Report finds disconnect between employees & HR in supporting wellbeing at work

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December 2021

Half of employees feel stressed, and few are getting the support they need despite HR beliefs about wellbeing at work. Of the HR leaders polled, half (47%) say their company supports employee wellbeing, while just a quarter (24%) of employees agreeing — a major disconnect. That’s according to the new Empowering Employee Wellbeing in the New World of Work report from Achievers Workforce Institute (AWI). AWI is the research and insights arm of Achievers, the global leader in employee voice and recognition solutions that accelerate a culture of performance.

The global research surveyed more than 2,000 employed respondents and 950 HR leaders from Australia, Canada, UK and USA, and found just one in five (20%) employees say they feel physically and mentally healthy and less than one in five feel their physical wellbeing (17%) and mental wellbeing (18%) are supported by their employer. Nearly half (48%) of employees feel stressed, and of that group, two-thirds (63%) say their stress is related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

HR leaders are twice as likely as employees to say their organization supports employee wellbeing, including mental wellbeing. In addition, 40% of HR leaders feel their company offers employees resources to support their mental wellbeing, but just 18% of employees feel supported at work in managing their mental wellbeing.

This disconnect suggests one of two things: either existing programs are not being sufficiently communicated so employees are unaware of the available support, or these programs are reaching employees but not having the desired impact.

Achievers Workforce Institute asked respondents to self-identify as members of specific marginalized groups, including Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, and women or non-binary people. Across the board these groups reported higher stress and less support for their wellbeing.          

For example, BIPOC respondents were 29% more likely to say they feel a lot of stress at work. LGBTQ+ respondents were 55% more likely than average to have taken stress leave. Respondents with disabilities were twice as likely to say they are stressed. Women are 23% less likely to say they feel a strong sense of mental wellbeing, compared to men.

Employees who say they receive weekly meaningful recognition are twice as likely to report a high level of physical and mental wellbeing and are twice as likely to say they feel capable of managing their stress at work.

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