10 November 2022
The pandemic-driven disruption to the way we work has pushed many employees to draw a deep line in the sand between work and wellbeing.
More than ever, people are ditching employers who fail to support their work-life balance and mental health - à la ‘quiet quitting’ and the Great Resignation.
The United States Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy has responded by laying out a five-point framework to help employers create healthier communities and belonging at work.
This article unravels the key takeaways and how employers can use it to create better wellbeing strategies.
Dr. Vivek Murthy has warned for the first time that working under stressful conditions can take a toll on employee mental and physical health – and is urging business leaders to take a good, hard look at their wellbeing practices.
Work-related stress has long been a problem, but the pandemic has accelerated its prevalence and impact, as unethical, discriminatory, and abusive workplaces drive people to anxiety, depression, chronic conditions, or heart attacks.
The United States has over 160 million workers and surveys over the past year reveal:
84% of employees have reported that at least one workplace factor negatively impacted their mental health
76% of workers reported at least one symptom of a mental health condition—up 17% in two years
Nope. Investment in corporate wellbeing programmes is on the rise and estimated to grow to $100 billion by 2030—but it isn’t working.
While 96% of CEOs think they’re doing enough for mental health, 68% of employees feel they’re struggling or suffering.
A landmark study also found there was virtually no difference in monthly healthcare spending between employees enrolled in wellbeing programmes and those who weren’t.
80% of employees who enroll in corporate wellbeing programmes drop out within six months. The drop-out rates are higher for those who work long hours and earn less.
This is because most corporate wellness programmes include initiatives like yoga classes, nutrition education, or meditation that focus on the edge of work.
If employers want to help their people go from burning out to blossoming, their wellbeing approach needs to focus on the core problem.
To do this, employers need to tackle the causes of illbeing – the factors that lead people to struggle to cope with work and life.
They also need to create the right conditions for wellbeing at work, which allows employers to reach more people and positively impact everything else.
The Surgeon General’s Framework for Mental Health & Well-Being in the Workplace is a welcome starting point to help organisations achieve that:
The five pillars are:
Each of these pillars further validates our science-backed wellbeing approach, with each point linking directing to our key drivers to generate sustainable, healthy forms of motivation at work and higher wellbeing.
|US Surgeon General’s mental and wellbeing framework||MindGym drivers of wellbeing|
|Protection from harm||Certainty|
|Connection and community||Purpose|
|Mattering at work||Belonging|
|Opportunity for growth||Competence|
Based on what you know about your wellbeing programme—whether it’s feedback surveys, sessions, etc.—here’s what you should ask yourself:
Based on what you know about your workforce—whether it’s feedback surveys, sessions, etc.—here are the questions you should ask:
Identify the deep causes of disengagement and build a path toward improvement. From there, you need to start laying the foundation that helps eliminate those stressors and positively reinforce moving forward.
Reevaluating your wellbeing programme and support is not easy—but it’s worth it. Remember, creating a healthy workforce within your organisation enables better productivity, higher retention, increased employee engagement, and greater improvements in overall company performance.
Learn more about how to stimulate company-wide wellbeing that’s inclusive, sustainable, and practical by watching our free wellbeing webinar.