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QBE offers tips on improving companies' mental health strategy

QBE offers tips on improving companies' mental health strategy | Insurance Business

QBE offers tips on improving companies

People are becoming more vocal about their mental health problems as society slowly wins the battle against mental health stigma. As a result, companies have started focusing on helping their employees take care of their mental health.

According to QBE, mental health in the workplace has risen by 16% since 2016, with one in six workers experiencing common mental health problems.

With mental health-related issues costing UK businesses approximately £33 billion to £42 billion in 2017, QBE has released six tips on improving mental resilience in the workplace:

  1. Create the right environment

QBE advised companies to support the mental health and wellbeing of their people by encouraging employees to ask for help if needed. QBE, for example, has trained mental health first aiders who listen to and support its employees.

  1. Support early intervention

With the COVID-19 pandemic impacting people’s mental health, QBE emphasised the importance of providing tools to employees so they could help themselves whether they are working remotely or in the office.

It advised employers to consider other factors that could affect their people’s mental health as the causes might not always be associated with the workplace. Meanwhile, employees should check if their employer’s private medical insurance has rehabilitation support.

“Employees who have access to support early have better outcomes and quicker return to work rates,” QBE said.

  1. Help line managers

QBE advised employers to train line managers to help them distinguish and support employees who are dealing with mental health problems.

“Often, those with people management responsibilities genuinely don’t know where to begin when it comes to helping a team member who is struggling with mental health issues,” QBE explained.

  1.  Invest in technology

QBE explained that technology could make a significant difference for businesses and employees. Wellness apps, for example, could help employees take a break from their daily routine.

  1. Encourage employees to be active

QBE advised employers to encourage their people to take a break, connect with their family and friends, and exercise.

“Physical activity gives the body a boost, helps us to concentrate, sleep and feel better,” it explained. “Agile and flexible working can be offered to employees as an option.”

  1. Focus on good stress

QBE pointed out that resilience and wellbeing training could promote awareness of good stress and help employees to manage stress.

“Not all stress is bad, but it is important to teach employees resilience so that they can recognise the difference between positive and negative stress,” QBE said. “Training can be expensive, so some employers adopt the approach of electing champions and ‘training the trainers’ to deliver training to the workforce.”