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Who Is Struggling the Most at Work? Hibob Study Reveals Which Groups Have Experienced Significant Mental Health and Job Satisfaction Declines

People management platform Hibob unveils the results of its latest workplace study, showing that a majority of U.S. employees have been suffering from a mental health decline since the start of the pandemic. While the decline is apparent across the board, data indicates that individual experiences are shaped by gender, age, environment, and role at work. These factors are not only impacting productivity levels, but also rates of mental health decline and feelings of job satisfaction and security.

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“As companies continue to power through the pandemic, they cannot ignore their role in supporting employees who are struggling, and must take action to address them,” said Ronni Zehavi, CEO at Hibob. “Two-way communication and transparency are paramount to creating a strong culture, as employees need to feel the support of their managers and teams during this unique time.”

The Disproportionate Decline of Mental Health and Wellness 

  • 93% of employees have seen a direct impact from COVID – either from personal or family illness, or changes to their financial situation due to the economic environment.
  • When experiencing these external changes, employee satisfaction dropped 27%, and mental health and wellbeing dropped a staggering 33%.
  • While both economic and physical health played a role in influencing employees’ mental health, changes to someone’s financial situation weigh the most heavily on Americans, decreasing mental health in 11% of workers.

Hibob’s study also looked into discrepancies between mental health and wellbeing among those in management positions and people in junior level positions.

  • The study showed a 22% decline in mental health for individual contributors.
  • Those in management positions saw a 12% decline in mental health since the onset of the pandemic.
  • Data also suggests managers have more trust in HR than junior-level employees.

Furthermore, statistics show that older employees and females are struggling more with mental health related to the current work from home situation.

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  • 26% of people 55 and older saw their mental health decline.
  • 25% of people 55 and older became less satisfied with their jobs, while only 10% of those 24 years of age or younger experienced mental health declines.
  • While analyzing gender inequities, the survey revealed that women’s mental health was around 10% worse than men’s.

The Inequalities of Job Satisfaction and Productivity, Influenced by HR 

Since the start of the pandemic, individual contributors and women have also reported lower levels of job satisfaction and productivity compared to men or those in management roles.

  • 54% of individual contributors felt their HR teams have supported and adapted to the pandemic’s effects on the company.
  • 71% of those in management positions felt HR had done an excellent job communicating and being helpful.
  • This confidence directly corresponds to job satisfaction, where 18% of individual contributors reported a decline since March, while only 10% of managers were similarly impacted.
  • When comparing job satisfaction from pre-pandemic to now, 25% of women reported a decrease in job satisfaction, while 15% of men reported this.

These findings prove that HR must evaluate how to increase job satisfaction for women separately from men, as studies have shown that women are also overseeing the bulk of childcare responsibilities.

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