Support for mental health is still missing from employee survey findings

Support for mental health is still missing from employee survey findings

Routine check-ins in the form of surveys and regular meetings is a great way to gauge employee engagement levels and sentiment, according to Evangeline Mendiola, director of global benefits at software company Zendesk. It simultaneously removes the burden from managers’ shoulders while also monitoring their stress levels. “Your managers are your frontline,” Dr. Myra Altman, vice president of clinical care at Modern Health, said at the event. “So have a lot of conversations with them, understand what the pain points are and then equip them really well to have those conversations.” Read more: Take it from a psychologist: Here’s what you need in your mental healthcare plans

In the wake of the pandemic, not only is the number of employees expected to leave their current position high, but employers’ attitudes are worsening the optics. Eighty percent of C-suite leaders and nearly three-quarters of HR leaders say employees today expect too much mental health support from their employers, research shows. And while most leaders acknowledge the importance of providing mental health support, 60% plan to revert back to the mental health strategy used pre-pandemic. Read more:Work less, feel better? The 4-day workweek tackles mental health challenges

These decisions are causing alarm among managers who have not only been forced to attempt to provide mental health support to other team members — 72% say it’s made their jobs harder — but will be the most impacted should their team members jump ship. “We’re seeing this shared interest ,” Cynthia Castro Sweet, senior director of clinical research at Modern Health, said at a recent panel discussion held by the mental health and wellness app on Sept. 1st. “But slightly different ranking in priorities between leaders and employees.”

“The organizations that get it are going to have a significant advantage in drawing those good people in and organizations that don’t are going to limit their addressable market for talent,” he said. “This is the moment in time and hopefully it’s a wake-up call.”

Employers are now preparing themselves for a competitive recruiting season driven by a younger demographic that expects comprehensive mental health benefits — 41% of 18 to 29 year olds anticipate it to be a legal requirement in the next five years. Companies that don’t continue to build on their existing mental health offerings and invest in the psychological safety of their office may struggle with attraction and retention. “Whether it’s helping our managers be better enabled or helping our employees feel empowered to share what they need,” she said at the discussion. “Everybody’s set up for success.”

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