UK firms are facing of a mental health epidemic, with trust breaking down between employees and managers – especially since the advent of remote working – culminating in hugely disengaged workforces.
That is the damning conclusion of a new report by training and coaching experts PUSH Mind & Body, published to mark World Mental Health Day and based on a survey of 1,360 C-suite leaders, middle managers and employees at businesses across the UK.
It reveals that nearly half (43%) of all managers have seen rising anxiety among employees and over three-quarters (78%) believe their team has faced stress or burnout in recent years, with 47% saying their team has faced either a “communication breakdown” or “worsening relationships”, while majority of UK employees (62%) either “don’t trust their manager” or only trust them “somewhat”.
To make matters worse, nearly three-fifths (56%) of all managers “do not” or only “somewhat” trust their team to manage workloads and time from home.
On the other side of the fence, one in five employees say their manager “doesn’t get the best out of me”, and of those individuals, 89% say their manager “only cares about their own career” or “doesn’t make any effort”.
When it comes to hybrid working, three-quarters (76%) of UK employees say the system would work better if companies offered “advice on how to switch off” (29%), burnout support (27%) and “strategies on how to deal with loneliness” (20%).
In addition, 87% say hybrid working would work better if companies offered “better communication” (36%), “clearer boundary setting” (28%) and “stronger relationship building” (23%).
PUSH Mind & Body founder and CEO Cate Murden said: “Our findings demonstrate in no uncertain terms that employee wellbeing and mental health have worsened since the pandemic. Trust is breaking down between employees and managers, which is having a big impact on organisational effectiveness. Both of these groups don’t believe that employers and C-suite executives are doing enough to safeguard mental health and provide them with the support needed to excel. This is culminating in hugely disengaged workforces.
“The answer lies in having a genuine and empathetic understanding of how the people in a business are feeling and using this insight to create and maintain a working culture and environment that makes employees feel safe.
“If you want to change the way people are feeling, create a space where they feel able to talk openly and encourage this behaviour to take place regularly. Safe spaces are not about creating a physical space, but rather a culture where employees can show up authentically and speak up in psychologically safe environments – promoting positive mental health for all.”
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