Three in four employees (77%) hold their leaders responsible –greatly to nearly entirely –for ensuring employee mental wellbeing, reveals a new report by human capital solutions and services provider Gi Group Holding, India.
In contrast, more than two out of five leaders (43%) concur with the employees’ opinion and believe that they are significantly responsible for employees' mental wellbeing, says the report titled All in the Mind: The Leadership Factor 2022.
The report mentions that 93% employees consider workplace safety as a crucial parameter for their mental wellness. Further to this, nearly 73% of employees consider workplace stress to be reduced for a significant growth of their mental health.
While in the majority of segments, views of employees and leaders, based on percentage, vary drastically, both rank personality, behaviour and emotional maturity as leadership aspects that impact employee mental health the most.
Additionally, female leaders are rated higher than male leaders on the traits of being approachable (51% versus 21%) and supportive (46% versus 27%).
It further highlights that nearly two in three leaders surveyed (64%) believe that leaders must be role models for mental wellbeing, while a significantly lower proportion of employees (36%) believe so.
The report indicated that leaders could achieve incredible highs if they are provided with appropriate organisational support to cater to employee mental health. While about one in four leaders receive organisational support in the form of training (28%), budgets (22% ) and the freedom to make relevant decisions (23% ), barely 13% receive adequate policy support.
Probing the traits of leaders, the survey finds that participating employees barely distinguished between male and female leads on a range of personality traits, while gender stereotyping them, to varying degrees, in the case of a few other traits.
Data shows that both male and female leaders appear to be rated nearly equally by employees on the traits of being Anxious—73%, Empathetic—76%, Decisive—75%, Confident—75%, and Honest and Righteous—74%.
However, other traits like aggressiveness, authoritativeness and approachability varied drastically for male and female leaders. Employees seem to rate male leaders higher than female leaders on the traits of being aggressive—53% versus 29% and authoritative—42% versus 38%.
“After two years of pandemic-induced isolation, the issue of mental health has taken centre stage. All in the Mind: The Leadership Factor 2022 shines a spotlight on the fact that today’s employees want a more stable, responsible and trained leaders who addresses the issue of workplace stress and job insecurity—two primary reasons that result in burnout. In addition to this, the report also underlines the fact that organisations need to take the policy initiative to recognise and formalise mental health care. Most leaders are hamstrung without the presence of proper policy support,” said Sonal Arora, country manager, Gi Group Holding, India.
“Employee mental health is being accorded prominence by a great majority of leaders, and issues such as psychological safety, workplace factors, leadership traits and leaders’ own mental health form a common ground of agreement between leaders and employees. There needs to be, however, a greater acknowledgment of leaders’ responsibility of employee mental health, and psychological safety is a great place to begin this conversation,” Arora added.
The findings are based on a survey distributed to working professionals from various levels, including general employees and middle and senior management. In total, 1008 employees and 504 reporting heads/managers participated in the survey.