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Spotlight on mental health

Spotlight on mental health

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Work-related stress accounts for 37% of all illnesses in the UK and 45% of all working days lost.

With Mental Health Awareness Week taking place this month (May 9-15), it’s a good time to give some focus to your wellbeing, along with that of your colleagues and employees. 

Henley Bridge is a proud partner of the Burnt Chef Project, a charity which was launched in 2019 working specifically to support and improve the mental health of people working in the hospitality sector. 

The facts

• 4/5 hospitality professionals report having experienced at least one mental health issue as a direct result of their career. 

• Only 17% of hospitality workers said they would feel comfortable talking to their employer about mental health. 

• 42% of people would rather state a different reason for being absent than report it being a mental health issue.

• Work/life balance is the most frequently mentioned barrier to working in the sector and most commonly cited reason for leaving. 

• Feeling valued is the biggest driver when asked what changes would improve recruitment and retention.

• 40% of hospitality workers report having had less than favourable experiences with their mental health over the past 12 months.

Leading light

Kris Hall, founder of the Burnt Chef Project, says: “We know it’s been a tough year and, whilst Covid has amplified the resource crisis we are currently facing, we cannot blame Covid for the situation we find ourselves in now. The wellbeing of our teams has been neglected for far too long and the profound impact to our industry has been bubbling along under the surface for a much longer period of time. 

“Margins are tighter than they’ve ever been especially since Covid, we have less hands-on deck now than we ever had before and we’re pushing our resources to the max and demanding more and more from our teams in order to ensure our customers are happy and our businesses thrive. This is increasing already high turnover rates within our industry, which often see quick promotions to fill positions exacerbating an already major skill gap shortage within our industry, a skill gap shortage that leaves those in position of seniority, the very people who have been promoted to be in charge of ensuring the welfare of our businesses and teams, without the necessary skills, experience or qualifications to fulfil their role. It’s like asking your head chef to fly a plane or your general manager to conduct Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. They just aren’t going to be able to do it, or at least not very well. 

“I believe that in order for us to turn this ship around we need to provide our leaders with the skills to manage with confidence empathy and ensure that the wellbeing of their teams and themselves is made top priority, become agents of change and work together to create a new breed of hospitality professionals and, in turn, a healthier industry.”

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