The understanding of employees’ mental health in the workplace has become a crucial topic of discussion as businesses around the world attempt to define the “future of work” as the world slowly recovers from the pandemic. To better understand how managers affect their staff members’ mental health, the Workforce Institute at UKG, Ultimate Kronos Group, polled 3400 workers in 10 different countries. This study examines the responsibilities played by managers in promoting employees’ mental health both on the job and off, as well as the employee’s willingness to put their well-being first.
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“It is only through continued persistence that we have reached a point where the conversation around mental health is no longer a stigma. But we need to keep going and create ecosystems at work that support an individual overcoming such crisis to lead fulfilled lives at work and home.” Brian Reaves, Chief Belonging, Diversity, and Equity Officer at UKG, on the importance of employees’ mental well-being.
He further added, “As the world keeps tumbling into one global crisis after another, it is very natural for employees and leaders alike to be stressed and anxious. So, now more than ever, companies need to seriously commit to caring for their people. But, sometimes all it takes is a little bit of humanity, humility, and authenticity to enable a healthy work environment where people genuinely enjoy themselves and the work they’re doing.”
Employees are stressed, tired, and feeling burned out
The majority of employees, 69% of them, reported in the poll that their managers had a greater influence on their mental health than their wives, physicians, and therapists combined. Employees also believe that stress from work frequently badly affects their personal lives; 62% believe that it affects their relationships, and 71% claim that it negatively affects their home life.
In India, 25% of workers claim they constantly struggle to get their workday started, while 26% say they always feel fatigued at the end of it. According to the report’s results, 33% of Indian employees believe that working long hours is the main cause of their job-related stress. It is inevitable that this stress will affect how well a person performs at work since 34% of workers have difficulty focusing on their tasks, 31% report difficulty forming positive connections with coworkers, and 26% report lower levels of productivity and performance.
It’s OK not to be OK
Yet, there has been a noticeable shift in attitude as workers find comfort in openly owning their experiences with mental well-being, both good and poor, as organizations throughout the world steadily encourage employees to communicate about their mental health. Yet, there is still a long way to go, as the survey shows that just 30% of Indian employees communicate with their bosses about workload management once a month. Employees provide a variety of explanations for why they don’t approach their supervisors more frequently, including the notion that they wouldn’t care (19%), that they could be too busy (28%), or that they simply prefer to handle matters on their own (33%).
Leaders need support too
When it comes to the opposite end of the spectrum, the survey shows that the situation is just as bad, if not worse, with 46% of managers predicting that they would abandon their employment due to work stress within a year. People managers frequently experience high levels of stress since they are responsible for not just leading successfully but also guaranteeing the well-being of their personnel. Companies throughout the world are feeling a need for greater skill when it comes to selecting really caring and sincere leaders. As a result, firms must prepare their leaders with emotional intelligence and implement a value framework in the workplace that promotes work-life balance.
Sumeet Doshi, Country Manager at UKG, India, stated in the findings of the report that “Employees, when driven by a positive sense of purpose at the workplace, tend to perform a lot better than they ever would when confronted with work-related stress on a daily basis. Organizations need to cultivate that culture of positivity and engagement by prioritizing the mental health of their employees as well as managers and leaders; there are no two ways about it. Investing in resources, technology-enabled or otherwise, that can help employees deal with their mental well-being is integral to the stability and sustainability of an organization because, as we believe it, a company is defined by its people. The people are its ultimate purpose.”
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