The Mental Health of Today’s Workforce
In a recent Harvard business review article, authors Kelly Greenwood, Founder and CEO of Mind Share Partners, and Julia Anas, the chief people officer at Qualtrics, discuss the mental health of today’s workforce. In the article, they compare statistics from Mind Share Partners’ 2021 Mental Health at Work Report to Harvard Business Review’s 2019 study, 2019 Mental Health at Work Report. Listed below are the highlights from their findings:
- 91% of respondents believed that a company’s culture should support mental health, up from 86% in 2019.
- 50% of respondents have left their job or project role for mental health reasons, both voluntarily and involuntarily compared to 34% in 2019.
- 76% of respondents across all organizational levels reported at least one symptom of a mental health condition in the past year, up from 59% in 2019.
- In the latest report, an 84% of respondents reported at least one workplace factor that negatively impacted their mental health.
- The report also found that, since the pandemic, poor communication practices and a low sense of connection to or support from one’s colleagues or manager were top causes of stress amongst employees.
One silver lining amid all the disruption and trauma is the normalization of mental health challenges at work. More employees are talking about mental health at work than in 2019. In fact, nearly two-thirds of respondents talked about their mental health to someone at work in the past year. This is an important step in the right direction. However, more work can be done. Only 49% of respondents described their experience of talking about mental health at work as positive or reported that they received a positive or supportive response.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, employers have been responding to the workforce mental health crisis. The top changes reported have been mental health days or weeks, four-day workweeks, and enhanced counseling benefits or apps. While this is a step in the right direction, it is not enough to create true change. What employees want and need most is a more open culture around mental health.
What Can Employers Do?
Employees need and expect sustainable and mentally healthy workplaces, which requires taking on the real work of culture change. It’s not enough to simply offer the latest apps or employ euphemisms like “well-being” or “mental fitness.” Employers must connect what they say to what they actually do.
Health Designs offers a variety of solutions to help you create a culture for your workforce that truly supports mental health and well-being. Our services include webinars and workshops, telephonic health coaching, access to personalized content through our all-in-one wellness portal, and more! Contact us today to get started!