30/09/2020

Morneau Shepell survey shows 76 per cent of Canadians ranked mental health as the principal factor of their workplace well-being

Seventy seven per cent of Canadians will leave their current jobs for the same pay if their new employer offers better mental health support, according to a Morneau Shepell employee research survey.
Morneau Shepell provides human resource support services such as health and benefits consulting and wellness.
According to the research, 76 per cent of Canadians ranked mental health as the principal factor of their workplace well-being, beating physical, personal and financial health. As much as 60 per cent of employees polled claimed to leave their current employer for less money if the prospective employer offered better wellness benefits, the study showed.
However, Canadian employers remain focused on physical health over their employees mental well being.
Canadians are telling us that mental health support is most important to them and yet, many employers are primarily focusing on the compensation side of recruitment and retention strategies and providing well-being support for physical health first, Morneau Shepell president, Stephen Liptrap, said in a news release.
What worked in the past is no longer the primary path to success. Mental health is not the same taboo topic it once was, and employees are not only prioritizing their own mental health but also expecting employers to do the same.
Organizations that do not invest in employee mental health support can experience lower collaboration and higher turnovers, the survey of 8,000 employees across Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom noted.
Employees reported other factors driving them to new jobs are workplace stress, financial strain, and relationships with coworkers.
The report also found stress from workplace dynamics as one of the top turnover causes.
Forty five per cent of employees said that mental demands of their current job have increased over the past two years. These demands included concentration, problem solving, creativity and flexibility.
Financially speaking, 60 per cent of Canadian employees said their financial matters had a negative impact on productivity and attendance. 
When it comes to financial stress, the surprising reality is that its an issue affecting individuals at all income levels, said Paula Allen, the companys senior vice president.
Human socialization and building relationships in the workplace also turned out as a major stress factor, according to the research. Almost half of the employees reporting high isolation at their jobs had extreme or poor mental health, the report noted.
On the bright side, diversity and inclusion in workplaces had a much better and positive impact on employees well-being.
When it comes to inclusion, there is room for improvement for religions, sexual orientations, abilities and disabilities, however, employers are doing much better with age groups, genders, races and ethnicities.
While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to mental health support, we hope the research helps organizations understand the importance of well-being in the workplace, said Allen.
Support for financial well-being, co-worker relationships and diversity and inclusion are just stepping stones within a broader mental health strategy. By listening to the needs of employees, organizations can eliminate feelings of isolation and drive the organization forward in a way that is beneficial for all.
Some mental health solutions and support paths employees are seeking are talk therapy, digital mindfulness and skill-building, meditation, and cognitive behavioural therapy.
Financial Post
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