Despite recent progress in mental health awareness, businesses have continued to struggle with workplace well-being and not on a small scale. According to Deloitte Insights, less than two-thirds of workers say their physical and mental well-being are excellent or good.
So, why does employee wellness continue to suffer, considering more and more programs are being developed to target just that?
Surveyed employees list a heavy workload, a stressful job, and long work hours as the culprits. Although 84% of workers claimed improving their well-being as a top priority this year, these obstacles have thwarted their attempts. Finding it difficult to prioritize mental health, employees haven’t had the time to balance incorporating new healthy habits. Seventy-four percent of workers reported struggling to disconnect from work, 48% reported inability to find time to move or exercise every day, and 45% of workers do not get the minimum 7 hours of sleep.
Considering these are all key components of a balanced life, it’s no surprise that workers’ health is suffering despite their – and their employers! – best attempts to improve it. Understandably, only a third of these workers believed their job had a positive impact on their physical, mental, and social well-being, and 60% of employees have even considered quitting their job.
So, what can employers do to break the cycle?
Improve communication and prioritize accountability: According to Deloitte, “More than three out of four executives inaccurately believe that their workforce’s well-being improved, illustrating that leaders don’t have a firm grasp on how their teams are really doing.” This is a huge issue. How can we cultivate an environment that accommodates change if we’re unable to recognize that change is needed ourselves? How can we expect our workers’ well-being to improve if we’re not lightening our own load once in a while and opening up the conversation so that they’re able to find relief?
Encourage leadership to support workplace well-being: Entrepreneurs and managers must practice what they preach. If they value the mental health of their workers, their actions should reflect that. “Eighty-four percent of the C-suite say their company has made public commitments around workforce well-being, but only 39% of employees agree,” evidences a gap that needs to close.
Promote Sustainability: Allow employees to develop their skills and progress in their careers, help them feel connected to the company and each other, show them that their voice is heard when they’re unsure of it, and adopt practices that promote widespread workforce wellbeing.
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