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Leadership news for July

Rhian Morgan

Leadership news this week looks at disabilities in the workplace, why it's best to not to look too solemnly at a potential employer, and Cameron's potential new role in a brewery

Launch of mental health survey

Business in the Community has launched a landmark National Employee Mental Wellbeing Survey to gain a comprehensive understanding of the UK workforce’s mental wellbeing, and identify solutions to improve mental health at work. 15.2 million days of sickness absence in 2013 were caused by everyday conditions such as stress anxiety or depression – a dramatic increase from 11.8 million days in 2010. The survey is being supported by  the Institute of Leadership and Management, Mind, and Maudsley Learning at Work, among a number of leading businesses. Business in the Community is calling on all UK leaders to take part, in order to get a picture of workers’ mental wellbeing, what employers are doing about it, and what needs to change. To take part visit www.thewellbeingsurvey.org.uk 

To reduce stress, recruit more

And, in related news, 40% of respondents believe stress in the workplace could be lowered if employers hired more people, according to research by MetLife Employee Benefits. The Building Resilience in the Workplace report, which surveyed 1,052 full-time employees over the age of 18, also found 46% of respondents believe their organisation has not recruited enough staff since the economic downturn. This is despite half (50%) of respondents saying they had access to wellbeing benefits, such as gym membership. 

Nearly half of disabled people face barriers in the workplace

According to a new survey, people with physical and mental disabilities still face significant barriers in the workplace. Nearly half (45%) of senior decision-makers at British SMEs would describe their workplace as "difficult" for disabled people, with 18% saying those with disabilities were not supported in their workplace, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) survey of senior British SME decision-makers. A third said disabled access was a key barrier to increasing diversity; 20% said SMEs cannot afford to invest in diversity, whilst a similar number agree that providing flexible working arrangements can prove costly. 

Grin and snare it

To get that job, flash your pearly whites at an interview. A smile is the first thing employers notice about a person, according to a survey conducted by employee benefits provider Unum. More than half (51%) of those questioned said they would notice someone’s smile or teeth first, followed by a third of people who said clothing (34%). Only 15% of respondents said they would notice either hair colour (7%), shoes (5%), or accents (3%) first. However, maybe consider a closed-mouth smile if your smile is more Hackney than Hollywood... 

And finally

ViewVo is offering hope to Cameron, Corbyn and Johnson. Out of ideas and looking for a new direction, the political leaders have a unique chance to browse more than 100 roles already offered, ahead of the September launch. Taking comfort in the chance to find hope at the bottom of a glass, ViewVo has already got Cameron marked out as a brewery manager, while they say Corbyn appears more suited for a role as a craft shop owner. But if that wasn’t sufficient, both will get the chance to work through other past-times. Anyone outside the established political establishment who fancies becoming a mentor or being the first to trial the service ahead of launch can sign up at www.viewvo.com 

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