Employees Say Culture Beats Individual Approach in Supporting Mental Health

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Employees prefer company culture changes over an individual approach to mental health, such as one providing therapy, apps and time off, according to a study from Qualtrics. In fact, 78% of those surveyed said an emphasis on healthy and sustainable workplaces would be moderately to extremely helpful for their mental state.

The study found that the negative impact of the workplace on an employee’s mental health has gone down to 31%, from 53% in 2021. Still, workplace factors such as emotionally draining work, challenges in work-life balance and poor communication are challenging to employee wellbeing.

Many workers believe employers’ approach to workplace wellbeing – with investments focused on benefits and self-care resources – are off-track. However, respondents who said they felt supported by their employer reported better mental health outcomes, were more comfortable discussing mental health at work and expressed higher levels of engagement.

“Employers need to go back to the basics,” said Bernie Wong, principal at Mind Share Partners, a non-profit mental health organization that worked with Qualtrics on the study. “This means livable wages, true balance between work and life, a sense of belonging and sustainable ways of working.”

Impact of the Pandemic

The study also found that mental health has been a “mixed picture” in the workplace because of Covid-19. The research found a substantial increase in the prevalence and duration of mental health symptoms amidst the pandemic.

“The state of workplace mental health has changed substantially over the past few years — largely for the better,” said Mind Share Partners CEO Kelly Greenwood. “Many employers have begun to take mental health at work seriously, and their efforts are producing noticeable results. That said, mental health broadly is not improving. Economic uncertainty and workplace factors — unsustainable workloads, a lack of a supportive community and systemic inequalities — are leading to employees languishing in their jobs. This is where organizational culture change is needed.”

Image: iStock

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