Businesses must revolutionise ways of working, argues BITC's Louise Aston
There are worrying signs that the nation’s mental health is getting worse, and work is a significant factor. In the past year, our Better Work survey (2022), found that over a third of employees have experienced a mental health issue, citing excessive pressure, workload and long hours as the causes. With more than one in three UK employees unhappy in their job, according to Indeed’s Workplace Happiness Report (2021), employers need to not just change but revolutionise ways of working that support wellbeing.
In addition, the Covid-19 pandemic and international humanitarian crises have caused many people to reassess how they think about life, work and what they want out of both. This has resulted in a shifting power dynamic between employees and employers, with more vacancies than candidates, as evidenced by the ‘Great Resignation’. Research from Deloitte has found that 28% of employees have either left their jobs in 2021 or are planning to leave in 2022, with 61% citing poor mental health as the reason.
Responding to employee demand
Businesses need to transform the way they operate, as working populations are now more aspirational in what they value from their jobs. Research by Business in the Community (BITC) has found that over two-thirds of employees value their work-life balance more than security and benefits.
To meet these increasing needs from employees and potential candidates, business leaders need to listen, understand and respond to what workers are seeking.
Invest in your greatest assets
Leaders claim that people are their most critical assets, but they often do not recognise, invest or unlock the value of their people to perform at their best. This needs to change, as in the past year, two-thirds of managers reported having to put the organisation’s interests above their team’s wellbeing, found BITC’s Better Work survey (2022). By putting colleagues’ wellbeing at the centre of all business decisions, policies and working practices, companies will reach a business performance that is both responsible and sustainable.
Business in the Community is backing business to revolutionise ways of working that support thriving people, thriving business, thriving communities and a healthier planet. Our new report, Your job can be good for you, is the sequel to What if your job was good for you?, launched on 9 June with actions that enable all employees to agree ways of working that support wellbeing, benefiting both individuals and businesses.
The issues underlying the ‘Great Resignation’ are here to stay, and now is the time to revolutionise ways of working by putting the individual wellbeing needs of people first.