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: 'Blue Monday' sustainable employee health – how much focus does your employer give it?

"Blue Monday", and its effect on us at work and play is upon us again, and this year, The Samaritans’ Brew Monday campaign hopes to spark conversations between family, friends and colleagues by handing out cups of tea and coffee to turn Blue Monday 2020 into something positive. Fortunately it seems ‘hidden’ health matters at work are also being given some greater focus and profile, and frankly, it’s long overdue

There is much said about positive work-life balance, and employee health and well-being however many companies could give it more than lip-service or the customary gym membership as part of a benefits package. Of course, keeping fit and regular activity or exercise is an important component in general health and well-being and frequently included in wellness programmes for those with mental health issues, however that’s not all that could be done, or at issue here.

The cost to the employer is significant yet rarely quantified. Lost productivity and associated work over-load on other employees, HR time and legal costs, hiring and training costs, all of which negatively affect business efficiency and ultimately profitability. And that’s just for starters.

MIND*, the mental health charity has some interesting, if not surprising, statistics* on just how costly this issue is, not only for the employee.

  • More than one in five (21 per cent) agreed that they had called in sick to avoid work when asked how workplace stress had affected them
  • 14 per cent agreed that they had resigned and 42 per cent had considered resigning when asked how workplace stress had affected them
  • 30 per cent of staff disagreed with the statement ‘I would feel able to talk openly with my line manager if I was feeling stressed’
  • 56 per cent of employers said they would like to do more to improve staff wellbeing but don't feel they have the right training or guidance

*https://www.mind.org.uk/workplace/mental-health-at-work/taking-care-of-your-staff/

One antidote is to form a workplace choir, an initiative launched in collaboration with Choir Master Gareth Malone in the BBC2 “The Choir, Sing while you Work” series,  as long ago as 2012. Organisations such as P & O Ferries, Birmingham City Council, Sainsbury's, Cheshire Fire Service, Citi Bank, London Aviva, Citi UK, the NHS, ITN, Standard Chartered, Wedlake Bell, Deloitte, Holman Fenwick Willan, Norton Rose Fulbright, Lloyds Banking Group, Linklaters, The Telegraph, Hearst Magazines UK and trowers & hamlin have all established workplace choirs.

The positive benefits are enormous. Some studies show improvements between 77 and 96% across inter-department collaboration, cohesive team-work, and employee personal well-being and positivity. And that all makes a very positive contribution to the bottom line.

Of course, choirs like to sing, and where better than at the inaugural Brighton International Festival of Choirs**, (which will be supporting the mental health charity MIND Brighton and Hove), being held from 3rd to 7th September 2020. With world-renowned judges presiding over the competition elements, and choral masterclasses, there will also be a host of exciting cultural events taking place. **https://www.brightonifc.com/

Could your workplace choir perform? Would you or your employer sponsor the event and gain valuable brand recognition?

If you’d like to work with an enlightened recruitment consultant who places as much importance on the well-being, values and, culture of the company as those of the applicant, and not the invoice, I’d be delighted to talk to you. You can phone me on 07917 361698 or contact me via LinkedIn : http://uk.linkedin.com/in/amandafizz