May 27, 2015
Eighty-four percent of employers believe they have a responsibility to provide a work environment that promotes mental well-being, according to a new Buck Consultants at Xerox survey report “Promoting Mental Well-being: Addressing Worker Stress and Psychosocial Risks,” released last week at the Global Centre for Healthy Workplaces Annual Summit in Brazil. The Global Survey on Health Promotion and Workplace Wellness Strategies – with a strong focus on companies in the United States, United Kingdom, Brazil and Singapore – found that more than one-third of employers rate the stress level within their organization as “high or very high.” However, over two-thirds of employers offer flexible work schedules, and more than half offer telecommuting to mitigate work-related stress, while more than half of employers rate their organization as very or extremely supportive of the mental well-being of their employees.
“Stress is the primary health-related driver globally for implementing wellness programs, according to our survey,” said Dave Ratcliffe, principal, Buck Consultants at Xerox. “Several studies show that employers are becoming more aware of this trend and are increasingly concerned about the more holistic well-being of their employees. Putting the appropriate programs in place helps employees realise their full potential, and make productive and fruitful contributions in the workplace.”
Singapore-based employers stand out as being the most supportive at 78 percent, and the U.S. is noted as the least supportive at 46 percent. Fifty-three percent of U.S. employers rate their stress levels as above average, with 33 percent saying that stress has increased over the last five years. However, despite this, 88 percent of U.S. employers believe their corporate culture supports the mental well-being of employees.
“Employers are offering a wide array of programs to promote mental well-being, such as work/life balance support, leadership training and Employee Assistance Programs being the most popular,” said Ratcliffe. “We’re also seeing a rise in psychosocial strategies that are less conventional but rapidly growing, such as workplace environment redesign, communication training and health circles. These types of programs bring positivity to the workplace and give employees the support they need to reduce their stress.”
Other key findings of Buck’s global mental well-being survey include:
Employee performance is the most important reason organizations address work-related stress and poor mental well-being. Workplace accidents, employee engagement, productivity and motivation follow closely behind.
Buck Consultants at Xerox conducted the survey in association with the Global Centre for Healthy Workplaces.