According to a new report by construction engineering company Lloyd’s Register, almost a third (29%) of workers have never discussed their mental health in line management meetings.
People are reportedly more comfortable to share mental wellbeing concerns with their peers than with line managers or HR.
Only 22% of respondents globally said they would feel comfortable speaking to a member of HR to discuss mental health concerns.
James Pomeroy, director of quality, health, environment and safety at Lloyd’s Register said if employees don’t share mental health issues with managers, they might with other employees.
He told HR magazine: “HR has to ensure employees who are concerned about a colleague’s mental health know what to do.
“They also have to help managers understand that they may need to work particularly hard if they want their people to speak-up and share concerns.”
Pomeroy advised the first step to combat this is to ensure employees feel there is a level of confidentiality throughout the business.
He said: “Employees need to be made aware that any problems will only be shared with those that need to know and having visible policies in place will send a clear signal that it is okay to open up.
“With that reassurance, it is crucial that we are empathetic. Our perspective as a senior manager or HR professional can be very different to that of someone, for example, starting out in a new career or recently returned to work.”
Work-related stress levels were also found have increased significantly during the pandemic - the majority (65%) of employees in Lloyd's research said their stress levels had gone up in the last year.
Increased workloads and changed working patterns to comply with national lockdowns were given as the main reasons for higher stress levels.
The Employee wellbeing during a pandemic report is based on responses from 5,500 people across 11 countries.
The importance of mental health support at work