Promises were made. At the outset of the pandemic, employers said they’d respect their worker’s health and safety. They also vowed to prioritize employee mental wellness. Yet nearly 19 months in, two-thirds of workers who are now looking to change jobs say their bosses have not followed through on at least one of these promises.
That’s according to a new survey commissioned by Talkspace, a digital mental health care company that also lets employers offer teletherapy as a benefit. Of the more than 1,000 U.S.-based employees surveyed by the Harris Poll between July 29 and August 2, more than 40 percent are now angling to leave their current positions due to chronic stress–largely because they say employers have not prioritized mental well-being.
According to the survey, half of employees believe that work has become too stressful, and at least 25 percent are underperforming due to stress. In addition to the 41 percent who said they’re likely to change jobs due to stress, 38 percent said they’re considering changing careers; 28 percent said they’re likely to quit their jobs in the next six months, and 27 percent said they would quit even without another job lined up.
Of those who are considering resigning in the next six months, 67 percent agreed with the statement “My employer claimed to focus on mental health at the beginning of the pandemic but has not followed through,” compared with 42 percent of other respondents who agreed with the same statement. And 68 percent agreed that “My employer says employees should focus on ‘self-care’ but doesn’t provide the resources to do so,” compared with 47 percent of other respondents who agreed.
To counteract this perception, the report recommends not only offering more training and tools to help employees manage their mental health, but also encouraging managers to raise awareness of existing resources and to model healthy work-life boundaries. While “better pay and benefits” was the most common response when participants were asked what might persuade them to stay in their jobs, 59 percent said having a manager who prioritizes mental health would help, and 52 percent said more mental health services would make them more likely to stay.