Employers need to be putting in place tailored, personalised wellbeing solutions if they are serious about tackling mental and emotional ill health in the workplace, a study has suggested.
The research by RAND Europe in collaboration with Vitality has argued that taking a one-size-fits-all approach to mental health support tends to lead to less effective outcomes because, first, all employees have unique personal and job characteristics and attitudes to work. Second, stress triggers tend to differ depending on the seniority of someone’s role.
For example, more junior staff tend to be more affected by things such as poor-quality meetings filled with multitasking. By comparison, managers tend to be weighed down by after-hours collaboration and higher rates of workplace connectivity, the study concluded.
By changing work behaviours, it is possible to improve people’s work outcomes. Taking a holistic approach to mental wellbeing – in other words one that combines job and life satisfaction, overall mental health, burnout, anxiety, and issues such as work-life balance – is the best way forward, the research has concluded.
The expansion of hybrid work world has altered how people collaborate, but has also changed how managing wellbeing is discussed and approached, the study has suggested.
‘Water cooler’ conversations have been replaced with digital communications, for example. While this has created immense potential, it has also led to the possibility of employees being exhausted by a deluge of digital communications.
“The behaviours that define the way in which people work can have differing impacts on wellbeing depending on aspects such as job type and seniority,” said William Philips, senior analyst for RAND Europe and the study author.
“This would imply that tailored interventions to suit different workers can improve their mental health and work outcomes,” he added.