Employers within the financial services sector must take immediate action to address the mental health challenges faced by their workforce, according to recent findings by MHFA England.
The survey, which involved 1,000 individuals working in financial services, highlights the detrimental impact of work on mental health, with a staggering 83 percent of employees considering changing jobs as a result.
The data reveals a pressing need for increased support in the industry, as 60 percent of respondents expressed the belief that their employers could do more to promote mental health and well-being in the workplace. Despite progress in reducing the stigma surrounding mental health, the survey indicates that more organizations must take steps to normalise conversations on the subject.
A quarter of employees admitted feeling uncomfortable discussing mental health with their managers, while a similar proportion cited a lack of managerial support. Additionally, one in five employees identified company culture as a key factor negatively affecting their mental well-being.
The pressure from the current economic uncertainty on finance workers
The current economic uncertainty further compounds the pressures faced by finance professionals, with 50 percent of respondents stating that the cost of living poses the biggest threat to their mental health over the next six months.
MHFA England is urging employers in the financial services sector to review their approach to mental health and wellbeing, recognising the importance of a comprehensive organizational strategy. Managers should play a central role in driving this change, fostering inclusive work environments where individuals feel psychologically safe and empowered to perform at their best.
One effective way to support teams is by offering increased flexibility. The survey revealed that 41 percent of financial services employees believe flexible working hours would significantly improve their mental health, while over a third (35%) expressed a desire for the freedom to choose where and when they work, whether at home or in the office.
Wellbeing support is crucial
With its extensive experience providing consultancy and workplace mental health expertise to over 20,000 organisations, including many in the finance sector, MHFA England emphasises the need for sustainable mental health and well-being strategies. These strategies are specifically designed to enhance performance and productivity within the workplace.
The survey also underscored the importance of equipping managers with the necessary time, tools, and training to effectively support their teams. A third of respondents agreed that tailored training for both employees and managers would significantly contribute to better mental health outcomes in the workplace.
The findings serve as a wake-up call for employers in the financial services sector to prioritize the mental health and well-being of their workforce. By taking proactive measures and fostering a supportive environment, organizations can empower their employees to thrive both personally and professionally.
Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.