60% of staff turnover due to poor mental health

This article is adapted from MHS Training's post of the same name.

MHS Training is a company I have founded that trains staff in the model of mental health that I use in therapy.

Appjobs recently surveyed 2000 workers to explore their “job-hopping” habits. The average UK resident has changed their job 17 times with the job-hopping habit being most prevalent in London. Residents there have changed jobs, on average, 21 times in their working lives. Consider for a moment the cost of replacing a member of staff in the UK, for each role the cost sits conservatively at £12,000 per employee, a figure that is unlikely to include losses in productivity and the extra stressors caused within a team during transition. £12,000 is a considerable sum. All told, the average worker in London has been replaced 20 times at a cost totalling £240,000 to business.Clearly, employee retention must be a key focus for management. As Appjobs points out, management should strive to, “…ensure their workers are as happy as possible.”

But what exactly is “happy”?

At MHS Training we unpack exactly what that “happy” means and it’s not as simple as you may think. Using common-sense models of what a human being actually needs in order to be well and thrive, the Mental Health and Safety training empowers staff, management and leadership alike to create a working environment that meets needs and fosters a high performing workplace. My experience is that the insights that the Mental Health and Safety training offers contributes to lower staff turnover, and the reason why becomes clear when we look at the reasons why people switch jobs in the UK. While the top of the list of reasons is low pay at 23%, stress is second place at 16%. Clearly stress is a mental health consideration. However, if we include reasons of boredom, bad company culture and lack of stability as mental health issues (which the Mental Health and Safety program

covers) then the total percentage of reasons for switching jobs due to mental health issues combines to a total of 38%.

When an organism fails to get its needs met, then its performance will suffer, and it will be unwell - like a pot plant wilting in a dark corner. If a worker is not getting all of their emotional needs met for mental health, then they will not enjoy a sense of wellbeing. Pot plants cannot hop away to a sunnier windowsill, but a worker can job-hop to another more conducive working environment, costing your business thousands. If a worker is getting all of their emotional needs met in a workplace then they are more likely to enjoy a sense of wellbeing; organisms orientate towards places where they get their needs met…and where needs are met, organisms thrive. All of a business’s endeavour relies upon the mental health of its most potent assets – human beings. We know that if a person’s emotional needs are being met in balance, then that person will be mentally healthy, thrive and perform well towards their personal and shared objectives. The more mentally healthy the worker, then the better they will perform and the greater the return on your investment in their potential. If an organisation knows what the emotional needs of its workers are, then it can ensure, individually and as a whole, that those needs are met. Our accessible, jargon free training provides the opportunity to engender this pathway to high performance and productivity into the culture of an organisation. With coaching, consultancy and group training we empower staff, management and leadership with the tools and understanding for the creation of a workplace that meets needs. An example of how this works is through MHS Training's Connect for Performance workshop.

Many emotinal needs are met in connection with one another. When we connect with others then we are better able to meet our emotional needs and thrive. Many of our key emotional needs are met through community and connection with other human beings. These include the fundamental need to give and receive good quality attention, to feel a sense of belonging to a group and to feel that one is respected for their value within that group. Indeed, not feeling appreciated accounts for 9% of respondents’ reasons for leaving their jobs. All in all, 22% of the reasons for moving jobs were accounted for by relational issues in the workplace, whether that was with management or colleagues (this at a cost of over £5m* to the businesses they left basically for ‘not getting on’ with colleagues or management). Our one-hour Connect for Performance workshop explores our innate ability to enjoy working with one another and how to maintain healthy relationships during times of adversity. These skills include reflective listening, stating needs and understanding and dealing with emotional language.

MHS Training's Managing Mental Health and Safety course gives managers greater tools to support their staff through a structured framework of protocols to follow, supporting staff to effectively problem solve for themselves, pulling back from stress to regain the joy of the challenge. When this range of our interventions is delivered to an organisation in a top down manner with core and peripheral training, there is greater empathy and shared meaning and purpose in the workplace. Previously disparate teams are clearly better at working together and supporting one another’s performance. This improves wellbeing and productivity and the “happiness” workers have in their job. Not only will that reduce the risk of valuable workers job-hopping away; it will improve their performance levels while in role, ultimately meaning greater productivity and performance towards your business’s objectives.

The top ten jobs for quitting due to stress:

  1. Education - 22.9%

  2. Arts and Culture - 22.7%

  3. Travel and Leisure - 21.7%

  4. Retail - 21.2%

  5. Human Resources - 20%

  6. Healthcare - 19.6%

  7. Sales - 19.6%

  8. Catering - 18.9%

  9. Finance - 17.7%

  10. Architecture - 16.7%

*1% of 2000 respondents = 20. 20 x 22 = 440 respondents who switched jobs due to relational issues x £12000 = £5,280000