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Workplaces of the future will need to consider wellbeing and mental health

8 Oct 2019

A new report says that taking emotional and mental health into consideration will be a critical factor in retaining Gen Z and millennial employees.

Performance management software company 15Five recently published a new report exploring the impacts of evolving work environments that blur the lines between professional and personal lives.

The company surveyed 1,000 full-time US workers and 500 managers. It highlighted that workplaces of today are falling short in creating positive environments for their staff, particularly when it comes to their emotional heath and work-life balance.

Businesses will need to make a greater effort to prioritise the psychological and emotional needs of employees as they hire Gen Z talent and retain millennial workers.

Gaps in perspective

Of the employees surveyed, 90pc said they perform better when their employer supports their emotional wellness. But less than half of managers reported making a point to discuss emotional wellbeing during regular check-ins with their teams.

This suggests that actions need to be taken to address the issue, and improved communication could be the place to start.

Just below half of the managers surveyed believed that their staff purposefully hold back from disclosing sensitive information to them, while only a quarter of employees reported doing so.

Bridging this gap will require companies to invest in the wellbeing of employees, rather than simply providing their pay checks and annual leave allowances. What today’s employees crave most, according to the report, is “synergy between life and career, not a black and white divide”.

Perhaps even more telling are the words respondents put forward when asked to think about their work. The top three results were ‘money’, ‘stress’ and ‘busy’, with less than 1pc responding with ‘happy’, and less again with ‘rewarding’.

The right route

Companies should practise caution in setting out on the path to help improve employee work-life balance, the report advised. Proper training should be referenced to inform management actions, such as becoming educated in the appropriate language to employ and how to navigate difficult situations, should they arise.

And one of the most common pitfalls, the report said, is instigating conversations about mental health just for the sake of saying you facilitated them.

In fact, it’s important for managers to partake in personal and professional development activities too, rather than to solely try encouraging their employees to.

A checklist in the report offers handy goalposts to keep in mind when speaking to staff members about their wellbeing. Being organised, such as preparing agendas and doing your homework, could be the secret to success.

Lisa Ardill
By Lisa Ardill

Lisa Ardill joined Silicon Republic as senior careers reporter in July 2019. She has a BA in neuroscience and a master’s degree in science communication. She is also a semi-published poet and a big fan of doggos. Lisa briefly served as Careers Editor at Silicon Republic before leaving the company in June 2021.

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