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Manufacturers risk losing talent due to poor wellbeing support

More than a third of UK manufacturers have seen an employee move on because of a lack of mental wellbeing support, according to research from a not-for-profit healthcare provider.

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More than a third of UK manufacturers have seen an employee move on because of a lack of mental wellbeing support, according to research from a not-for-profit healthcare provider.

In a survey of UK employers and employees by Benenden Health, around a fifth of manufacturers (21 per cent) also said they had even lost a really valuable staff member because of a failure to look after their wellbeing.

These figures are slightly lower than those for all sectors, with a surprising 42 per cent of UK businesses having seen employees move on and 25 per cent experiencing the loss of a key employee.

The findings nevertheless underline the importance manufacturing employees place on mental health provision in the workplace. In sector-specific numbers published by The Manufacturer, more than half of workers (51 per cent) said they would leave their job if they felt their mental wellbeing was not being supported.

A similar number (55 per cent) said a supportive mental wellbeing policy would also increase the likelihood of them joining a potential new employer. 

Almost half of all the workers surveyed by Benenden Health (46 per cent) said their job had become more stressful in the last two years, rising to 49 per cent in the manufacturing sector. Younger workers aged 18-24 valued mental wellbeing support the most, suggesting that wellbeing provision will become increasingly important as new generations enter the workforce.

The research also highlighted a disparity between how employers’ priorities on the issue were perceived. Only 29 per cent of manufacturing staff believed mental wellbeing was a ‘big priority’ for their employer, even though 57 per cent of employers said they genuinely cared about the issue.

Training for line managers, free counselling, mental health sick leave and regular reviews of workload were among the most valued support services for the employees surveyed. 

“It is concerning that employers have reported losing good staff due to poor mental wellbeing provision, something that employees clearly consider important, and which could be creating a perfect storm for UK businesses.

“The data highlights a missed opportunity for companies to listen to their employees and promote good mental wellbeing within their organisation, as this can have a real positive effect – not only on the health of employees, but also on absence rates, productivity, recruitment and retention.

“Businesses who do not take an interest in strengthening their mental wellbeing provision also risk missing the opportunity to access a talent pool that would be loyal to a company that prioritises positive mental wellbeing.”

Bob Andrews, Chief Executive at Benenden Health,

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