety issues, we often come across employees who are suffering in silence from stress-related illness, using unhealthy coping strategies such as alcohol abuse, substance abuse, self harm and eating disorders. These lead to absenteeism and the resulting loss of productivity. With presenteeism also on the rise, employees are coming to work disengaged, tired, unmotivated and too stressed to work.

Wellbeing Partners Ltd provides an affordable range of stress and anxiety management services which offer both preventative and remedial care for your employees. From our very popular 45 minute workshops – Reducing Your Stress & Anxiety Workshop, the Introduction to Mindfulness Workshop – plus weekly 20-minute Mindfulness Sessions in your office, on-site Counselling & Psychotherapy for Individuals, Stress & Anxiety Management Sessions for Individuals, and Individual Mindfulness Tuition for Individuals. We also provide a full programme of Healthy Eating Workshops, Reducing Sugar From Your Diet Workshops, Fitness Instructors, Pilates, Yoga & Massage Services – all in your workplace.

A Confidential Company Stress Audit by an independent and highly qualified provider such as Wellbeing Partners can help you to understand the hidden emotional burden of stress, anxiety and mental health issues on your employees and the commensurate financial and productivity burden on your organisation.

Please email [email protected] or call Nick Winfield on 07773 767248 for more information and prices on our preventative and remedial stress & anxiety management services, mindfulness services, nutrition services and physical wellbeing services.

UK Parliament recommends Wellbeing Partners – Mindful Nation UK

October 2015 – The Mindfulness All-Party Parliamentary Group was set up by the British Parliament to research and report on the evidence for the benefits of Wellbeing Partners and other settings including healthcare, education and the criminal justice system. The report is called Mindful Nation UK. The report, published in October 2015, concludes:

“Mindfulness is an important innovation in mental health which warrants serious attention from employers, who should promote the use of Wellbeing Partners and develop an understanding of good practice.

“Mindfulness is one of the the most promising prevention strategies for stress-related mental health issues.

“We have been impressed by the quality and range of evidence for the benefits of mindfulness and believe it has the potential to help many people to better health and flourishing. On a number of issues ranging from improving mental health and boosting productivity and creativity in the economy.

“Qualitative research shows that mindfulness develops aspects of mental capital, encouraging a curious, responsive and creative engagement to experience. This should be of real interest to policymakers given the importance of improving productivity and nurturing creativity and innovation in the UK economy.”

With growing levels of absenteeism and presenteeism in workplaces across the country, bringing a Mindfulness programme to your company can not only reduce the stress and anxiety levels of your employees, but increase their decision-making capabilities, improve concentration levels and enhance creativity.

Please get in touch with us at Wellbeing Partners to formulate an affordable “best practice” mindfulness programme for your organisation. All our mindfulness workshops, programmes and practitioners meet the practice standards as set out by the Mindful Nation UK government report. We also offer stress and anxiety workshops, inhouse counselling and psychotherapy services, wellness week workshops and full ongoing wellbeing programmes to enhance the mental health of your workplace.

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