Telecommunications giant BT is considered a beacon for implementing many positive changes in its workplace mental health policy and practice.
BT’s head of health and safety Dr Paul Litchfield tells the Guardian about the company's achievements.
BT has developed a three-tiered mental health framework:
- Level one – promoting employee wellbeing and preventing distress – including tips on the company intranet and management training.
- Level two – identifying distress and intervening early through online stress risk assessment and companion training for line managers.
- Level three – support and treatment for people experiencing mental health problems – including producing ‘advance directives’ to identify early warning signs and establish a plan of action for how someone can be supported if becoming distressed.
BT’s approach has seen stress and anxiety sick leave fall significantly, by 24% in one area. BT has also launched a cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) service for staff that has been used by around 200 people with a very high satisfaction rate.
Royal Mail and British Telecom
The Communications Workers’ Union (CWU) has been working with the Royal Mail Group and British Telecom to create a culture that reduces the stigma of mental illness.
It outlines its policies and approach to the problem on its website.
Expedition Engineering is a cutting edge engineering and design consultancy.
Staff are involved in company decision-making, encouraged to manage their own workload, work from home and dream up new ideas for the company in dedicated ‘thinking’ space. Staff are offered a menu of benefits to choose from to suit their needs. Options include travelcard loans, bicycle loans, private health insurance and gym membership. They have also introduced the ‘Tenth Day’ scheme, where staff have every tenth working day off. A welfare policy, stress policy and parental policy embed these practical benefits in the business strategy of the company.
The company enjoys minimal staff turnover and strong loyalty from customers, which it ascribes to its high levels of staff wellbeing. For Expedition the business benefits of a commitment to staff wellbeing is clear.
Mental Health - we're ready to talk
At Responsible Business Week 2014 business leaders from across sectors came together to talk about mental health in the workpalce.
Video case studies from several major businesses were produced for the event. Watch them by following the links below.
The Health and Safety Executive have produced five case studies outlining strategies that can be used to tackle work related stress