Major international business leaders spearhead initiative striving for better workplace mental health
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Major international business leaders spearhead initiative striving for better workplace mental health

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Coordinated action and public-private partnerships are key to galvanizing action among employers globally to promote wellbeing of their workforces now and in the future
– Arnaud Bernaert
Credit: World Economic Forum

A coalition of global organisations and business leaders from BP, BHP, Clifford Chance, Deloitte, HSBC, Salesforce, Unilever and WPP have launched an international initiative to advocate for and accelerate positive global change for Mental health in the workplace.

Called The Global Business Collaboration for Better workplace mental health (GBC), the initiative’s vision is a world where all workplace leaders recognise, have the right tools and commit to taking tangible and evidence-based action on mental health and wellbeing in the workplace, enabling their workforce to thrive.

As the world emerges from a tumultuous year that exacerbated the social and economic toll on people across all industries and sectors, the mental health crisis continues to grow.

This can have a wide range of negative effects on employees, which can manifest in a loss of employee engagement, customer satisfaction and productivity for businesses.

Recognising the importance and priority of this issue, the GBC’s founding partners are joining together to drive change in business and society by tackling workplace mental health.

Founding partners include:

– Bernard Looney, BP CEO– Mike Henry, BHP CEO

– Matthew Layton, Clifford Chance managing partner– Punit Renjen, Deloitte Global CEO

– Noel Quinn, HSBC Group chief executive– Marc Benioff, Salesforce chair and CEO

– Alan Jope, Unilever CEO– Mark Read, WPP CEO

The founding CEOs stated: “As we look to rebuild from the pandemic, the business community must prioritise and invest in the mental health of all employees.

“This is not just a business initiative, but a social imperative that will drive positive and long-lasting effects for society.”

The coalition is inviting other leaders of businesses – whether large or small – to join this movement to advance the conversation around creating an open, welcoming and supportive workplace environment for all when it comes to mental health in the workplace.

To join, leaders must sign a pledge and commit to the following actions within their business:

● Develop and deliver an action plan to foster good mental health in the respective organisation● Promote an open culture around mental health that aims to eliminate stigma

● Take proactive steps to develop the culture and ways of working towards creating positive mental health and reducing mental ill-health● Empower all employees to manage and prioritise their mental health and support one another

● Inform employees of available mental health tools and support they need● Regularly measure the impact of the efforts, being open about our progress, to influence and inspire change in the organisation and beyond.

The GBC advocates that these commitments will not only help leaders tackle mental health in their own workplace but also reduce stigma in their local communities, improving the lives of employees, families and friends.

As a business-led collaboration, the GBC aims to utilise a diverse set of perspectives from businesses, wellness experts, existing mental health alliances, and not-for-profit organisations to create a comprehensive and powerful alliance.

Supporting organisations for the GBC include the WHO, World Economic Forum (WEF) and United for Global Mental Health.

“Congratulations to the founding partners in the launch of the HBC,” said Arnaud Bernaert, head of Shaping the Future of Health and Healthcare at the WEF.

“With more than half of working adults reporting increases in anxiety and decreases in productivity at work in response to COVID-19, coordinated action and public-private partnerships are key to galvanizing action among employers globally to promote wellbeing of their workforces now and in the future.”

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A coalition of global organisations and business leaders from BP, BHP, Clifford Chance, Deloitte, HSBC, Salesforce, Unilever and WPP have launched an international initiative to advocate for and accelerate positive global change for mental health in the workplace.
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