Support for burnt-out employees

Employers | | 2 min read

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The last couple of years have been extremely difficult for both employers and employees. Pandemic-related stress has taken its toll on employee wellbeing, while increasing cost of living pressures have added to the strain.  One in two employees report experiencing burnout at their current job roles due to workload overload or monotony.* One in three employees also feel isolated or disconnected at work.^ With such negative circumstances, it’s no wonder that we’ve seen a rise in workplace trends such as ‘The Great Resignation’ and ‘Quiet Quitting’ as employees search for a way to lighten their mental burden.

The MetLife 2022 Australian Employee Benefits Trend Study**reveals that employees’ mental, social, physical and financial health has worsened since the same study was conducted in 2020. The number of respondents who gave a response of ‘not healthy’ regarding their mental health increased from 15% in 2020 to 18% in 2022, while the same response for financial health increased from 13% to 21%.

Employers are noticing this decline in wellbeing in their workplaces, however they may not realise the full extent of it. According to the research, 44% of employees feel they have mentally checked out of their job. This is likely to have significant ongoing repercussions for workplace productivity, loyalty and morale. 

Opportunity to increase awareness and usage of Employee Assistance Program
 

While almost one in two employees proactively sought help for stress, burnout or mental health issues over the past five years, only 14% of respondents have used their company’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

The top three benefits cited by employees who have used their organisation’s EAP are:

-        employees having a safe space to talk (40%),

-        having their privacy protected (39%), and

-        an improvement in their mental health (38%).

However, only half  of respondents say they would feel comfortable using their organisation’s EAP to discuss their mental health issues. The top three reasons for not using the EAP are concerns about confidentiality (33%), lack of understanding (28%), and lack of effectiveness (19%).

The research suggests there’s an opportunity for employers with an EAP to communicate the benefits and increase employees’ awareness of how the program works – particularly around the issue of confidentiality. The research revealed that some employees are concerned about getting mental health support from their employer in case the information they share will be used against them. By setting clear expectations about how the program works and what type of topics can be discussed, as well as anonymously sharing positive outcomes from employees who have used the program, may encourage more people to use this service to discuss any issues they’re experiencing.

By setting clear expectations about how the program works and what type of topics can be discussed, as well as anonymously sharing positive outcomes from employees who have used the program, may encourage more people to use this service to discuss any issues they’re experiencing.

By providing information about how the program works, may encourage more people to utilise their EAP services.   

*UserTesting survey, September 2022
^MetLife Australia 2022 Employee Benefits Trends Study
**Online studies were commissioned by MetLife and conducted by independent researcher Little Triggers. The employer survey included 329 respondents with benefits decision-makers and influencers at Australian-based companies with at least two employees. The employee survey included 1,023 respondents with a mix of full-time and part-time employees at Australian-based companies. Representative sample across age, gender, industry, geography and company size.

Issued by Togethr Trustees Pty Ltd ABN 64 006 964 049, AFSL 246383 ("Togethr"), the trustee of the Equipsuper Superannuation Fund ABN 33 813 823 017 ("the Fund"). The information contained herein is general information only and does not take into account your personal financial situation or needs. You should consider whether this information is appropriate to your personal circumstances before acting on it and, if necessary, you should also seek professional financial advice tailored to your personal circumstances. Where tax information is included, you should consider obtaining personal taxation advice. Before making a decision to invest in the Equipsuper Superannuation Fund, you should read the appropriate Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and Target Market Determination for the product which are available at equipsuper.com.au.  Financial advice services may be provided to members by the trustee’s related entity Togethr Financial Planning Pty Ltd (ABN 84 124 491 078; AFSL 455010). *Past performance is not an indication of future performance.