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Mental Health Crisis Impact on Organizations: HR Acuity’s 7th Annual Study

May 19, 2023
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The study by HR Acuity revealed a lingering uncertainty about the economy, coupled with struggles to strike the right balance for hybrid return-to-work environments, leading to a new set of challenges for employee relations.

The Seventh Annual Employee Relations Benchmark Study surveyed employee relations professionals at enterprise organisations in the United States with at least 1,000 employees. 190 organisations participated, representing a combined workforce of 6.3 million employees globally.

The study by HR Acuity revealed a lingering uncertainty about the economy, coupled with struggles to strike the right balance for hybrid return-to-work environments, leading to a new set of challenges for employee relations.

KEY FINDINGS FROM THE STUDY INCLUDE: 

THE MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS IS HAVING A SIGNIFICANT IMPACT IN THE WORKPLACE, WITH 67% OF ORGANISATIONS REPORTING AN INCREASE IN MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES.

Mental health issues were also the most significant driver of employee-related issues and events. Employee relations teams are now triaging mental health issues, conducting threat assessments and evaluating security risks. The striking conclusion is that with deep insight into workplace culture, employee experience and well-being, employee relations play a critical role in managing these issues. Organisations must commit to greater investments in training, investigation aftercare and additional employee relations resources to effectively support employee mental health.

TRACKING EMPLOYEE RELATIONS AND INVESTIGATIONS DATA IS UNIVERSAL, BUT MANY ORGANISATIONS STRUGGLE TO EFFECTIVELY LEVERAGE THE DATA TO INFORM BUSINESS DECISIONS.

Nearly one in five organisations collect but does not use employee relations data and metrics. These organisations are missing the opportunity to demonstrate to leadership the value of employee relations practices, unlock additional resources, and build greater trust.

MANY EMPLOYERS STILL ENGAGE IN EMPLOYEE RELATIONS PRACTICES THAT CAN UNDERMINE TRANSPARENCY AND TRUST.

Although some organisations have made efforts to improve employee experience and culture, this year’s study shows only 17% of organisations share investigation outcomes with employees, a rate of ten points below that in 2019. Fortune 100 respondents are leading the industry as 27% shared aggregated, anonymous investigation and employee relations data with employees in 2022.

Deb Muller, CEO of HR Acuity, commented:

This year’s data provides a striking reminder that living through times of great change requires courageous leadership. While we have emerged on the other side of the pandemic, the impact on employees’ mental health is far-reaching. Simultaneously, as younger generations transform the demographics of our workforce, we are leading at a time when expectations for transparency and accountability are at the highest levels ever seen.

Deb Muller, CEO of HR Acuity

For more insights from the Seventh Annual Employee Relations Benchmark Study, visit  https://www.hracuity.com/employee-relations-benchmark-study/.

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