Written by: The Circles Team

August 9, 2021

‘Frame of Mind’ discusses current events in the mental health and emotional wellbeing space. Today’s edition highlights a new shift in priorities for human resources professionals as their focus changes from physical wellbeing to mental, emotional, and social wellness in the workplace.

As companies have adjusted to their employees working remotely following the pandemic, employees have had their own adjustments as well. The line separating work and life have never been more blurred and navigating when to say when has been proven to be a lot more difficult than previously thought.

Because of this, burnout and deterioration in mental health are prevalent. The American Psychological Association’s survey “Stress in America 2021” reports people are experiencing their highest levels of stress since the beginning of the pandemic, showing a lot of stress-related symptoms such as changes in sleep, and increased alcohol consumption. One in five surveyed workers says their mental health is worse than it was this time last year.

Now HR leaders around the world are prioritizing employee well-being and mental health more than ever. The timing of these initiatives is crucial to develop workplace resilience. The Future Workplace 2021 HR Sentiment survey found that 68% of senior HR leaders rated employee well-being and mental health as a top priority. This makes sense given the corporate well-being market is now estimated to be $20.4 billion in the U.S. and is forecasted to grow to $87.4 billion by 2026.

In fact, Gallup recently asked employees what they look for most in an employer. The data showed that employees of all generations rank “the organization cares about employees’ wellbeing” in their top three criteria. For millennials and Generation Z, it was ranked first.

Many talented workers are leaving their jobs to work in environments that demonstrate a genuine concern for their wellbeing. With record-high resignations and a labor shortage, HR leaders now realize that they need to do more to highlight and care for the emotional and mental needs of their employees. Companies are starting to take these steps to de-stigmatize mental health in the workplace and elevate wellness, and that trend must continue.