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Mental well-being: how are your employees really doing?

05 June 2023 Miet Vanhegen Employers

Employers see employees' mental well-being through rose-tinted glasses: 8 out of 10 think their staff are doing well to very well. The latter group certainly doesn't always experience it that way, according to a survey of more than 2,500 Belgian employees by Acerta and Stepstone.

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Well-being gap between employers and employees

Employers are increasingly taking measures to protect employees from psychosocial strain. These include introducing sliding working hours (70%), working part-time (46%) and working from home (42%). A good start, as employees in turn mention the same initiatives to boost their mental well-being, but in a different order (32.5%, 13.7% and 36.5%).

Yet the perception gap in terms of mental well-being remains wide: 8 out of 10 employers think their employees feel good to very good about themselves, while barely half (50.3%) of employees agree with this statement. 1 in 5 (22.1%) feel bad or very bad at work.

Money worries and other headaches

Among workers not feeling good about themselves, it's mainly the 40 to 50-year-olds (26%) who experience the most stress. Stress due to work itself (38%) appears to be a culprit for all age groups. Other energy consumers are a disrupted work-life balance (35%), problems in private life (23%) and the current economic situation (18.3%).

With rising energy prices, inflation and economic uncertainty, many workers are persistently worried about their own financial situation. And that affects work and therefore employers. Employees with financial stress are less comfortable, less productive and more likely to be absent from work. So every reason to take this issue seriously.

Get started with mental well-being

Gather information

Although attention to mental health is becoming more of a priority, translating it into practice is proving to be less than straightforward. For that, of course, you need accurate information. Information on the mental state of your employees.

A proper conversation between employer and employee can clarify a lot. Managers play a key role in this. They are the 'first in line' to keep a finger on the pulse, to listen to employees. A more objective way to collect data is a quantitative survey that identifies the causes of stress in your workplace. You can roll out targeted actions based on the results.

Disconnection for more connection

Since 1 April 2023, employers must have agreed on the right to disconnect after working hours. Because besides talking and connecting, knowing how to let go of work is at least as important for employees’ mental health.

Our survey reveals that almost 6 out of 10 employees (57.4%) know about the agreements on the use of digital communication tools in their company. Are your employees not up to speed yet? Make sure they are informed about this and can apply these guidelines. You can go one step further and offer concrete tips that contribute to higher mental well-being. These include disabling notifications after working hours, and not responding to work-related WhatsApp messages after 6pm.

Making work of mental well-being?

Increase mental well-being in your workplace? Rely on Acerta’s expertise to support you and your employees.

Contact us

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Written by Miet Vanhegen

Juridisch adviseur

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