Half of employees have lied about the reason for their mental health day

Just because employees may not be putting in their notice does not mean that all is well in the workplace, and they say factors like compensation and being overworked are to blame. 

JobSage's recent survey of 1,005 employees revealed that although mental health has prompted 41% of Americans to consider quitting their jobs, attrition is down by over 20% in 2023. Employers should hold off on celebrating, however, as the data also shows that work-related stress, anxiety and burnout is higher than it was last year.

Sixty-seven percent of employees say they are stressed by their jobs, compared to 54% last year, the survey found. Meanwhile, 55% of employees say they are anxious because of job aspects, compared to 36% in 2022. 

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Despite many organizations upping their mental health and wellness offerings beyond basic benefits, three out of five employees don't feel comfortable discussing their mental health at work and view it as a personal matter or a professional risk, according to the survey. Additionally, that  stigma is keeping workers from seeking out employer-provided care options or even taking a break: almost half of those who took advantage of an offered mental health day chose to give another reason for their absence.

In turn, many of the burdens shouldered by employees go undiscussed, and therefore unfixed. Employers should revisit what's stressing employees out, according to JobSage, and take these proactive steps to better support them.  

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Provide digital mental health tools

Almost half of employees believe their employers are not doing enough to support their mental health, compared to 20% in 2022. Twenty-nine percent say that better mental health benefits would be appreciated. Cost is the biggest factor getting in the way of employees seeking mental health care, according to the survey, and one in three wish their employer provided access to online mental health resources so they did not have to seek it out and pay for it themselves.

Promote work-life balance and allow more time off and flexibility

Employees feel that the biggest ways employers can aid in the struggle with stress are encouraging a positive work-life balance (42%), giving the option for more time off (40%), and offering more flexibility (36%).

Make it known that mental well-being is a priority

Sixty-four percent of employees say having social support at their job would reduce stress and improve overall well-being, according to JobSage. However, almost three quarters of respondents said they believe social support is not a priority. Some popular ways to promote social support, according to respondents, are social events, team-building activities and employee-assistance programs.

Consider salaries

Forty-two percent of employees say compensation is the top cause of stress at work, according to the survey. When asked to rate their mental health from extremely good to extremely bad, those with salaries above $50,000 reported "good mental health," while those below reported "okay mental health." Even if raises aren't a reality for everyone, additional ways to compensate employees and ease financial stressors can often be found within existing benefit offerings.

Help boost employee mood and productivity

Poor mental health has a big impact on employees in and out of work. Finding ways to help them strike a better balance and get the support they need can help the 70% who said their mood is affected by their mental health status, and the 56% who have seen decreased productivity or performance when they're struggling from a mental health standpoint.