Aussies Value Mentally Healthy Workplaces - Study
6 June 2014 at 4:07 pm
Almost half of Australian workers are leaving jobs because their workplaces are mentally unhealthy, a new survey has revealed.
According to the survey, workplace mental health is ranked second only to pay rates as the most important factor when choosing a new job.
The survey was undertaken as part of Heads Up, an Australian campaign launched by depression Not for Profit beyondblue and the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance in May to encourage business leaders to take action in the workplace on mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.
Researchers surveyed more than 1000 Australian workers and found not only do they value mentally healthy workplaces above things such as workplace culture and commuting time, they will leave a job if it impacts negatively on their mental health.
The survey found that, while 31 per cent of workers listed pay rates as the most important factor when choosing a job, second-placed was mental health in the workplace on 14 per cent, ahead of culture and ability to discuss things openly (11 per cent), reward and recognition (8 per cent) and commute (8 per cent).
It also found that around one in five (17 per cent) workers had left more than one job because of its poor mental health environment and that more than a quarter (28 per cent) of workers had left one.
beyondblue Chairman Jeff Kennett said the findings highlighted the growing need for employers to create mentally healthy workplaces in order to attract and retain staff.
“If Australian businesses want to be employers of choice and attract and keep the best and most talented people, they have to create mentally healthy workplaces,” he said.
“This may seem obvious, but unfortunately too many workplaces still lack adequate mental health policies, which are the backbone of a workplace environment, which supports the mental health of its staff. These latest findings show that employers need to listen to their workers, or they will leave.
“It adds to a growing body of evidence, including a recent PwC report, that shows if businesses are not investing in mental health they are losing staff, productivity and money.
“Not only is a mentally healthy workplace mindful of people’s workloads and the stressors they face, but staff with flexible working arrangements and who feel supported by their managers bring huge productivity gains for employers.
“This is a win-win situation and businesses cannot afford to ignore it. All employers should go to www.headsup.org.au and learn what they need to do to help create a mentally healthy workplace and start reaping the benefits,” Kennett said.
Other findings included:
- Women are more likely than men to have left a job because of its poor mental health environment, with more than half (52 per cent) having done so compared to less than half (44 per cent) of men;
- Younger workers are more likely to leave a job because of its poor mental health environment, with more than half (58 per cent) of people aged under 40 doing so. This compares to less than half (47 per cent) aged 40-59 and around a quarter (27 per cent) aged 60+;
- This is reflected in findings that show almost eight in 10 (79 per cent) workers aged under 30 believe mentally healthy workplaces are important when looking for a job. This falls to 77 per cent for those aged 30-39, 68 per cent for those aged 40-59 and 63 per cent for those aged 60+;
- Overall, seven in 10 (71 per cent) workers think mentally healthy workplace are important when looking for a job, with a third (34 per cent) saying they are essential or very important.
To view the survey results, click HERE.