New research from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) revealed that one in three U.S. employees say their job has had a negative impact on their mental health in the last six months. Of the 1,000 respondents, 30% reported that they have felt overwhelmed by their job and 20% say it has made them feel anxious at least once a week. Even more concerning, 27% of Gen Z workers said their job made them feel depressed at least once a week in the past six months.
As employers seek to address this crisis among their teams, it’s important for executive leaders to assess their employee assistance programs (EAPs) and mental health resources. More than half (59%) of employees said that their company offers too few mental health resources. The SHRM survey data showed that organizations who do not prioritize these resources, have employees who are less likely to describe their mental health as good (46%). Employees of companies who do create a company culture that supports mental health were more likely to describe their mental health as good or excellent (74%).
What employees really want, according to the survey, is paid mental health days (58%) that go above and beyond regular sick leave, and 35% said they want free or subsidized virtual mental health services and mental health coverage as part of their employee health care plan. There are other, smaller steps that can make a big difference, including providing flexible scheduling (44%) and work breaks (32%).
Overlooking the importance of mental health is taking a toll on employees, but it is also undermining staff stability for brands. Of those employees who say their job has negatively impacted their mental health, 49% were more likely to be actively searching for alternate employment and 41% said they would likely leave their job if another employer offered them significantly better mental health benefits.