Almost a third (29%) of line managers are not aware of the NICE mental health guidelines, rising to 38% of those aged 55+.

Working To Wellbeing’s Window to the Workplace research has also found one in five (19%) are “very aware”, which rises among younger workers aged under-35 (23%) and falls among older workers aged 55+ (10%).

Announced in March 2022, NICE emphasised the importance of upskilling line managers in talking about mental health so they feel supported and skilled to perform their line management duties.  This includes how to have a conversation about mental wellbeing with an employee at times of crisis, how to identify early warning signs of poor mental wellbeing and knowing where to go for further help or support in complex situations.

Findings also demonstrate that 67% of line managers know how to spot early warning signs of poor mental wellbeing (of which 24% “strongly agree” they could spot the signs), but this falls among older managers aged 55+ to 60% and 14% respectively.

Furthermore, seven in ten (71%) line managers feel confident having a conversation with a colleague about mental wellbeing at a time of crisis, of which 28% “strongly agree” with the sentiment. In comparison, just 57% of employees feel confident having a conversation with their line manager about their wellbeing at a time of crisis, while 18% do not.

Working To Wellbeing asked line managers if they agreed with the statement “I know where to go for further help or support on overall wellbeing in complex situations”:

  • One in ten (12%) said they do notknow where to go for further help
  • Two in three (68%) do knowwhere to go for help.
  • One in four (20%) neither agreed nor disagreed.

Furthermore, while two-thirds (66%) of line managers do think they have a good support system in their workplace to help refer any mental or physical wellbeing concerns they are unsure about, 13% disagree.

Dr Julie Denning, managing director, chartered health psychologist at Working To Wellbeing and Chair of the Vocational Rehabilitation Association said:

Line managers need to be given the tools and support to enable them to have the confidence and skills to best support their workforce. Our Line Manager Assistance Programme (LMAP), which was launched in response to the 2022 NICE guidelines, supports and equips line managers to help with their teams’ mental and physical wellbeing at work and aims to minimise the considerable burden that sits now upon a line manager’s shoulders and give them the personalised and specialist support they need.

Dr Julie Denning, managing director, Working To Wellbeing

Editor at Workplace Wellbeing Professional | Website | + posts

Workplace Wellbeing Professional is an online magazine featuring news and analysis on a broad range of employee wellbeing topics, focused on a UK based audience.