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Three Challenges to Wellbeing in the Workplace

The pandemic turbocharged the wellbeing and mental health crisis. And so, companies, coming out of COVID, made wellbeing in the workplace initiatives their priorities. But there are key reasons why those initiatives might fail.

What are the three challenges to wellbeing in the workplace? Read on to find out.

Measuring wellbeing in the workplace

Well, Deloitte set out to find that out. The consulting firm partnered with independent research firm Workplace Intelligence to survey 2,100 employees and C-level executives across four countries: the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia.

The queries were simple – how can employers, having recognized the need to invest more in the holistic health of their employees, improve staff and their own wellbeing?

Three reasons why wellbeing in the workplace fails

Some of the answers received go a long way toward laying out the three primary challenges to wellbeing in the workplace.

What are the challenges? They include:

1. Executives don’t understand how bad it is

Although we’ve witnessed a sea change in attitudes toward wellbeing in the workplace, the C-suite still hasn’t cottoned on to how bad the issue actually is. In fact, some executives couldn’t be further off the mark.

For instance, more than eight out of 10 global executives believe their people were thriving in all aspects of their wellbeing. In contrast, fewer than three and five employees self-reported their mental wellbeing as “excellent” or “good.”

2. Employees don’t believe their employers care

Given the disconnect, it’s no great wonder that employees don’t think their employers care, while employers believe they are doing their best.

Indeed, according to the data, although 47 per cent of workers believe their executives understand how difficult the pandemic has been for them, a staggering 90 per cent of the C-suite say they do recognize how challenging it’s been. 

Add to that, while a little more than half of employees feel that their company’s executives have been making the best decisions for their wellbeing during the pandemic, almost 90 per cent (88 per cent) of the C-suite believe their decision-making has been exemplary.

It all adds up to only 56 per cent of employees thinking that their company’s executives care about their wellbeing. Meanwhile, some 90 per cent of C-suite-executives believe that employees feel their leaders care about them.

3. Work pressures remain stark

Even those employers who have rightly sized up the company mood face a serious challenge. And that’s the pressure of work itself.

What does that mean? Overwhelming majorities of both employees and executives say they’re facing obstacles when it comes to achieving their wellbeing goals, and many of those obstacles are directly tied to the job. 

How so? Well, the top two hurdles cited were heavy workload or stressful job (30 per cent) and not having enough time because of long work hours (27 per cent).

What then can be done to overcome these three challenges to wellbeing in the workplace and establish a thriving wellbeing culture? Download our Guide to Wellbeing Management & Developing a Mentally Healthy Workplace.

Download Guide to Wellbeing Management & Developing a Mentally Healthy Workplace