Leading Indicator Systems Releases Survey Results: Employee Mental Health Hits Tipping Point

Fears for mental health and vulnerability to addiction have both doubled over the past 6 months

Fears for the state of employee mental health started to emerge at the start of the pandemic, but even as we've had success in fighting COVID, there's been a cumulative effect on emotional wellbeing”

— John Penrose

BOSTON, MA, UNITED STATES, May 12, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — In recognition of National Stress Awareness Month, Leading Indicator Systems announced the release of its third Workforce Listening Study focused on the mental health challenges faced by American workers (https://leadingindicator.com/lis-news). Focused on both cognitive and emotional factors, the study reveals alarming levels of employee stress.

Stress-Level Tipping Point? While increasingly confident that the worst has passed, the cumulative effect of the pandemic has left employees emotionally scarred, as evidenced by a doubling of the incidence of experiencing a close personal death from COVID (two in five) and increasing fears for mental and physical health.

• Since the last wave conducted in September 2020, the percentage of employees who are extremely concerned about their personal…
o Vulnerability to addiction to cope with increased stress has more than doubled, from 12% to 27%.
o Mental health has doubled, from 18% to 35%.
o Physical health has increased by three-quarters, from 21% to 37%.

• Increased employee stress affects their dependents. The percentage of employees who are extremely concerned about their family’s…
o Mental health has increased by three-quarters, from 18% to 32%.
o Physical health has increased by half, from 24% to 36%.

• With concerns about dependents rising, anxiety is increasing regarding the ability of employees to care for their dependents. The percentage of employees who are extremely concerned about…
o Potential loss of income or employment has increased by two-thirds, from 21% to 34%.
o Their ability to care for their family has nearly doubled, from 16% to 30%.
o Having access to essentials like food and medicine has more than doubled, from 15% to 31%.
o Unmet needs for child/elder care have increased substantially; such unmet needs are the single most important predictor of poor mental health in each wave of our study. Increases are also seen in feeling “unsafe at home” and reporting that one’s home is not emotionally supportive.

High Stress Reflected in Workforce Emotional Profile. LIS’s Workforce Listening Studies include our proprietary image-based AgileBrainSM technique for assessing authentic emotions that can’t be accessed by traditional survey methods, providing unique predictive and explanatory power to the results. AgileBrainSM results show that since the start of the pandemic, there has been a consistent erosion of positive emotion accompanied by a consistent increase in negative emotion, such that negative emotion now outweighs positive emotion in the American workforce. Over the three waves of research, there has also been a consistent rise in the salience of Spiritual needs, specifically, the need to remove feelings of injustice, immorality, and materialism, as well as needs for reducing feelings of insecurity and pressures to conformity (Self), and lack of recognition (Social).

Results show that employee emotions are among the strongest predictors of every one of the important outcomes measured in this study (i.e., employee engagement, mental health status, challenge of work, intention to quit) suggesting that emotions should be systematically incorporated into employee surveys.

The Cumulative Effect on Work. As businesses struggle to reopen, they need to be mindful of the fragile state of their workforces. The challenge of working under COVID for over a year has created unhealthy levels of stress.

• Feeling challenged to work during the pandemic has increased from two-thirds to nearly eight in ten; feeling “extremely challenged” has tripled from 8% at this time last year to 25% now.
• Although relatively few lack necessary work resources, one quarter to one third may be vulnerable to burnout. Although security is expected for those who keep their jobs (salary intact, expanded benefits), fears of job loss are soaring, and hopes of having control over work location are evaporating.
• In a worrying sign for employers hoping to achieve herd immunity in their workforces, the survey finds that fully one third of all employees do not trust either the health care delivery system or their own senior management. Between one-in-four and two-in-five have serious doubts about the ethics of their company’s leadership. This trust gap is evidenced in increasing polarization in the bond felt with employers. One third are actively considering leaving their current employer, and those who feel that their bond is weakening are most likely to quit.

Leading Indicator Systems conducted the survey of full-time workers sampled in proportion to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ distributions of the workforce for employers with at least 20 employees, resulting in a population representative sample. The national survey of 820 employees has a statistical confidence level of 95 percent with a margin of error of 3.4 percent.

About Leading Indicator Systems

Leading Indicator Systems (LIS), a trusted partner to human capital consultants and professionals for more than 20 years, provides a portfolio of assessment solutions designed to help move the needle on the human capital challenges that matter most. Leading Indicator’s Workforce Listening Studies is a source of insights on the issues that keep human capital professionals up at night. Offering comprehensive, complementary service offerings that range from discrete projects to ongoing programs to full platform outsourcing, Leading Indicator Systems delivers assessments that are rigorously scientific while providing partners peace of mind. Company offerings include Talent Development, Leadership Development, Employee Engagement, Diversity & Inclusion, Organizational Alignment, and more. LIS assessments are used by millions of employees throughout the globe. For more information, visit https://www.leadingindicator.com.

John Penrose
Leading Indicator Systems
+1 617-962-0888
john.penrose@leadingindicator.com
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Source: EIN Presswire