When it comes to mental health in the workplace, modern day statistics are pretty eye-opening. According to Mentalhealth.org, 15 per cent of all employees suffer from a mental health issue, while 13 per cent cited mental health as their reason for taking sick days.
This puts an immense amount of pressure on a business, not only from a wellbeing perspective, but from a revenue standpoint.
Businesses that fail to engage in wellbeing practices could be losing up to £8 billion per year.
For Nick Holden, Managing Director of NexusProtect, looking after people and looking after security are one and the same. “Your people are your biggest asset, but they’re also your biggest threat,” warns Nick.
“Human error is the number one cause for security breaches. By investing in staff wellness, employers can enjoy a more productive and secure workplace.
The Impact of Stress
Employers need to keep a close eye on staff members who may be experiencing unprecedented stress levels.
“Stress can manifest in the ugliest of ways,” says Nick. “It could be something as simple as forgetting to log out of an account, to something dangerous, like lashing out at other employees.”
Stress can have an immediate impact on our blood pressure, metabolism and heart rate. As such, it may affect our concentration, or cause uncharacteristic violent episodes that may threaten the security of other team members.
Depression and Apathy
Workplace stress has risen incrementally in recent years due to a number of different factors. Workplace bullying, workloads, job security and ‘staying connected 24/7’ are all taking their toll on Britain’s employees.
While depression can be a major cause of absenteeism, its symptoms also include apathy.
“If we don’t look after our employees appropriately, their loyalty to the company could wane,” warns Nick.
“This could result in a lax approach to security, from leaving passwords lying around to devices logged in, or compromising data in some other way.”
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
One line of work that Nick is particularly proud of is his charity support – in particular, for former veterans.
“These people may have trouble re-integrating into society, especially if they’re suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder,” warns Nick.
“HR managers should not discriminate against individuals suffering from issues associated with PTSD, and instead should adapt their treatment to be mindful of the worker’s needs”
Nick Holden, NexusProtect
“People who’ve been through the horror of warzones may react to workplace conflict differently.”
“It is our responsibility, as employers, to be sensitive to this and adapt our communication strategies for everybody’s safety.”
“If one of your team members leaves on bad terms, you could be risking everything,” warns Nick. “Disgruntled ex-employees could damage your business both financially and reputationally.”
“It’s your responsibility, first off, to try to prevent this as much as possible. If there’s no way they can part soundly, then make sure you eliminate all their access to company data and social media accounts.”
Nick also advises setting out clear policies in employee handbooks around factors such as social media use and data transferral
“It is not easy to keep your teams happy,” concludes Nick, “but they will reward you by having a vested interest in your company brand.”
The NexusProtect team offers strategic audits to review internal processes, helping businesses to promote wellbeing, productivity and security.