Caring companies enjoy higher profits

Written by Rebecca O'Connor on 9th October 2017

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FTSE 100 companies that report on mental health and wellbeing enjoy up to three times more profit than those that don’t, according to a new study.

The findings, published to coincide with #MentalHealthAwareness Day, put British Land, Lloyds Bank, Unilever, Royal Mail and Reckitt Benckiser at the top of the league table for reporting on the mental health and wellbeing of employees. CRH, GKN, Sage, DCC and the International Consolidated Airlines Group were at the bottom of the league table.

“Employers who are starting to take the issue of workplace wellbeing more seriously are also seeing financial results”

The research suggests that companies that ‘care’ about employee mental health issues to the
extent that they report on them publicly are more productive than those that don’t. It found that two out of three companies do not mention mental health at all in their reporting.

The best-performing sectors include utilities and pharmaceutical companies. Among the worst
performers are retail, consumer goods and construction businesses.

The study was conducted by Soma Analytics, which uses machine-learning and cognitive behavioural science to detect and prevent psychological stress among office workers.

Johann Huber, co-founder and CEO of Soma Analytics, said: “Businesses that openly address the issue of mental health in the workplace appear to perform better than those that don’t. It’s not possible to say if this is a causal link, but it is a statistically significant and gives a good indication.”

The study includes a foreword by Emma Mamo, head of workplace wellbeing at Mind, the UK’s leading mental health charity. Mamo writes: “This report shows that employers who are starting to take the issue of workplace wellbeing more seriously are also seeing financial results…. We hope that the positive results of this report encourage employers in the UK to do more to promote good mental health for their employees.”

Soma’s FTSE 100 Report 2017: Mental Health and Wellbeing is based on a semantic analysis of all the annual reports published by FTSE 100 companies in the last year. More than 20,000 pages of corporate reporting were scanned for references to employee mental health and wellbeing. Results were clustered by company size, revenue and industry as well as by Glassdoor rating.

A full copy of the report can be downloaded here.

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