One in Five Australians Have Resigned From Their Job Due to Feeling Underappreciated

LifeWorks Mental Health Index indicates stress is a leading contributor to Australians considering or unsure about resigning from job

LifeWorks, a leading provider of digital total wellbeing solutions, released its monthly Mental Health Index, revealing a negative mental-health score among Australians for the 18th consecutive month.

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Key findings:

  • Overall mental-health score of -13.3 compared to the pre-pandemic benchmark, marking its lowest point since September 2020.
  • In the latest survey, more than one-third of Australians (34 per cent) reported that they are either considering or are unsure about leaving their current job. These groups also reported a mental-health score more than twice as low as those who are not considering leaving their job.
  • Fifteen per cent of respondents who resigned during the pandemic did so because of increased stress at work, and this group has one of the least favourable mental health scores (-30.9).
  • Thirty-four per cent of respondents experienced an increase in job stress in 2021 compared to 2020, and this group has a poorer mental health score (-24.4) than those reporting the same (-6.6) or decreased stress (-9.3).

Parents and older employees more likely to resign from their job than younger demographics:

  • Older employees are feeling underappreciated in the workplace at a disproportionate rate. Thirteen per cent of respondents aged 50 and older cite lack of appreciation as the reason for considering resignation, compared to eight per cent of those under 50.
  • Conversely, among all respondents, those under 40 years old are 60 per cent more likely to consider resigning from their job than respondents over 50 years old.
  • Parents are 60 per cent more likely than non-parents to report resigning during the pandemic.

Comments from senior vice-president and managing director, Australia and Asia-Pacific, Jamie MacLennan
“Australians are experiencing a concerning level of emotional uncertainty as the pandemic persists, and increased stress at work is adding an additional layer of turmoil for employees to navigate during an already difficult time. Given that work is a significant part of life, it is key employers do their part to create a positive culture where employees feel supported across the full wellbeing spectrum. Employees who feel supported, do better.”

Many Australians have not been asked by their employer about working preferences, contributing to poorer mental health:

  • Half (50 per cent) of respondents report that their employer has not asked them about their working preferences for the post-pandemic workplace, and this group has the lowest mental-health score (-13.5).
  • One-third (33 per cent) of respondents report that their employer has asked them about their working preferences, and this group has the highest mental-health score (-11.7).
  • Managers are more than 60 per cent more likely than non-managers to report that their employer has asked about working preferences.

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Comments from global leader and senior vice president, research and total wellbeing, Paula Allen
“Business success is dependant on employees that are driven and motivated, and this is simply not possible if they do not feel appreciated, supported, or valued by their employer. Each employees’ needs are unique, which is why an approach to wellbeing that offers a diverse range of servcies will have the greatest positive impact. In day-to-day work life we have always known how important it is to ask employees for their input and to understand their needs, and in rapidly changing and stressful times, this is even more critical.”

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