As part of our World Wellbeing Week series, we explore how the facilities management industry can better tackle issues of colleague welfare and mental health to ensure a well and productive workforce.
There are so many moving parts in a business like SBFM, from the different divisions of head office to field-based management, our frontline cleaners operating in retail stores, distribution centres, offices, and many other client sites across the UK and Ireland.
When it comes to managing colleague wellbeing, we understand a one size fits all approach won’t work. As a business, we’re continuously looking for the best ways to support our colleagues, especially those delivering vital services on the frontline.
It’s important that we recognise not only the diversity of our workforce, but also the different pressures they may face when it comes to their mental health.
There is a strong link between financial worries and mental wellbeing. Recent studies have shown that money concerns cause more than half of UK employees (60%) to struggle with anxiety, stress and depression.
With the added pressures of the cost-of-living crisis, rising bills and living costs, many people are likely to be affected in one way or another. It’s why we’ve invested in financial wellbeing programmes and tools to support our colleagues.
This includes a landmark flexible pay scheme delivered via our financial wellness app, specialist financial training courses, and personal debt advice. Our colleagues are also able to access financial learning resources on topics including credit and borrowing, planning, budgeting and spending, saving, investment and retirement, family and protection, home, car and travel, community, and much more.
Mental Health at Work Commitment
As a signatory of the Mental Health At Work Commitment, we’re committed to taking key actions such as ensuring all managers are mental first aid trained, and providing on-demand wellbeing and mental health support programmes via our employee benefits app, Bravo Benefits.
This is in addition to extensive learning and development programmes – including mandatory mental health awareness training – designed to support the health and wellbeing of our employees.
Across all areas of the business, we’re working tirelessly to promote an open culture around mental health – encouraging more two-way conversations and highlighting the support available to all colleagues.
By increasing awareness amongst colleagues through online learning resources, events and internal communication campaigns, we’re working to challenge the stigma and change the way people think and act about mental health.
Time to talk
Discussing mental health openly in the workplace can help create an environment in which employees can feel comfortable reaching out for support. Yet two thirds (67%) of employees would not feel comfortable raising a mental or emotional wellbeing issue with their employer, a survey from Nuffield Health has found.
More concerningly, over three-quarters of people (78%) would say they’re “fine” even when struggling with low mood, anxiety or other mental health problems, according to mental health charity Time to Change.
The role of managers is essential in making our colleagues feel connected and we encourage conversations about how people are doing, rather than just focusing on performance or work targets.
We provide managers and colleagues with a variety of communication resources, support, and training to help normalise conversations around mental health. For frontline colleagues working on client sites across the UK and Ireland, we arranged regular face-to-face meet ups with line managers to ensure they can connect with their team.
Mental Health Matters
Mental health should always be more than a tick box exercise. At SBFM, we’re on a mission to make colleague mental health an everyday subject, not just for Mental Health Awareness Week.