This standard contains four main actions:
1. Produce, implement and communicate a mental health at work plan, drawing from best practice and representing the views of employees across the organisation, specifically exploring feedback from people with mental health problems.
2. Demonstrate senior ownership and drive board-level accountability, underpinned by a clear governance structure for reporting.
3. Routinely monitor employee mental health and wellbeing using available data.
4. Seek feedback from your employees and create clear opportunities to make improvements based on feedback.
Developing a systematic programme of activity to prioritise workplace mental health is, actually, what the whole Mental Health at Work Commitment is about. There are all sorts of individual actions you can take – from training courses, to support services, to awareness-raising activities – but to make a long-term difference, they should fit into a coherent whole, with a clear ethos, purpose and commitment behind it.
Senior buy-in, including at board level, is vital. That’s often the way to send the clearest message: “Employee wellbeing is a priority for this organisation.” And building it into governance structures, as something to be reported on, says unequivocally that your wellbeing activities are an inherent part of doing business as usual, not an extra or a distraction.
So, commitment from the top is one half of this. But the flipside is equally important: involving staff’s own experience is critical too. Their experiences of mental health issues, their experiences of life as a member of your workforce, and their opinions and priorities for what needs to change. When employee involvement feels like not just occasional input but a fundamental underlying principle, real change is possible.
The Mental Health at Work Commitment is the first of its kind, bringing together the actions we know make a material difference on employee mental health, into one clear set of standards which UK employers like Lloyds Banking Group can follow.
Fiona Cannon OBE
Group Responsible Business, Sustainability & Inclusion Director,
Lloyds Banking Group