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“Leaders have a responsibility for the wellbeing of their employees from day one.”

Does your organisation sound like this? Because it should. 

On the latest episode of ‘the mentl space’ we step back a little in time to a vital conversation captured at the Wellbeing at Work Summit Middle East in Dubai. 

We sit down with Suzanne Gandy, Director of Human Resources at Bayut | dubizzle to dive into McKinsey research on employee wellbeing (or not) which top-level found that two-thirds of workers across the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar are struggling with their mental health.

And, in a conversation which is a must for c-suites, we explore the leadership responsibility, the return on investment in safeguarding mental health, and the lessons learned during her time in the UK Army. 

Click the image below to enjoy it on your platform of choice. And find a brief excerpt from the episode below.

Scott Armstrong:

One of the first things we started talking about, was that recent McKinsey research that showed that 66 percent of people workers in Dubai, well, actually the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Kuwait, all suffering with their mental health. Are those figures a surprise to you?

Suzanne Gandy:

No, unfortunately, not a surprise. And I don’t think this is a new, emerging issue at all, I think this issue has always been there. I just think now we’ve got to a place of sophistication where employers and employees are more likely to talk about it.

Scott Armstrong:

We’ve just been talking about leadership and the responsibility that leadership have, why is it time for leaders to wake up for this?

Suzanne Gandy:

Well, we could take it straight back to the dollar value of what’s being lost because of these mental health concerns that we find are now being reported on. And, because it’s being reported on it can be calculated. And so if we were going to take the top line view of how much has been left on the table, because people aren’t mentally in the best space to do the best work, how much is it costing us already from the bottom line side of things, with respect to last days at work, people not being as productive as they could be?

Now, of course, that’s the dollar side, then let’s move it to the ethical side, quite frankly, we have a duty of care as employers to look after our employees.

And whilst you know, we could say, well, whose problem is it? Is it society’s problem? Is it the healthcare system? Is it the corporates’ issue, is it the individuals’ issue, is it a family issue? It’s a bit of everything, but because we spend so much time with our employees, and because as an employer it is often the main source of stress and mental pressure, it is our responsibility to do something.

So, there is the dollar value side as to why it should be taken as an important factor from our leaders. But, also, there is the ethical and moral side of it, that we have a duty of care by rights as soon as we employ somebody.