Mental wellbeing underpins all aspects of physical, social and financial health. With that in mind, our wellbeing support tools and interventions are designed to help your employees through what life brings, to keep them well, help them get better, and be supported.
Introducing our Be Well Helpline
Our Be Well Helpline has been created for HR and Line Managers to provide early intervention advice and support in the moments that matter.
Available to all employers, our Be well hub provides access to a range wellbeing resources designed to help you actively manage your employees’ wellbeing.
Under each of the physical, financial, social and mental health tabs below, you’ll find:
- Tools to help you create or update your wellbeing policies
- Free wellbeing resources that you can signpost your employees to
- Practical ideas for quick wins and implementation
- A reminder of the wellbeing services available to you within our Group Protection products
In many ways, mental health is just like physical health: everybody has it and we need to take care of it.
According to the mental health charity Mind, good mental health means being generally able to think, feel and react in the ways that you need and want to live your life. But going through a period of poor mental health, might find the ways the individual is frequently thinking, feeling, or reacting become difficult, or even impossible, to cope with.
We believe that good health starts with positive mental wellbeing. Mental wellbeing underpins all aspects of physical, social, and financial health. That’s why our approach and support recognises mental wellbeing as the foundation of our overall wellbeing.
Organisations can vary considerably in how they tackle mental health, with only 33% of employers having a written policy or guidance. Yet in our latest wellbeing research, an average of around 8 in 10 employer respondents say that a good wellbeing strategy can bring about improvements across all business parameters (recruitment, retention, productivity and culture).
Mental wellbeing is also top of mind for employees. In terms of what wellbeing means to individual employees, being mentally (61%) and physically (54%) fit is a priority for many. 84% of employees would be more likely to apply to work for an organisation that is open about its commitment to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of its employees, with nearly half (45%) saying it’s a top priority.
As part of our mental health campaign ‘Not a Red Card’, we worked with expert partners, including Mind, City Mental Health Alliance, InsideOut, Health Assured, Mental Health First Aid England and thinkBeyond. Together we created six bite sized modules that mirror the six mental health core standards outlined in the Stevenson/Farmer review, Thriving at Work – an independent review into how employers can better support the mental health of all people currently in employment.
You can use these modules to help you make positive progress with your workplace mental health journey, no matter what stage you’re at now.
Ensuring your team are supported in the best possible way is a continuous process. You might have a mental health and wellbeing strategy in place and ways to regularly monitor its effectiveness, but it doesn’t just end there. By getting into a good habit of continuous learning, monitoring and adapting, alongside keeping up to date with the most relevant news and resources available to you, you will be better equipped.
To help you with whatever stage you’re at with your mental health workplace journey, we’ve created a simple checklist for you to go through, including links to relevant resources and further information. Download the checklist here.
Additional tools for you:
- Workplace stress risk assessment.While stress is not a mental illness in itself, excessive and persistent stress can trigger mental ill health. You have a legal duty to protect your employees from stress at work by completing and acting on a risk assessment. Those with more than five employees also need to document stress risk assessments. This is an easy-to-use template from HSE, along with examples from three small to medium-sized businesses.
- Video: Conscious Culture for Mental Health. Produced as part of our Not a Red Card campaign, this video will help you understand the growing necessity for building long-term psychologically safe work environments for your employees, and how to weave that into the organisational structure of your company.
Consider signposting your employees to:
- Webinar: Coping with bereavement. This webinar from our partner Health Assured, examines the taboo surrounding death, the stages of the grieving process and the best ways to deal with a traumatic bereavement.
- Talking toolkit – preventing work related stress.This toolkit is designed to help line managers hold initial conversations with employees to help towards preventing work-related stress.
- Mental Health Foundation. The Mental Health Foundation is a UK charity with prevention at the heart of what they do, their aim is to find and address the sources of mental health problems so that people and communities can thrive. Their website features plenty of downloadable PDF guides that you can signpost employees towards, including looking after mental health in later life, mental health and exercise, overcoming fear and anxiety, reducing stress and managing mental health with mediation.
- While all employees (who have worked for you for at least 26 weeks) have the legal right to request flexible working, make it easy for them to request leave as they may feel uncomfortable asking.
- Encourage employees to take control of their role (role craft). Where possible, give them autonomy over what they do, how they do it, and when.
- Encourage employees to take their annual leave by providing regular reminders.
- Lead by example: discourage e-presenteeism by stating that you don’t expect employees to always be on. Let them see you log off on time more than once a week.
- As standard, all your employees have access to a 24/7 helpline, legal information service, wellbeing support and immediate crisis intervention such as what to do after a fire or flood in your property, to help them actively manage their mental health.
- For employers who have a group income protection policy with us, their employees can receive up to eight counselling sessions.
- For our group life customers, their employee’s dependants can access bereavement counselling as standard to support them through a claim.
- For our group critical illness cover customers, employees who have had a claim approved can access the Nurse Support Services, provided through our partner, Medigo. The service can provide practical and emotional support during what can be an unsettling time following diagnosis of a serious health condition.
Looking after an individual’s physical health is key to supporting their overall health and wellbeing, including their mental health.
In 2020, musculoskeletal conditions was a common cause for claims on our Group Income Protection (GIP) policies along with mental health, and cancer. Workplace wellbeing is far more achievable if it is approached holistically, to help understand the link between mind and body.
The relationship between physical and mental health is often overlooked. Physical injuries or symptoms can influence what we think, how we feel, and what we do. It also means that thoughts and feelings can affect our bodies and how we feel physically.
Our research has found that when asked what wellbeing means to employees, 71% of female respondents said wellbeing is feeling physically well (sleeping well, eating well, no aches and pains, no illness or injury, feeling physically fit).
68% of respondents who were aged 55 and over also said to them, wellbeing means feeling physically well, suggesting physical health is a top priority for this demographic.
- Dos and don’ts for managing sickness absence. Our interactive PDF provides line managers with helpful tips on how to have an appropriate and cost-effective approach to managing sickness absence.
- Access to work. This resource provides advice and an assessment of workplace needs for individuals with disabilities or long-term health conditions who are already in work or about to start. Grants may also be available to help cover the cost of workplace adaptations.
Consider signposting your employees to
- NHS One You. This website can help employees get healthier and feel better with free tips, tools and support. Whether it's moving more or, eating more healthily, the NHS ‘One You’ website can help employees make small, practical changes that fit in with their life.
- Download a free fitness app. Whether they’re looking for a one-minute desk workout, a personal trainer in their pocket, or want fitness gamified; The British Heart Foundation has compiled a list of eight free fitness apps that can be downloaded.
- Could you offer a walking or running club, or a small monetary amount per month for those who want to join exercise clubs or classes? A study involving 1.2 million candidates found that the more physically active you are, the higher the increase in mental wellbeing. People who exercised had 1.5 fewer "bad days" a month than non-exercisers.
- Set up an exercise challenge. This will need to be completely voluntary but may help get people moving more by appealing to their competitive side.
- Signpost employees to your Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), if you have one. Many will provide free posters, screensavers or wallet cards to help with communication.
- Don’t forget that your employees have access to a 24/7 helpline, medical information line, health and fitness plans and a health risk assessment tool to help them actively manage their physical health.
- Additionally, for employee we’re covering with our group income protection, if they’re unable to work due to illness or injury, they could receive support through one of our specialist care pathways. This could be, physiotherapy support, structured return to work programme, access to work assessment and a musculoskeletal pathway.
- Those covered by our group critical illness cover, will have access to second medical opinion, nurse support services and medical concierge for critical illness diagnoses.
Research has found, 36% of UK employees have financial worries. They are 14.6 times more likely to have sleepless nights, 12.4 times more likely not to finish daily tasks, 7.7 times more likely to have troubled relationships with work colleagues and 1.5 times more likely to be looking for a job.
This same group is more likely to suffer from poor mental health. They are 4.6 times more likely to be depressed and 4.1 times more likely to be prone to panic attacks.
In 2020, StepChange Debt Charity was contacted by around 500,000 clients for debt advice. 52% of those who had contacted the charity were in some form of employment at the time of advice.
The CIPD has urged all large businesses to have a financial wellbeing policy in place, which can include signposting employees to independent money and debt guidance, offering access to low-interest loans and running pension workshops.
- Building financial resilience – a best practice checklist for employers. Money and Mental Health, the leading centre of expertise on financial and mental health problems, calls on employers to take the following nine steps to build financial resilience.
- The employer’s guide to financial wellbeing. This report from Salary Finance, looks at 2020 financial wellbeing stats and provides employers with 10 practical financial wellbeing tips.
Consider signposting your employees to:
- MSE Academy of Money. This free online adult financial education course is provided jointly by MSE and the Open University.
- Legal & General’s free retirement planning course. We have developed a free, short course with The Open University. 'Retirement Planning Made Easy' will help you understand your retirement options. It’s online and easy to follow. You can learn at your own pace and save your progress.
- Debt advice locator. If an employee is struggling with debt, it can be hard to know where to turn. But with lots of free advice services available across the UK, they can find help in a way that’s best for them. This page from the Money Advice Service provides a list of online, telephone and face-to-face debt advice services.
- Help to save. A savings scheme for people on low incomes who are claiming certain benefits. Help to Save gives a bonus payment from the government of up to 50% on savings paid into the account.
- Money Health Check tool. If an employee doesn’t know where they stand with money? They can take this free Money Health Check from The Money Advice Service. They’ll find out which areas to focus on and practical ways to improve their situation.
- Pension Wise. For free and impartial government guidance about defined contribution pension options aged 50 or over, have a personal or workplace pension and want to make sense of their options
- Check your State Pension forecast. This government tool can help see how much State Pension an employee could get, and if there options to increase it
- Provide employees with information on payslips to highlight where they can get help for any money problems they may have.
- Give your employees a set number of hours per month to complete financial training such as MSE’s Academy of Money.
- Have employee champions – from all levels – who can share how they solved a financial problem.
- Don’t forget that your employees have access to a 24/7 helpline, advice about budgeting, saving and debt and financial offers on selected Legal & General products and services to help them actively manage their financial health.
- Additionally, our Group Income Protection and Critical Illness Cover comes with access to services provided at no extra cost, which if they bought them privately, could be expensive. The products and services we have built are designed to help provide peace of mind should your employee become ill or injured and unable to work, or contract one of the specified critical illnesses.
Social wellbeing is the extent to which you feel a sense of belonging, social inclusion and social stability – it encompasses our lifestyles, values, and beliefs.
When it comes to the workplace, we can apply social wellbeing to:
- Relationships with colleagues, managers and wider social security
- Company values and corporate social responsibility
- Social inclusion and a sense of belonging
- Feeling valued as a person, colleague, and as an employee
We asked employees what could be done to improve workplace wellbeing, Most commonly, employees believe that greater recognition of work well done would improve their wellbeing in the workplace (45%), followed by more flexible working options (44%) and feeling listened to by their line manager or employer (36%).
Among employees that are responsible for managing teams, nearly two in five (37%) want clear direction from the top on company ‘purpose’ and ‘values’ and how wellbeing fits in. 35% of managers also want recognition from the top that managers are employees and have wellbeing needs too.
The tools below will help guide you on your journey to creating a socially inclusive culture where employees feel seen, heard, and valued.
- The Good Youth Employment Charter. By signing the Charter, you are taking a proactive step to ensure your organisation is recognised and appreciated by young people. It demonstrates your willingness to recruit and develop young people based on their ability, talent and potential, regardless of their background or experience. You'll be given help to develop your complete youth employment strategy, from pre-employment to employment, face-to-face or virtual training and CPD for you and your team, and support with project managing education, recruitment, diversity and inclusion, and other activities.
- CIPD Report: Building inclusive workplaces. Inclusion is what’s needed to give diversity real impact, and drive towards a world of work where all employees are empowered to thrive. While diversity and inclusion often go hand-in-hand, inclusion is fundamentally about individual experience and allowing everyone at work to contribute and feel part of an organisation.
Consider signposting your employees to:
- Legal & General’s care concierge service. The long-term care system is confusing and very complex. To support employees during this often emotionally charged and stressful period, we've created a platform that provides in-depth information on making decisions about care, the types of care, finding care, and paying for it.
- Open University and Google’s social skills training. These free courses from OpenLearn, endorsed by Google, will help you to learn to recognise the importance of soft skills (a wide variety of personality traits, communication and people skills, social attitudes and emotional intelligence) and how you can improve skills in yourself and your organisation.
- Give employees paid days off to do volunteering of their choice.
- Offer mentoring within your business, including “reverse mentoring” where junior employees mentor senior leaders.
- Give employees a small budget, or even just free time, to do additional training, whether it’s business-related or a new creative skill they want to learn. The Open University has several free courses that you could make employees aware of.
- Let employees express their individuality, either through dress-down, decorating a desk or internal profile pictures.
- Ask for senior leaders to champion inclusion through sharing their own stories.
- Ensure your external brand – from your recruitment ads to your social channels – accurately reflects your culture in terms of both visuals and messaging. This can help employees ‘self-select’ you as an employer that is a good fit with their values and beliefs.
- Don’t forget that your employees have access to a 24/7 helpline, divorce and separation support, and advice about consumer disputes. Find out more about the Employee Assistance Programme.
- Through our care concierge support, they also have telephone access to a care expert for guidance about a loved one’s later life care needs, to help them actively manage their social health.