While employees’ overall view of their employer’s workplace mental-health efforts are on the rise, workers were 49 per cent less likely to say their employer made significant positive changes to support mental health in 2023 compared to 2022, according to a new report by LifeSpeak Inc. and Lighthouse Research & Advisory.
The report, which consisted of separate surveys of 1,000 employees and 1,000 human resources professionals, also found workers were 25 per cent more likely to say their employer doesn’t have a culture that prioritizes mental well-being.
“As the lines between work and personal lives increasingly intersect, employers need to show empathy and understanding for the vast responsibilities that employees juggle every day, the stressors they bring to work with them and how the workplace can contribute to or detract from employee mental health,” said Michael Held, founder and chief executive officer of LifeSpeak, in a press release.
“Employees are no longer willing to sacrifice their mental health for a paycheque and a title. Organizations that recognize this and establish a supportive culture and accessible mental-health benefits will have a distinct advantage in the marketplace.”
The report also found many organizations still have room for improvement in meeting the needs of key demographics. More specifically, working parents, people of colour, women and remote workers don’t feel their employer is doing enough to advance mental-health offerings and to create a supportive workplace culture.
For example, 70 per cent of survey respondents who are working parents said their organization made no positive changes to support workplace mental health and were 2.5-times more likely to say they’re making plans to quit their job in the next six months. Working parents were also three-times as likely to say their employer doesn’t provide adequate support for caregivers.
In addition, it found employees of colour were 17 per cent more likely to say their employer hasn’t made positive changes to mental health and twice as likely to say they aren’t sure what changes their employer has made.
Although the majority of employee respondents who are working remotely said it’s a positive change, 70 per cent of this group said they’ve thought about quitting their job due to mental health or stress related to remote work.
On the other hand, among employees who said their employers prioritize a supportive culture, 83 per cent reported no intention of changing jobs, while those accessing personalized benefits rated their well-being 51 per cent higher.
“Mental well-being is not a one-and-done proposition,” said Held. “We encourage leaders and human resources teams to stay in touch with the changing needs of their workforce and the demographics of their population so they can provide useful, personally relevant services, support and policies. And to truly demonstrate your commitment to mental well-being, managers should practice what they preach and model the mental-health self-care they want employees to adopt.”