How the Accounting Profession can Work to Improve Mental Well-Being

October 9th 2020 | Posted by Dave Cross

How the Accounting Profession can Work to Improve Mental Well-Being

How the Accounting Profession can Work to Improve Mental Well-Being

According to Mind, one in four people in the UK experience issues with their mental health each year. These issues can have a serious impact on their ability to function in the workplace.

Employer support does not just benefit these individuals, it also benefits the employer as it improves individual productivity and helps to reduce sickness absence levels. This applies in the accounting profession just as it does in other sectors.

The problem of mental health in the UK

Given that mental health issues affect around a quarter of the UK population each year, it’s clearly a major issue. This is why it’s so important for the accounting profession to take responsibility for improving the mental well-being of employees in the sector.

With this in mind, major firms like KPMG and Deloitte have introduced their own mental well-being programmes. Accounting professionals also have access to provisions like the Chartered Accountants’ Benevolent Association (CABA) which offer advice and support.

Increased emphasis on mental health

Given the evidence of mental health issues throughout the community, it’s understandable that the accounting profession is embracing the opportunity to provide relevant support.

One of the most important aspects of this support is an empathetic approach. This type of approach helps accounting professionals to feel as though they can talk about their issues and get help to address them.

The best accounting firms also put schemes in place that can work alongside government initiatives like the Access to Work scheme. These support programmes include features such as working from home initiatives and return to work packages.

The most important thing for accounting firms to remember is that employees are human beings and should be treated with respect and understanding. There are several different things that can be done within an accounting firm to ensure that this happens including:

  • Implementing and communicating a mental health strategy. This helps individuals to understand the support that is available.
  • Promoting the awareness of mental health issues across the organisation.
  • Encouraging open discussions about mental health.
  • Ensuring that employees have a good work/life balance.
  • Providing opportunities for development including promotion and training opportunities.
  • Providing training and support to managers. This helps them to develop a better understanding of mental health problems and how to identify them. It also helps them to monitor the mental health of their team on an ongoing basis.

All of this work is vital in an accounting sector that often generates stress for the individuals who work within it.

In summary

Mental health is a major concern for the UK as a whole. The situation is no different within the accounting industry. It’s a stressful sector where employees need to be supported in protecting their mental health.

This support is vital in helping the individual. It also helps accounting firms to raise their profile as supportive employers that provide a supportive environment which in turn leads to good productivity and motivation levels.

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