Lack of mental health focus at work large factor when employees consider quitting
Results of a nationwide survey showed most employees who were considering leaving their jobs felt their employer had not properly focused on mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The data is clear: employees are struggling to find healthy coping mechanisms to manage chronic stress,” Varun Choudhary, MD, MA, DFAPA, chief medical officer of Talkspace, an online behavioral health care company, said in a press release. “This new study suggests that employee well-being is shaped by many varying experiences — from managerial relationships to workplace policies and available mental health and wellbeing resources.”
Talkspace partnered with The Harris Poll to conduct the survey of 1,015 full-time employed adults aged 18 years or older in the U.S. between July 29 and Aug. 2. Although the current job market has experienced a period that has been called the “great resignation,” the survey results suggested there is also a period of “great reflection” that precedes it, during which chronic stress may influence an employee to find immediate resolution.
Sixty-seven percent of participants considering leaving their job felt their employer had not met early pandemic promises to emphasize employee mental health, with 68% endorsing the statement, “My employer [said] employees should focus on ‘self-care’ but doesn’t provide the resources to do so.”
Results also showed 41% of participants were likely to consider a job change to resolve stress, with employees favoring resignation over other options, such as changing teams or short-term leaves, and approximately 25% of participants felt their physical health had suffered due to their job. In addition, at least 25% reported underperforming regularly due to stress, and participants younger than 35 years and working mothers reported greater reactions to stress and a higher willingness to change jobs or careers or quit in the next 6 months.
The survey also found that 52% of participants reported burnout, but less than 20% reported using company benefits they believe are “most helpful” for mental health, and approximately 60% of participants felt that supportive management can bolster retention.
Six of the top 10 reasons participants reported they would stay at a job were related to management, leadership and culture across all demographics.
“It’s critical that employers pay attention to pain points and implement effective solutions that counteract chronic stress, enhance workplace culture and improve retention,” Choudhary said in the release.