We can all agree that the best decisions are those made based on data. However, while data is fantastic at telling us about the past, it doesn’t always do a great job at predicting the future. We are living in uncertain times and if you want your business to thrive then future scenario planning is essential.
What is future scenario planning?
Future scenario planning involves making a set of assumptions, based on the data you have, to predict possible future scenarios so that you can make contingency plans and be proactive when it comes to risk management and strategic decision making.
One prediction we are certain of
Although the future is full of uncertainty, there is one prediction from The Centre for Mental Health that we believe all companies must pay attention to. They estimate that up to 10 million people (almost 20% of the population) will need new or additional mental health support as a result of the pandemic and that is a large proportion of society’s valuable workforce.
Why business leaders must pay attention to mental health and wellbeing
We all have mental health, whether this is great or we are struggling, we all have days where we wake up wanting to take on the world, and others we can barely think about getting out of bed, when we have those days we are also less resilient, which has a negative impact on work performance and productivity. Poor mental health also has a direct impact on absenteeism, attrition rates and can cause damage to brand reputation and that’s just the start. People who lack resilience struggle with change and will not be flexible and innovative, which will prevent growth of your business. So, when thinking about future proofing your business, the mental health and wellbeing of your staff must be a high priority.
A staggering 70 million work days are lost every year to poor mental health and it costs the UK economy £2.4 billion and employers £42 billion annually. Stress and anxiety disorders are the leading cause for people taking time off work due to mental ill health.
Why is everyone so stressed out?
We live in a time where change is a constant and the human race is not equipped for the pace of change and technology it is asked to adopt. There is also increasing pressure to deliver consistent, compelling results and there is greater competition between colleagues to secure promotions, so job security is harder to find. Stress affects most people but they do not wish to appear weak in front of their peers and so don’t admit that they are not feeling mentally well. The after effects of the pandemic and multiple lockdowns will only compound what is already a stressful work environment. It is important to remember that if your people are unwell your business will be to.
Worryingly, only 4 in 10 employees say that they feel able to disclose feelings of stress or poor mental health at work. Ensuring your line managers are equipped to manage their teams, in the right way, will build resilience on an individual and business level. In addition, it will ensure that your people and culture enables the right conversations and appropriate support when intervention is required, which is vital not just for the health of your business but also for the health of our economy.
Just like you have first aiders and fire marshals in your business to look after everyone’s physical health, so should you have mental health first aiders, as a minimum requirement. Investing in mental health first aid training must form part of your strategy to mitigate against the risk that poor mental health poses to the future of your business, especially as mental ill health is likely to rise due to COVID-19.
To find out more about Mental Health First Aid training click here.
To find out more about how to develop resilience in your business through the mental health and wellbeing of your employees contact us