A review of the CIPD: ‘Health & Wellbeing in the Workplace Report 2020'

mental health work related stress

This year’s results from the CIPD/Simplyhealth Health and Wellbeing survey report (published April, 2020) confirms that “despite overall improvements in employers growing recognition of their crucial role in improving the health of the working-age population, there is emerging evidence which points to presenteeism as potentially more harmful for individuals and businesses than sickness absence”.

Analysis of the report showed that “three-quarters (73%) of respondents have observed some form of ‘leaveism’, such as employees working when on annual leave or working outside contracted hours, over the past 12 months. We’re not surprised, therefore, that nearly two-fifths (37%) have seen an increase in stress-related absence over the last year, while three-fifths (60%) report an increase in common mental health conditions.

Many employers aren’t addressing the deeper organisational factors that are having an adverse impact on people’s workplace mental health.

The role of leadership within organisations was also highlighted, with an emphasis on ensuring that employee well-being is taken seriously and further integrated in line manager training and guidance. For example, heavy workloads and ‘management style’ are once again the top two causes of stress at work. A huge proportion of respondents (86%) cite the inability to switch off in out of work hours as the main negative impact of technology on employee well-being.

There are various methods and tools available to employers, which Onebright can help with. An effective well-being programme needs to be specific and based on employee needs, but there are some elements that are prerequisites for success in any organisation.

This includes a senior team that makes a serious and visible commitment to health and well-being. It also means placing good people management at the heart of well-being, ensuring that managers build healthy relationships with their teams and have the courage and competence to support employee mental health.

CIPD found that;

  • Just over two-fifths of corporations studied have a well-being strategy that supports their wider organisation strategy (44%, up from 40% in 2019), but a similar proportion are much more reactive than proactive (41%, down from 44% in 2019).
  • Three-fifths believe that well-being is on senior leaders’ agendas (61%, the same as in 2019).
  • Just under three-fifths report that line managers are bought in to the importance of well-being (58%, up from 51% in 2019).


Does your company have an employee mental health strategy in place? If not, why?

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