It’s 2022 and the world is fast moving towards an AI-enabled technological future. . Thanks to the pandemic that acted as a catalyst to this transition, organizations have been brought to a point where use of technology has become a way of life. The so-called “Future of Work” is here and there’s no denying it has changed the way we perceive work and workplaces. With the increase in use of technology, the humane conversations have been replaced by collaborative tools, communication platforms and video conferencing. An inevitable flipside of this is the mental health issues that have become rampant in the corporate world. No wonder then, there is an increased need to spread awareness on Mental Health and related topics in workplaces. May is the Mental Health Awareness month and we have been covering various topics around this. Here’s a quick overview of the data on Mental Health issues and organizations’ policies around it. The numbers are not very heartening, but the very fact that we are having conversations around them should lead us to some better solutions in the future.
- COVID-19 related stress among some workers has started to fall, however, employees are increasingly feeling stress from burnout and challenges with management and leadership.
- 83% of CEOs and 70% of employees report missing at least one day of work due to stress, burnout and mental health challenges. Only 28% of employees report feeling “very engaged” in their work.
- More women (40%) feel burned out at work than male (33%) or non-binary employees (34%).
- 94% of CEOs think they do enough to support workforce mental health, while only 67% of employees feel the same way. In the U.S., this gap has persisted year over year.
- 71% of workers say their company increased focus on mental health following COVID-19, but only 25% say they have kept that focus in the last year.
- Use of digital mental health tools among U.S. employees, such as remote-based therapy and meditation apps, has doubled since 2020.
- One in four employees list “poor leadership and management” as a top stressor at work, with U.S. employees reporting this as an increased stressor compared to 2021 and 2020.
- More than 80% of employees believe that it is the employer’s responsibility to help with mental health, and 82% want their leaders to ask them how they are doing and actually care about the answer.
Mental Health Awareness Starts With A Conversation
Problem starts when people do not share what they are feeling and it builds up over time. Problem also starts when the organization does not pay attention to the mental health of the employees, fails to have conversations around it and creates an extremely competitive work culture where the colleagues are just people you talk to about work.
Real mental health awareness will start with conversations. Conversations that understand the employee sentiment and conversations that make the employees feel cared for. One to one conversation is always advisable here but what if you have 1000s of employees to talk to. How will you prioritize or define a strategy of conversation? Least of it, how will you identify who is having mental health issues before the conversations begin?
Well it’s difficult to have individual conversations especially as the companies are scaling up and creating teams across the globe meaning you have a diverse range of employees from all walks of life each with their different set of experiences and way of living (and working). Conversations therefore is not an easy task.
However, to reduce the fatigue on the leadership and to improve the process of conversations, Berryworks has come to the rescue. Berry, a deep learning employee voice platform offers organizations the opportunity to extract the right employee sentiment from the employees just by automating conversations that can be integrated to the existing communication channel. Berry can become an HRs strongest ally by being a humane tool that talks to the employees, runs sentiment analysis on it and based on the sentiment score offer predictions that can make a difference to any employee’s life if handled correctly.
The installation process is quite simple for Slack and Microsoft teams and it can be configured for other communication platforms if needed. Read more
All said and done, Mental health issues must be handled by professionals. Here are a few numbers that can help!
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19: Managing Stress and Anxiety
- American Psychiatric Association (APA)’s COVID-19/Coronavirus Resources and Information Hub
- World Health Organization (WHO)’s COVID-19/Coronavirus: Mental Health Considerations
- Substance Abused and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)’s Tips for Social Distancing, Quarantine and Isolation
- National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI)’s COVID-19 and Mental Illness Guide
- Call Centers and Hotlines: If you are experiencing high levels of stress, anxiety or depression, reach out to the following for support:
- Crisis Text Line: Text 741741
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255