Tackling Australia’s Silent Workplace Pandemic
Updated: Apr 25, 2020
If you haven’t held the well-being of your people with as much importance as the health of your P&L then you don’t deserve to lead.
More than 80% of young people in a UK survey said that the COVID-19 effects have worsened their mental health.
Let that sink in.
Last year in Australia, 24% of young people experienced mental distress.
Prior to COVID-19, believe it or not, Australia was one of the most depressed countries in the world.
Depression levels are the worst in Asia Pacific and on par with the USA. It’s been called ‘Australia’s deadly workplace crisis: the hidden epidemic in the job world.’. A massive 20 per cent of suicides are linked to work.
In Australia, we have a duty to provide and maintain a working environment that is safe and free of risks to health to our employees. Poor leadership is not excuse for neglecting the mental health of your people.
Employers must acknowledge that we rely on the agility, adaptive capacity and emotional well-being of our people, which requires us all to stay healthy not just physically, but also emotionally.
Jan Bruce recently wrote “Concerns about health, trust, work, finances, children, family and the uncertainty of what will happen have created a perfect storm for serious behavioral health issues in the workforce.
The situation is volatile as revealed by a March 25 survey of 88,000 people by Evidation Health which found a 68% increase, in just one week, of concern about someone in the household contracting COVID-19 along with a 59% increase in anxiety levels.
In the most recent poll from the Pew Research Center, 73% of Americans reported feeling anxious at least a few days a week. While people are increasingly worried, and in many cases face increased health risks, we need employees to be agile and adaptive, and to learn new things including how to work remotely.”
EGM has spoken at length about our white paper in 2017 about the future of work. A key theme is the ability to engage your people and workplace. A huge part of this is ensuring you have great leaders. Leaders who are authentic, trustworthy and have a genuine care for the health and well-being of their people.
The adage of ‘diamonds are made under pressure” rings true. The business environment has been challenging, but it’s also a time where organisations and people show their true colours. If you’re not looking after the health of your people and caring about them, you deserve to be left behind.