Employers in financial services should act now to retain talent in the sector.  

In research conducted by MHFA England, we found that 83% of employees from the sector have considered changing jobs due to the impact of work on their mental health, with nearly half of those taking the plunge. What’s more, the research, which surveyed 1,000 people working in financial services, shows employees feel they need more support, with 60% saying their employer could do more on workplace mental health and wellbeing.  

Despite progress on tackling the stigma, more organisations must act to normalise conversations on mental health, as one in four employees said they are not comfortable discussing it with their manager. One in four also cited a lack of managerial support and one in five pointed to company culture as key factors negatively affecting their mental health.  

Adding to these pressures is the current economic uncertainty. Half of those we interviewed said that the rising cost-of-living will be the biggest threat to their mental health over the next six months.   

MHFA England is calling on financial services employers to review their approach to mental health and wellbeing so people and businesses can thrive. We believe a whole organisation approach is required and managers need to be at the heart of any change to create inclusive working environments where everyone feels psychologically safe to perform at their best.  

Vicki Cockman, Workplace Lead at Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England, said:  

“Our research shows the clear link between mental health and talent retention. Employers should act now to identify their organisation’s needs and put the right provision in place to create a healthy culture for staff. Acting early will help to prevent a deepening talent crisis.  

“Managers have a clear role to play. They are one of the most influential factors on team culture, people’s wellbeing and business performance. Managers need to feel confident and empowered to drive positive wellbeing across their teams. It is time to give them the training and support they need.  

“The cost of living crisis and the threat of recession will put a further strain on employee mental health and may put a further squeeze on the sector’s talent pool. A focus on people’s mental health and wellbeing is more important than ever if businesses are to support their people, boost productivity and maintain their bottom line.” 

We have partnered with UK Finance to create a toolkit for the sector to help normalise conversations around mental health so that everyone can seek support, if appropriate.  

Click here to download your toolkit

Giving managers the time, tools and training to do their job well has the potential to transform workplace culture and a third of those surveyed agreed that tailored training for employees or managers would better support mental health at work. 

Julie Carruthers, Managing Director, Membership & Strategic Partnerships at UK Finance said: 

“Mental wellbeing is a key issue and something UK Finance and the wider banking and finance sector takes very seriously. MHFA England does fantastic work in this area and has set out some important ideas for improving employees’ mental health through greater managerial support and flexibility.  

“This is something that isn’t always easy to talk about in the workplace and ensuring more people feel comfortable asking for help and speaking about this issue will really benefit those who are struggling.”  

Flexible training to support your managers and organisation
How can positive workplace mental health impact performance?
Developing your managers' confidence to have effective mental health conversations with their teams makes good business sense on many levels.  Deloitte’s 2022 report estimated that mental ill-health costs UK businesses £56 billion per year. The human impact can also be found evidenced in absenteeism, with the proportion of absences attributable to mental health conditions rising to 16% in 2020.

Data from The Workforce Institute at UKG shows that for almost 70% of people, their manager has more impact on their mental health than their therapist or their doctor – and it’s equal to their partner.

With a relatively modest investment in an effective wellbeing strategy, organisations can make a radical change to their workplace culture and profits. The same Deloitte report shows more than a fivefold return on investment for employers, with every £1 spent on staff wellbeing giving an average return of £5.30 in reduced absence, presenteeism, and staff turnover.

By supporting your managers through one of our tailored managers training courses, you can help ensure your people and organisation thrive.

Explore our range of training for managers:
Mental Health Knowledge for Managers

Fuel managers with the knowledge and confidence to build supported, motivated and committed teams with our interactive digital learning package.

Designed for organisations with 50 managers or more, this package will give your managers flexibility with self-directed learning and can be hosted directly on your own learning management system.

Managers will learn to:

  • Understand and fulfil managerial responsibilities around their teams’ wellbeing 

  • Recognise when an employee may need support with their mental health and ways to navigate this  

  • Use the ‘Ask, Listen, Respond’ framework to have effective mental health conversations as part of their everyday activity 

  • Recognise where and when to get further information and support 

Mental Health Skills for Managers

Empower managers to put wellbeing at the heart of their leadership approach with our practical and immersive course. Mental Health Skills for Managers is a four hour course which builds skills in your leaders to feel confident to have mental health conversations as part of their everyday management. It’s available online and face-to-face.

Providing this training to everyone with people management responsibilities will ensure a consistent approach to mental health and wellbeing across teams and departments, promoting healthy performance throughout the whole organisation.

Managers will learn to:

  • Identify if an employee may be experiencing mental health issues

  • Feel confident having open conversations about mental health with their team members

  • Appropriately signpost to available support and know where to go for support and guidance for themselves

  • Role model good self-care practice, inspiring their teams to look after their own mental health and wellbeing

Mental Health Aware

This course is an introduction to understanding what mental health is and how to challenge stigma. Available either online or face-to-face, this half day course is a great place to start building your awareness of mental health.

Managers will gain:

  • Knowledge of some common mental health issues

  • An introduction to looking after their own mental health and maintaining wellbeing

  • The confidence to offer support to others who may be experiencing a mental health issue

Over the last 15 years, MHFA England has provided consultancy and workplace mental health expertise to over 20,000 organisations, including many in financial services. We have a wealth of experience supporting organisations to develop sustainable mental health and wellbeing strategies, designed to support performance and productivity.  

To learn more about any of our flexible training options, get in touch with our workplace mental health experts and share your organisation's requirements.

Submit an enquiry today