New Mental Health at Work Report Finds Employees Prefer Company Culture Change Over Self-Care Apps
The biennial report, published in Harvard Business Review on World Mental Health Day, also highlights a mixed picture on workplace mental health and the need for employers to go back-to-basics.
Nina Tomaro, email@example.com
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 10, 2023– Mind Share Partners, a national nonprofit working to improve workforce mental health, released its third report that gauges attitudes of U.S. workers on mental health. Its landmark 2019 report was one of the first of its kind, now enabling rare pre/post comparative data and insights. Mind Share Partners' 2023 Mental Health at Work Report in partnership with Qualtrics highlights a new paradigm for workplace mental health and employer recommendations across industries.
The report surveyed 1,500 U.S. workers from June 2 - August 11, 2023, and as in all of Mind Share Partners’ past reports, includes a statistically significant sampling of women, people of color, caregivers, all generations, and LGBTQ+ workers, including transgender workers as a subcategory.
“The state of workplace mental health has changed substantially over the past few years–largely for the better,” said Kelly Greenwood, Founder & CEO of Mind Share Partners. “Many employers have begun to take mental health at work seriously, and their efforts are producing noticeable results. That said, mental health broadly is not improving. Economic uncertainty and workplace factors — unsustainable workloads, a lack of a supportive community, and systemic inequalities — are leading to employees languishing in their jobs. This is where organizational culture change is needed.”
At least four takeaways emerged, including:
Investing in organizational culture outperforms therapy and self-care. Historically, employers have taken an individual approach to mental health, providing therapy, apps, and time off. But that’s not what employees find most helpful. 78% say an emphasis on healthy and sustainable workplaces would be moderately to extremely helpful.
Mental health is a mixed picture in the workplace post-pandemic. Thirty-nine percent of workers cited personal finances and 23% cited work as their biggest stressors. In addition, from our prior studies in 2019 and 2021, mental health symptoms spiked and workers’ overall views of their mental health declined. This year, we saw a 20% decline in those reporting any symptoms — a positive trend — but their views of their own mental health continued to decline.
Investments in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are improving mental health. From our prior biennial reports, we know women, Gen Z, Black, Latinx, and LGBTQ+ employees tend to have worse mental health outcomes than their colleagues. Today, of those who say their employer supported their identity, more were engaged and committed to their employer and had better mental health outcomes compared to those who didn’t feel supported.
When it comes to the hybrid work debate, employee voice matters. Respondents were asked if they were working in-person, hybrid, or remotely, and also asked the level of input they had in choosing. No one way of working was found to be better for worker mental health than the rest. One interesting theme emerged within hybrid workers—those with some level of control and influence over where they work tended to experience better outcomes when it comes to mental health, engagement, and work itself.
“Work has a substantial influence on peoples’ mental health,” said Dr. Benjamin Granger, Qualtrics Chief Workplace Psychologist. “While every employee’s mental health needs are unique, an organization’s culture reflects the shared beliefs, values, and behaviors of all employees and has the potential to promote mental health, and by extension, the organization as a whole.”
"Employers need to go back to the basics,” said Bernie Wong, Principal at Mind Share Partners and lead for the organization’s biennial reports. “This means livable wages, true balance between work and life, a sense of belonging, and sustainable ways of working. There will be no technological revolution, no productized panacea, and certainly no renaissance of mental wellbeing if the voices and livelihoods of workers aren’t fundamentally at the center of our cultures and systems. A mentally healthy future is possible, and we all can play a role.”
PGIM is the sponsor of Mind Share Partners' 2023 Mental Health at Work Report in partnership with Qualtrics.
Read the executive summary of the report here.
About Mind Share Partners
Mind Share Partners is a national nonprofit changing the culture of workplace mental health so both employees and organizations can thrive. Through movement building, custom training, and strategic advising, we normalize mental health challenges to promote a mentally healthy and sustainable way of working. We pioneer landmark research, collaborate with partners including the Office of the Surgeon General, do advocacy campaigns, and have almost 500 companies represented in our free virtual community for mental health ERG leaders. We regularly contribute articles to Harvard Business Review, publish a Forbes column, and have been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Washington Post Live, TIME, GMA, Fast Company, and Bloomberg. Clients have included BlackRock, Genentech, Morrison Foerster, Pinterest, Tinder, and Yahoo. Learn more: www.mindsharepartners.org
Qualtrics, the leader and creator of the experience management category, is a cloud-native software provider that empowers organizations to deliver exceptional experiences and build deep relationships with their customers and employees – so they can understand their greatest friction points, retain and engage top talent, and deliver the right products and services. Nearly 20,000 organizations around the world use Qualtrics’ advanced AI to listen, understand, and take action. Qualtrics uses its vast universe of experience data to form the largest database of human sentiment in the world. Qualtrics is co-headquartered in Provo, Utah and Seattle. To learn more, please visit qualtrics.com.
Contact Nina Tomaro for Mind Share Partners
firstname.lastname@example.org, (440) 596-8533
Contact Lauren Braun for Qualtrics