1 in every 3 employees believes their job has a detrimental effect on their psychological wellness, SHRM says

One-third employees say their job has a negative impact on their mental health, according to SHRM

A job can have an influence on an employee’s mental health in both positive and bad ways. A job, on the other hand, may bring a sense of purpose, financial security, and a sense of accomplishment. It can also facilitate social engagement, skill development, and job growth.

When work becomes a source of stress, though, it can have a negative impact on an employee’s mental health. Job-related stress has a variety of effects on mental health, including anxiety, depression, burnout, sleep problems, etc.

Aside from these consequences, job-related stress can have an influence on an employee’s personal relationships, including ties with family and friends. It can also result in absenteeism, lower productivity, and higher healthcare expenditures.

According to a recent study by SHRM Foundation, there are significant differences in how various generations view the workplace in terms of mental health. According to the Society for Human Resource Management’s research arm, Generation Z and millennial workers suffer more than baby boomers, Generation X, and traditionalists.

In a study of 1,000 employees performed in late March, the organization discovered that one in every three employees indicated their employment had a negative influence on their mental health in the previous six months. Thirty percent of respondents reported feeling overwhelmed at work, and 29% reported feeling nervous at least once each week.

When the organization examined the data by generation, it discovered that younger workers were the worst harmed. In the previous six months, 27% of Gen Z reported feeling sad about their employment at least once a week, compared to 18% of millennials, 14% of Gen Xers, and 7% of baby boomers and traditionalists.

In addition, 42% of Gen Z and 36% of millennials reported feeling overwhelmed by work, compared to 20% of baby boomers and traditionalists. Loneliness and disengagement were also greater among Gen Z and millennial employees.

“An employer’s role in addressing employees’ mental health as it relates to the workplace has obviously become increasingly important,” said Wendi Safstrom, president of the SHRM Foundation, in a news statement emailed to HR Dive on the findings. “It is critical to find, communicate, and provide access to benefits and support that reflect the needs of your employees, especially in a multigenerational workplace.”

More organizations have focused on their mental health programs in recent years, with varied outcomes. According to a report recently published by OneMedical, just around one in every five workers used their mental healthcare coverage, with workers citing expense, humiliation, and a lack of time as primary reasons.

Workers, on the other hand, have underlined the value of such perks, thus sending contradictory signals to employers. Employees have particularly mentioned things that encourage well-being as perks they would likely take advantage of, such as gym subscriptions, monthly wellness stipends, and yoga memberships.

On the basic level, employers can help avoid job-related stress and boost employee mental health by taking certain actions. Providing a friendly work environment, giving mental health resources and assistance, fostering work-life balance, and encouraging open communication between workers and management are some of the initiatives that may be taken.

Besides, younger members of Gen Z appear to be aware of the state of their mental health and are taking proactive measures; in a recent survey of the class of 2023, almost all respondents said employers should provide mental and emotional health benefits, and more than one-third said they prioritize employers who do so in their job search.

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