With many countries facing an ageing workforce, rapidly evolving technology and market pressures which are forcing employees to do more work with less resources, a huge number of organisations are taking the necessary steps to support the mental health of their staff.
With this topic hitting the headlines for much of 2019, workplace equality is also top of the list for many European employers. Perhaps the biggest surprise to emerge from the report however is that despite the never-ending uncertainty surrounding Brexit, a surprising number of companies feel prepared for its employment-related impacts.
What exactly are employers doing to address their top concerns however?
The report found that European employers are taking action to improve fair pay, prevent harassment, support employee mental health and prepare for any employment-related impact that Brexit might have.
33% of employers say that they provided female, ethnic minority, LGBTQ and disabled employees with more training and opportunities for advancement in 2019. This is an increase from 21% in 2018.
Following closely behind, 30% of respondents say that they’ve improved transparency about wages and pay policies and 32% said they’re modifying compensation policies.
The research also shows that employers are more committed to tackling workplace sexual harassment. 32% say they’ve updated their HR policies in 2019, 31% are addressing complaints and misconduct more proactively and 30% are strengthening their investigative procedures. An impressive 42% of those surveyed also said that they support the idea of designating a point of contact for workers to bring allegations and 35% support mandatory reporting on the state of gender equality.
With the number of people suffering from mental health issues continuing to rise, it’s not surprising that employers are taking this matter very seriously. 87% of employers said that their organisation is taking steps to address employee mental health with 41% providing adequate time off and sick leave.
38% also said they limit work hours and 35% encourage a culture of open communication between employees and management. Promisingly, 28% said that their organisation has successfully reintegrated employees who have returned from taking time off work due to mental health issues.
With Brexit being the main topic of conversation every time you read a newspaper or turn on the television, again, it comes as no surprise to learn that Brexit has become a key focus for employers as well. In Europe, 48% of companies said that they’re somewhat or very prepared for any potential employment-related impacts of our departure from the EU while among UK respondents, this figure rose to 67%.
What have been your top workplace concerns in 2019 and what do you hope next year has in store for your business? Feel free to share your thoughts below.