Midlands Engine Mental Health and Productivity Pilot

What is the Mental Health and Productivity Pilot?

The Mental Health and Productivity Pilot is a 2 year pilot aiming to raise awareness of mental health in the workplace and the support that is available to employers and employees around better workplace mental health.

Aim to reduce absence and presenteesim, thereby leading to higher levels of productivity, whilst helping to reduce the stigma around workplace mental health.

Cost of mental ill health to the region £33bn-£42bn with a high proportion attributed to the public sector (Deloitte 2017 research) In 2020 this is estimated above £45b.

The first phase of the pilot spoke with 1,900 employers in the Midlands to explore current experience of issues associated with mental health and well-being of employees in the workplace, how they deal with these and the impacts on business performance and productivity.

The University of Derby are now in a position to begin contacting businesses in the D2N2, Herefordshire and Shropshire and Stoke and Staffordshire regions to support them in integrating effective mental health provision into their organisation. Businesses can be any shape and size and we will work with you to create a ‘road map’ of support for your employees, nurturing a positive culture that develops strength in the workplace.

Six mental health at work standards for all employers

Priorities mental health in the workplace by developing and delivering a systematic programme of activity

This standard contains four main actions:

  • 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
  • Demonstrate senior ownership and drive board-level accountability, underpinned by a clear governance structure for reporting
  • Routinely monitor employee mental health and wellbeing using available data
  • Seek feedback from your employees and create clear opportunities to make improvements based on feedback.

Proactively ensure work design and organisation culture drive positive mental health outcomes

This standard contains five main actions:

  • Provide employees with good physical workplace conditions
  • Create opportunities for employees to feed back when work design, culture and conditions are driving poor mental health
  • Address the impact that a range of activities have on employees, including organisational design and redesign, job design, recruitment, working patterns, email, ‘always-on’ culture, and work-related policies
  • Give permission to have work-life balance and to work flexibly and agile
  • Encourage openness during recruitment and throughout employment so appropriate support can be provided.

Promote an open culture around mental health

This standard has three parts:

  • Proactively change the way people think and act about mental health by increasing awareness and challenging mental health stigma
  • Empower employees to champion mental health and positively role model in the workplace
  • Encourage open two-way conversations about mental health and highlight the support available at all stages of employment

Increase organisational confidence and capability 

This standard has four parts:

  • Increase mental health literacy of all staff and provide opportunities for staff to learn about how to manage their own mental health
  • Ensure all staff are suitably prepared and educated to have effective conversations about mental health, and where to signpost for support, including in inductions for all new staff
  • Train your line managers in spotting and supporting all aspects of mental health in the workplace, and include regular refresher training
  • Support managers to think about employee mental health in all aspects of their role including during staff inductions, one-to-one meetings, team meetings and return-to-work meetings.

Provide mental health tools and support

This standard has three parts:

  • Raise awareness of the resources and tools available, including Mental Health at Work
  • Ensure provision of tailored in-house mental health support and signposting to clinical help, including but not limited to digital support, occupational health, employee assistance programmes, the NHS
  • Provide targeted support around key contributors of poor mental health, e.g. financial wellbeing.

Increase transparency and accountability through internal and external reporting 

This standard has two parts:

  • Identify and track key measures for internal and external reporting, including through the annual report and accounts
  • Measure organisational activity and impact using robust external frameworks, e.g. the Business in the Community Responsible Business Tracker and Mind’s Workplace Wellbeing Index.
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Mental Health Toolkit

University of Derby Online Learning has developed webinars and short courses as a mental health toolkit, to assist employers and employees to look after their mental health during this difficult time.

Find out more about the toolkitFind out more about the toolkit
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The New Normal? Implications for employers, leadership and wellbeing

This previously recorded webinar explores what the new 'normal' will be when we return to work after the global pandemic.

Catch up with this webinar Catch up with this webinar
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Advanced Skills Programme

Undertake personal development and refresh your skills remotely. Get free, bite-sized learning online with our Advanced Skills Programme.

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