More than four out of five (84%) hospitality workers have reported increased stress, whilst 45% would not recommend working in the sector.
The new research, “Service with(out) a smile”, published by the Royal Society for Public Health, also showed that 62% of respondents felt the industry doesn’t take of its employees. Only 10% had received training to support health and wellbeing, or access to mentoring, health champions or mental health first aiders.
Worryingly, 24% have had to resort to psychological intervention or medication to deal with work-related stress.
The findings closely mirror the results of a survey published earlier this month by Nestlé, which showed that 81% of those working in professional kitchens have experienced poor mental health during their careers, with 74% having called in sick due to stress.
The RSPH report recommended that employers put in place a package of support to protect the mental health and wellbeing of staff – including sick leave, regular one-to-ones between managers and employees, health champions and mental health first aiders. Further research into what hospitality can learn from best practice in workplace wellbeing within other sectors is also needed.
The report highlights a number of initiatives that have been introduced to address concerns relating to staff health and wellbeing. Hospitality Action set up an employee assistance programme, whilst Me, Myself in Mind run classes on mental health awareness for the hospitality industry. Healthy Hospo has also joined forces with Love Drinks to run health and wellness programmes for bartenders and managers.
RSPH chief executive Shirley Cramer said:“Having access to good mental health support is essential for workplaces, and we are pleased that there are a number of initiatives being rolled out across the sector. However, it is clear from our research that this support is not reaching everyone.”
Cramer added: “Investing in staff health and wellbeing is not just the right thing to do for individuals, but it will ultimately benefit the hospitality sector in the long term.”