Six in 10 financial services workers think their employer could do more to improve workplace mental health and wellbeing, according to new research.
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England found 83% of those polled had considered changing jobs due to the impact of work on their mental health, with nearly half following through on this.
The organisation surveyed 1,000 workers across the sector and also found one in four were not comfortable discussing their own mental health with their manager, while the same number cited a lack of managerial support.
One in five pointed to company culture as key factors negatively affecting their mental health.
Four in 10 (41%) financial services employees said flexible working hours would improve their mental health and a third (35%) said a choice over when and where they work, at home or in the office, would help.
Half of finance employees polled said the cost-of-living was the biggest threat to their mental health over the next six months.
Jenn Barnett, head of ESG and EDI (equality, diversity and inclusion) at Grant Thornton UK LLP, said: “Having a mentally healthy workforce isn’t an optional extra, it’s vital for our talent to be able to perform at their best.
“Wellbeing, resilience and managing the risk of burnout are key priority for our organisation and for the wider professional and financial services sectors.
“If we care for our brain in the same way as we care for our physical bodies, it supports us to be more resilient to pressure and change, improves our ability to solve complex problems and enables sustainable, healthy performance in our people.
“At Grant Thornton, the focus on supporting our people’s wellbeing has created a more open, non-judgmental and supportive culture.
“As a result of highlighting mental health issues and signposting support, our people know who and where they can go to for help if they are in a crisis and are encouraged to look after their own health and avoid the risk of burnout.”
Vicki Cockman, workplace lead at Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England, said: “Our research shows the clear link between mental health and talent retention.
“Employers should act now to identify their organisation’s needs and put the right provision in place to create a healthy culture for staff. Acting early will help to prevent a deepening talent crisis.
“Managers have a clear role to play. They are one of the most influential factors on team culture, people’s wellbeing and business performance. Managers need to feel confident and empowered to drive positive wellbeing across their teams. It is time to give them the training and support they need.
“The cost of living crisis and the threat of recession will put a further strain on employee mental health and may put a further squeeze on the sector’s talent pool. A focus on people’s mental health and wellbeing is more important than ever if businesses are to support their people, boost productivity and maintain their bottom line.”