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City & Guilds urges businesses to safeguard employee mental wellbeing during the global pandemic

City & Guilds Group is urging businesses to do much more to safeguard mental wellbeing of workers during the global pandemic and has key spokespeople available to discuss the workplace and wellbeing challenges in today’s business environment.

In the UK, a worrying number of the working age population report feeling stressed at work, and when long hours and tight deadlines are coupled with working remotely, this can begin to take a huge toll says the London-based skills development firm.

While fears over contracting Covid-19 are continually growing, the physical health of workers isn’t the only factor businesses should be monitoring, rather it is vital that employers consider the huge mental strain their staff may be facing.

Managing remote teams can present an uncharted challenge for business leaders who are used to relying on social interactions to gauge the sentiment of their workforce.

For many, working from home can mean experiencing an “always on” culture, exacerbated by not being able to switch off and change environments at the end of the working day. When this is combined with new pressures such as school closures, and questions around job security, it has the potential to cause employee burnout.

The Leading in a Digital Age report, published by The City & Guilds Group in 2019, highlighted a worrying discrepancy in how senior management and employees view psychological safety in the workplace:

  • Despite 94 per cent of respondents saying that they consider psychological safety to be important, just 10 per cent of businesses are seen to treat it as a priority.
  • With one in five businesses admitting to having no measures in place to support psychological safety and would only take action once an issue arises, the research suggests businesses are taking the “wait and see” approach to employee mental health.

Elizabeth McManus, Head of Leading Transformation and Engagement at City & Guilds Group, commented: “The effects of Covid-19 over the last month have been vast. Not only disrupting communities, businesses and financial systems globally, but significantly impacting the way we work. This is resulting in changes and significant pressures at every level – organisational and individual – as people find new ways to sustain their businesses and new ways to work remotely.

“With this is mind, leaders and managers are very aware of the additional anxiety many of their employees may be facing during this pandemic. City & Guilds Group is calling on employers, leaders and managers alike to take the lead in adapting company practices to ensure they are considering the mental wellbeing of their staff during these troubling times.”

To speak to a City & Guilds spokesperson contact firstlight PR by emailing cityandguildsgroup@firstlightpr.com or by calling 020 3617 7240.

City & Guilds spokespeople:

Elizabeth McManus, Head of Leading Transformation and Engagement at City & Guilds Group: McManus joined The Oxford Group as a Principal Consultant in 2016 and is now Head of Leading Transformation and Engagement. McManus supports organisations across the UK and Europe on raising their business performance. She has substantial client experience working with experts and creating high performance in complex environments.

Caroline Taylor, Head of Accelerating Talent Development at City & Guilds Group: Taylor joined The Oxford Group in 2018 as a Principal Consultant and Executive Coach. She has over 20 years of experience as an Organisational Development professional within global organisations. During this time, she acquired a deep understanding of global business challenges and a proven track record of delivering results in complex environments.

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