Return to site

Should director’s bonuses be linked to employees’ mental health?

· Workforce

Executive bonuses should be linked to the mental wellbeing of staff. Some might say this is a controversial statement, but not former Australian politician Jeff Kennett. As the founding Chairman of beyondblue, an Australian mental health charity he’s calling for radical changes to the key performance indicators (KPIs) that guide businesses, boards and executives.

In a proposal to the Business Council of Australia, Kennett is asking for boards to make the mental wellbeing of staff a top priority, linked to executive KPIs. In light of the pressures facing directors, he also wants senior executives to undergo annual mental health checks.

Executive bonuses should be linked to the mental wellbeing of staff. Some might say this is a controversial statement, but not former Australian politician Jeff Kennett. As the founding Chairman of beyondblue, an Australian mental health charity he’s calling for radical changes to the key performance indicators (KPIs) that guide businesses, boards and executives.

A compelling case?

The statistics around mental health speak for themselves. According to Mental Health Foundation, one in four adults are likely to have mental health problems in any given year. On a global level, they are the largest single source of economic burden, affecting individuals, society and ultimately employers.

In the UK, 70 million working days are lost each year due to poor mental health, such as anxiety, depression and stress-related conditions. This makes mental health the leading cause of sickness absence. Furthermore, it costs employers approximately £2.4 billion per year to replace staff lost as a result of mental health problems.

As such, prioritising workplace mental health isn’t just about the feel-good factor – it boosts the bottom line. Absenteeism, presenteeism (remaining in work even when not mentally well, which impacts productivity) and a high staff turnover are all costs that employers have to bear.

Mental health is everyone’s business

Clearly, mental health conditions are a significant issue. Businesses of all sizes have a role to play in tackling these problems. This needs to come from the top; business leaders must drive actions and sustain momentum in order to promote a mentally healthy workplace.

The business case for doing so is evident; organisations with a positive workplace culture are proven to be more productive and profitable. In the long term, they also gain a reputation as a great place to work, allowing them to attract and retain top talent.

Return on investment (ROI) analysis for creating a mentally healthy workplace carried out by PWC in Australia outlines that organisations can expect a positive ROI of 2.3. So for every $1 spent on successfully implementing wellbeing initiatives, such as mental health checks, there is on average $2.30 in benefits to be gained by the organisation.

Take action

Is mental health part of your corporate strategy? It wasn’t too long ago that terms like ‘diversity in the workplace’ and ‘corporate social responsibility’ were unheard of. Now, they are commonplace boardroom conversations.

In the same way, there’s an increasing focus on mental well-being. As with any area of organisational change, a critical success factor is commitment. This starts at the board. At MSBLeaders we believe that we need to be talking about mental health at all levels of an organisation, so be progressive and put it on your boardroom agenda. In doing so, you can play your part in reducing the stigma that is still so prevalent around mental health.

Ask yourself the question, should director’s bonuses be linked to employees’ mental health?

If you’d like to take steps to become a mentally healthy workplace you can access free tools and resources from the Mental Health Foundation.

Download their free publication, which includes advice on how to start conversations about mental health and well-being at a board level.

All Posts
×

Almost done…

We just sent you an email. Please click the link in the email to confirm your subscription!

OK