1 in 5 Hospitality Workers Fear Mental health issues could damage career progression

One in five UK employees working in hospitality are worried that raising mental health concerns could negatively impact their position within the company, a new report into employee mental health has found.

This study comes following recent calls from the Bristol Food Union that lack of progression, low pay and unsocial hours is having a detrimental impact on the hospitality industry’s ability to retain staff, particularly female employees.

Throughout the UK, almost two-thirds of hospitality employees have felt their mental health at work worsen over the last year compared to the previous.

Following the increased pressure and stress on hospitality workers since the pandemic, evidence suggests that employers have struggled to adapt their mental health support processes. Over two-thirds (68%) of hospitality workers do not feel sufficiently able to raise mental health concerns with their manager or employer.

The Employee Mental Health and Remote Working report – conducted by virtual events and in-person team building company Wildgoose – asked employees from 129 different UK companies whether their mental health at work had improved or worsened over the past year. It also asked whether these employees felt comfortable raising any mental health concerns with their employers and what they believed would happen if they did.

Full report available here: https://www.wearewildgoose.com/uk/news/employee-mental-health-and-remote-working-report/
What do hospitality employees want from their companies?

With worsening employee mental health a growing concern, the change most desired by hospitality employees (36%) is for companies to implement a process policy of reporting mental health concerns, which is not currently offered, followed by assurances of job security after reporting.
28% of respondents would like their company to offer more regular in-person meetings and 28% want their managers to receive better training on identifying the signs of poor mental health.

Commenting on the findings, Wildgoose managing director Jonny Edser said:
“It’s essential that employers communicate with their staff, finding out how they would like to be supported. Perhaps they’d appreciate more regular workload reviews, weekly face-to-face meetings, or even the creation of better mental health policies. The most important aspect is that employees feel comfortable and safe to discuss any concerns.

“At Wildgoose, we continue to offer both in-person and virtual team building experiences, helping companies to encourage colleague relationships and improve employee wellbeing .”

Kristen Keen, founder and owner of Cluer HR, comments on the findings:
“Unfortunately, there is still a stigma that surrounds mental health issues and a lack of education on the subject. To help improve employee wellbeing at work, both managers and the entire workforce should receive training, so that everyone can recognise and understand mental health issues. Plus, having 1:1 meetings with employees is a great way to encourage people to safely discuss any problems they are having.”

Sheila Gaughan, Director of Gr8NiteOut, says:
“Hospitality can often be a very stressful industry to work in. But if you add the pandemic, the closures, the massive debt most businesses are carrying, the job losses and the rising costs, you’ll find that many of us are dealing with mental health issues caused by this additional stress.

Our situations will remain unchanged for a long time to come and our mental health will be affected. We need to ensure that our staff and ourselves get the help and support we need before we burn out. Hospitality has lost so many good people, so we owe it to those who remain to look after them, physically and mentally.

There are organisations like Healthy Hospo, Drinks Trust, Hospitality Action and The Licensed Trade Charity where you’ll find a safe space to talk about your mental health with a professional. Some organisations also offer financial support, whilst others provide a 24/7 support line.”