Over the course of the pandemic, many companies have focused on the wellbeing of employees. This is with good reason, as millions leave the workforce because of burnout, in what many now refer to as the ‘Great Resignation‘.
In order to get a better picture of employee wellbeing, the Achievers Workforce Institute spoke to 2,000 employees and 950 HR leaders from Australia, Canada, UK, and USA.
The results showed an alarming disconnect between employers and the health of employees.
The study found that 48% of employees are actively stressed, and 82% of those who have these feelings are looking for work outside of their current organization. Moreover, 63% of respondents said their stress has been related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
These findings will concern many, but perhaps the most worrying data is in relation to how few employees see the companies they work for trying to help them. Only 25% of people said that their employer supports wellbeing, and just 20% of workers feel physically and mentally healthy. 18% feel that their mental wellbeing is supported by their employer.
The statistics are particularly worrying for minorities. People of color were 29% more likely to feel significant stress at work, while LGBTQ+ correspondents were 55% more likely to take stress leave. Those with disabilities are also twice as likely to remain in a stressed state for a longer period of time.
However, HR leaders have a different view of the current situation and 40% of leaders feel their company gives employees resources to support their mental wellbeing.
Evidently, there is a perception gap that needs to be addressed.
Speaking about the findings, Dr Natalie Baumgartner, chief workforce scientist at Achievers Workforce Institute, commented: “Closing the gap between HR action and employee perception should be mission-critical for HR and business leaders.
“While HR may believe they are taking the right steps to support employees in this area, if individuals don’t experience that support as effective, then the effort is not meeting the goal.
Baumgartner added: “The key step is to ask employees for their input on both existing initiatives and with regards to which programs would be beneficial to their physical and mental wellbeing. This employee insight is crucial to implementing support that is experienced as effective and impactful.”
Employers can do this by increasing the frequency of surveys and by encouraging a culture of transparency. Many organizations don’t understand the employee experience and asking, responding, and strategizing are key parts in addressing the wellbeing issues that this report found – the only question is whether organizations will now see the value of making systemic changes.
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