Category Archives: Jobs and Careers

Does the responsibility of mental health lie with the employer?

By | Employee Wellbeing, Employees, Health, Jobs and Careers, Mercury HR, Wellbeing, Work | No Comments

In the UK today we find ourselves spending a significant proportion of our time at work.

For many of us the workplace is where we will experience pressures and stresses that will affect our mental health.   In a society where we are trying to cope with the demands our employer places upon us, as well as the demands from our family and relationships, the expectations whether real or perceived can soon become overwhelming.

It strikes me that still so many of us will keep how we are feeling a secret from our manager and work colleagues believing that we will be judged for discussing it, or worse still held back professionally.

When asked we will say “I’m okay” when really we aren’t okay.  Yet if we are experiencing a physical illness such as a cold or back pain, we are far more open with telling those around us how we are feeling.

The Mental Health at Work summary report commissioned by Business in the Community (2018)  states that:

  • 61% of UK employees have experienced a mental health issue due to work or where work was a contributing factor
  • 85% of managers feel that employee wellbeing is their responsibility but only 30% have taken part in mental health training.
  • 30% report having no workplace facility that could help mental health and wellbeing
  • Only 16% of employees felt able to disclose a mental health issue to a manager.

Reflecting on these statistics it poses the question “Does the responsibility of mental health lie with the employer?”

If how someone feels at work and how they perform is a direct result of the working culture and environment they are in, then is the employer responsible to create a workplace where people can thrive and succeed?

If an employee feels supported by their line manager will this make them feel able to work when they are experiencing difficulties as opposed to feeling obligated to do so?

In HR we are seeing more employers starting to recognise that they have a responsibility to support the wellbeing of their staff and are putting mental health on their boardroom agenda.

However, more needs to be done.  It’s not a quick fix overnight.  Leaders of the organisation need to be laying the foundations and leading by example as that is the only way it can be effective and sustainable.  Attitudes filter down from leaders and must be backed with policy and procedures.

As an employer, what support have you put in place and is it widely promoted and easy for your employees to access?

What is the uptake? What feedback have your staff given you?

Blog By Debbie Clegg – Mercury HR Business Partner

Does responsibility for Social Fun at work rest with the Employer?

By | Employee Wellbeing, Employees, Health, Jobs and Careers, Mercury HR, Morale, Wellbeing, Work | No Comments

With the Industrial Revolution, we saw long days of working, regardless of wellbeing and health, employees working in fear of being dismissed. We saw dangerous working practices and work, unsafe facilities and buildings, poor lighting, dirty and full of disease and lets not forget child labor.   The focus was very much on productivity or output.  It’s fair to say the needs and requirements of people was neglected.  Social Activity was kept outside the workplace and certainly these places were not a place of ‘fun’, in fact quite the opposite.

We are along way from these old fashioned ways, however, for some in the world, lets not forget these places can exist.

Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum said “We stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work and relate to one another.”

In the UK, today, we find ourselves as Employers, embracing something different.  Not all Employers embrace this movement.  This transformation in the workplace is happening at pace and around the globe. It is likely to take prisoner the Employer who does not embrace the change and foster new ways of conducting business through instilling a sense that work should be enjoyable and workplaces fun, filled with opportunity to interact and build a community driven social hive.

The likes of Google, Apple and Microsoft all embracing the ethos of creating opportunity for employees to create and foster social/fun in the workplace, suggests that the responsibility for social/fun rests with the Employer, but this comes at great influence from attracting and retaining the absolute best candidates in their field.

As an Employer, what are you doing to embrace this movement? What initiatives are you putting in your workplace to embrace and instill fun and social interaction?

Blog By Adele Theobald – Director of Mercury HR

References – Should or Shouldn’t I?

By | Employees, Jobs and Careers, Recruitment, Referencing, Work | No Comments

References – Should or Shouldn’t I?

So you’ve been asked to provide a reference for an ex or even current employee.  When you receive the reference request, you sigh and your emotions about the person get the better of your imagination, before you compose your thoughts, reality kicks in.

You want to put pen to paper in the reference and tell the story, explain how incompetent or troublesome they are/were, however, something in the back of your mind stops you and instead you think to yourself about not providing a reference, but then again, your uncertain as to whether or not the law requires you to provide a reference.

All of this “Should or Shouldn’t I?” thinking about this reference has probably taken up 5 to 20 or even 30 minutes of your invaluable time already, and that’s without finding the facts and completing the reference…  not forsaking distracted you from your business.

Many businesses using our services, use our Advisors to deal with such reference requests. Not only does it remove the emotion, hassle and wasted time, it also ensures you don’t need to worry about being compliant.  Your Duty of Care is protected by our business and if we need to tell the facts and truth you know it will be done with the best results without risk to your business or you personally being sued for defamation, discrimination, victimization, malicious falsehood or negligence.

MercuryHR, Hampshire HR Consultants, can help you by providing all references on behalf of your company. Should you need help don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Is Your Talent Ripe For Picking?

By | Employees, Jobs and Careers, Recruitment, Work | No Comments

So you’ve spent all year, preparing your crop, tending to it everyday, despite financial struggles and frustrations you kept going and then out of the blue, without warning, your crop is picked and you are not paid for your crop!  Is talent ripe for picking in your company?

With the Employment rate on the up and average weekly earnings seeing an increase of on average 1.7%, can we take it that the economy is on the mend? Or is this 0.2 increase from July-September false security, given the recent push from Government to get more people in jobs through back to work schemes (lets get unemployment figures down!) and the apprenticeship programme (lets help the young get a foot in the door or the Pension issue will worsen!)? Is this is a short term gain?  Let’s face it, NOT ALL back to work individuals have the desire nor the capacity to stay in work, not forsaking the support!basket-14238_960_720

The Office of National Statistics said there were 22,000 more vacancies from November 2014 to January 2015, than the previous period August to October. Does this mean there are actually more jobs? Or is it that these new jobs are just temporary positions whilst Companies struggle to find their feet again and actually it was merely just a seasonal increase due to the Christmas and New Year period? Or perhaps vacancies left by people that have moved on, even moved out of the Country? Lets see if the pattern continues into the next period.

All these stats are all well and good but actually they don’t show what is going on behind the scene in Companies. Within our own Client portfolio, it is fair to say that in the Construction Industry, we have seen a 10% increase in the number of positions coming onto the existing company structures, and we are now starting to see pay increases of anywhere from 0.5% to 6%. It’s also fair to say though that as new employees start, we see others leave and we would urge any business to ensure they have the right retention strategy in place NOW! Is your talent ripe for picking? Tomorrow maybe too late.  Right now your employees are ‘ripe for picking’ by your competitors or other businesses that can utilize their skills…. Getting back on its feet, a company will do its utmost to ensure it has the best skills, and that might mean taking your staff! Remember money isn’t everything for many, but it will help in the long run.  There’s lots of things you can do though so don’t lose hope! Get in touch with Mercury HR, your Hampshire HR consultants. Is your talent ripe for picking?