Male employees need training to understand menopause and support menopausal colleagues says research from the digital health platform, Peppy.

Its study found three quarters (74%) of HR leaders believe that all male employees should be encouraged to better understand the symptoms and effects of the condition. 

One employee’s suffering affects the entire organisation

Peppy says menopause is not just an issue for certain individuals, its impact can be felt right across an organisation.

It says issues such as low mood, poor concentration, hot flushes, headaches, erratic sleep could cause menopausal staff to take time off work and in ‘too many cases, feel the need to reduce their hours or leave their job altogether.’

This, it says, puts additional strain on the remaining team members, which in turn reduces productivity across the organisation as a whole. 

The study says this can be curbed by give men workplace menopause training and offering them support.

CEO of Peppy,  Dr Mridula Pore called for employers to create an open discussion on the subject to normalise it: “Staff are less likely to hide their symptoms and more likely to discuss what changes they need to help them remain on the payroll and be as productive as possible. These conversations are not just for women but we need to arm men with the vocabulary, the understanding and the confidence to participate too.”


Support for partners

Peppy’s research found a huge 68 percent of HR leaders felt that men should be able to access menopause support to help their partner.

This, it says, would be to support employees whose partners are affected by long-term severe symptoms of menopause. The report says it can be ‘a real burden and could start to affect an employee’s own wellbeing’. 


Competent not expert

Peppy also reminds HR teams they are not expected to have in-depth expert knowledge on every aspect of the menopause. However, it wants employers to appreciate the consequences of menopause for both their organisation and their individual members of staff. Most importantly, employers should be able to signpost employees to the right expert support.

Dr Mridula Pore added that staff might only become aware of menopausal symptoms when they are at that stage of life, which means their knowledge of others going through it will be limited: “Staff who are lacking in knowledge about the menopause may often be the ones who feel most uncomfortable because they do not understand how symptoms can be all-consuming and last for many years.”

“Wouldn’t it be great, ” she says, “if a menopausal employee could respond to a seemingly innocuous ‘How are you?’ question from a colleague with an honest answer, and then for that colleague to continue with a suitably supportive conversation?