Almost half (49 per cent) of Australia’s marketing, media, and communications employees feel their managers are showing little, if any, concern for their mental wellbeing, a new report has found.
The report – conducted on behalf of the Australian College of Applied Professions in October 2021 – surveyed 1000 nationally represented workers and found some surprising results for the industry.
A staggering 63 per cent of marketing, media and communications workers said they would hide mental health conditions to avoid accruing a negative reputation. Workers in this industry had one of the highest percentages of sharing this belief.
“In an age where we are repeatedly told “to be ourselves” and that “it’s OK not to be OK” at work, these latest findings suggest that many Australians still feel very guarded in the workplace,” said Australian College of Applied Professions CEO, George Garrop (main photo).
“While over the past two years, many organisations have boosted their mental health, wellbeing, diversity and inclusion initiatives, our research indicates that these initiatives are not always leading to meaningful outcomes or positive sentiment for workers.”
The results also showed generational differences, with 53 per cent of millennials saying their workplace merely “ticked boxes” and implemented mental health initiatives, while their managers showed little to no interest in such matters, compared to the 35 per cent of Baby Boomers who said the same thing.
Garrop said Australian workplaces could be doing more to “acknowledge the unique values, needs, personalities and circumstances of their people”.
“Managers and leaders could deliver a wealth of collective benefits through operating with key soft skills like empathy, emotional intelligence and active listening,” he added.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the so-called ‘Great Resignation’ have forced Australian businesses to try and quell staff turnovers and skill shortages.
According to a 2020 Federal Productivity Commission report, staff mental illness issue, and the resulting absenteeism and presenteeism, cost Australian workplaces $17 billion per year.
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