HR Trends and Insights

Poll finds that employees are more depressed now than they were a year ago

Companies Are Urged to Continue Mental Health Programs

Are you feeling blue? You’re not alone.

A Gartner study of 5,000 workers revealed that 29 percent of them were depressed. Forty-nine percent said they had taken advantage of their company’s mental health service offerings. The report is another sign that mental health issues continue to dominate the workforce. Companies have taken notice, with improved mental wellness programs to help employees. The new initiatives are occurring against a backdrop of budget and salary cuts, along with people being furloughed and laid off.

Recommendations for employers

Gartner recommends employers take three actions to help employees.

The first is to maintain mental health programs created to help employees. Whether they were founded before or during the pandemic, Gartner found that only about 25 percent of employers took advantage of them.

With many still facing stress, anxiety, and financial difficulties, it makes sense to continue these programs that started to be offered in 2020. These include paid time off for child or elder care, mental health initiatives, and other types of aid.

The second recommendation is for organizations to better personalize the support that’s offered to employees. Less than half of the employees surveyed felt that programs are personalized enough. More choices open the possibility for more employees to take advantage of the offerings. Companies are also encouraged to promote programs they already offer heavily.

Finally, the third recommendation is to establish meaningful ways for employees to prepare for the next unexpected major event in history. With only about half of employees feeling like their manager understands their needs, these discussions could also help strengthen work relationships.

Looking for a benefit to help employees return to the office? Consider offering commuter benefits. Employees can save up to $270 per month tax-free in their paychecks each month to pay for mass transit, qualified parking, and rideshares. Employers can also save on payroll tax. If those commuting options are not ideal for your team, consider offering prepaid cards that are good to use for e-bikes, e-scooters and bikes.

To learn more, visit www.commuterbenefits.com.