Current company included: Prioritizing the mental health and well-being of all

On the occasion of World Mental Health Day 2022, The World Health Organization has urged making “the mental health and well-being of all a global priority”.

With the disease burden associated with brain health conditions growing, turning this aspiration into a reality will require bold action and a deep commitment from a wide range of stakeholders – with employers playing a critical role.

In the McKinsey Health Institute (MHI) publication, “Tackling Employee Burnout: Are You Solving the Right Problem?” In this article, we highlighted the factors that affect the mental health and well-being of employees. We are now examining who has been affected the most – and how leaders are in a position to improve employee mental health and well-being at scale by rethinking the workplace through the lens of a modern understanding of health. Research suggests that positive outcomes—such as job satisfaction and work engagement—are associated with feeling included and supported, and with freedom from stigma or work immersion. workloads.

The insights discussed below are based on a global survey conducted by MHI in 15 countries and approximately 15,000 employees. To learn more, see the sidebar, Survey Scope and Methodology.

Employers have the opportunity to move the needle on burnout, explore ways to help workers with mental health and wellbeing challenges, and explore ways to create healthy environments for employees.

Most of the survey respondents faced challenges related to mental health and well-being

Mental health exists along a continuum, and the majority of employees are likely to experience some symptoms of poor mental health and well-being at some point during their working years.

According to our survey in 15 countries, about 60 percent of employees have faced at least one mental health challenge at some point in their lives – a number that is consistent with other global research.

For leaders, this means that the vast majority of their employees are directly or indirectly affected by mental health challenges.

Businesses have a role to play because the inaction in responding to this crisis is significant. Those If affected by mental health and wellbeing challenges that cannot be excluded or addressed in isolation from the workforce; that they We are manpower.

No demographic seems immune to mental health challenges

Our survey reveals that employees face mental health challenges regardless of their country, industry, age group, role or gender. Leaders around the world can think about how they want to prioritize helping their people.

While specific groups may face different challenges, our survey data reflects that no demographic is immune. One example: a recent report from the McKinsey Health Institute found poor and worsening mental health among Generation Z participants in Europe.

Failing to address the impacts of mental health and wellbeing challenges is a missed opportunity for employers

Most adults spend at least a third of their working years working.

Mental health challenges create a cost to employers. Our global survey found that employees experience at least one mental health and wellbeing challenge (nearly three in five)

Report worst employee experience metrics. They are three times more likely to experience toxic behaviors and four times more likely to want to leave their organization. They are also more likely to report lower job satisfaction, engagement, or other evidence of positive workplaces.

However, employees may be reluctant to mention mental health or wellbeing challenges, because those who do face mental health challenges may struggle with stigma. As noted in a previous McKinsey survey, a large percentage of employees with mental health challenges indicated they would avoid treatment because they didn’t want anyone to find out. This is amazing A terrible irony It can exacerbate challenges that are often invisible to others.

The first step often involves asking employees about their mental health status and finding out who might need more help.

Across all 15 countries surveyed, respondents said toxic behavior in the workplace had the greatest impact on their intention to leave and symptoms of burnout.

Many organizations have responded to the mental health challenge facing employees by devoting unprecedented resources to employee mental health and well-being.

These efforts are commendable, and focus on delivering access to resources Alone, they may lead employers to overestimate the impact of their employee programs. They may underestimate the critical role of other workplace factors in supporting employee mental health and well-being.

Our global survey data suggests that improving workplace factors, such as eliminating toxic behaviors, promoting inclusivity, and creating sustainable work, can be many times more predictive of employee mental health and well-being than providing access to resources alone.

Transition to better mental health and well-being for employees everywhere

As we’ve discussed in previous articles, employers have the opportunity to move the needle in burnout, explore ways to help workers with mental health and wellbeing challenges, and explore ways to create healthy environments for employees. As employers open the door to looking beyond reactive management of poor mental health to proactive mitigation of its drivers, they can reinforce what is acceptable and what is not. For example, companies may benefit from reinforcing behaviors that harness the power of kindness—which recent research has highlighted as a powerful path toward greater empathy and compassion for others, along with greater well-being for individuals who practice kindness.

We also recommend that employers reconsider the following questions:

  • Are we treating employee mental health and well-being as a strategic priority?
  • Are we effectively treating toxic behaviors?
  • Are we creating inclusive work environments?
  • Do we encourage sustainable action?
  • Do we hold leaders accountable?
  • Are we effectively addressing stigma?
  • Do our resources meet employee needs?

A long-term, holistic approach is likely to be associated with organizations gaining the full potential benefits from improved employee health. If individuals, companies and countries expand their understanding of health, they may be able to reap the benefits of gains in life expectancy and quality of life.

If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, please contact Crisis helpline In your country (988 in the United States of America). For more information about World Mental Health Day, please refer to these resources from World Health Organization. If you are a leader concerned about mental health challenges in your organization, please refer to these resources from World Health Organization. There are many actions employers can take, including examples from: MindForward Alliance, One Mind at Work, Mental Health America, and Shatterproof.

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