Allianz Australia delves into concerning increase in mental health injuries

Toolkits released for employees and employers

Allianz Australia delves into concerning increase in mental health injuries

Insurance News

By Roxanne Libatique

Despite the hope brought by the new year, Australian workers continue to experience further disruption as the COVID-19 pandemic persists and puts pressure on workplaces, resulting in a concerning number of mental health injuries, according to major workers' compensation insurer Allianz Australia (Allianz).

The report, commissioned by Allianz and conducted by YouGov Plc, focused on the impacts of poorly managed or ignored crucial conversations in the workplace, which usually consist of high stakes, differing opinions, and intense emotions. If this type of conversation is handled poorly or ignored, the outcome can lead to strained relationships or broader mental health issues in the workplace.

The report found that 79% of employees wanted to initiate a crucial conversation with their manager this year. However, two in five (43%) were uncomfortable initiating such a discussion.

While the urgency for open dialogue around mental health in the workplace has never been clearer, more than a third (35%) of employees were unsatisfied with their employer's ability to create a mentally healthy workplace. In comparison, nearly a quarter (24%) were unsatisfied with how often their manager checks in with them about their mental health.

By contrast, nearly a quarter (24%) of managers claimed that they proactively check in with their team members regularly to enable them to share their mental health concerns. However, almost a third (31%) expect their teams to make them aware of their concerns.

Considering the report's results, Allianz has developed Crucial Conversations Toolkits to encourage employees and employers to have more open and honest conversations. Available now, the toolkits include downloadable resources to provide employees and managers with tangible tips to facilitate effective conversations in the workplace.

“Whether it be about flexible working arrangements, annual leave, or even a promotion, these topics are going to surface, and they need to be prioritised. The steady rise in psychological injury claims highlights that this needs to be a focus, yet our research has shown that the majority of employees have not had training on how to conduct these conversations,” said Julie Mitchell, chief general manager for personal injury at Allianz.

“At Allianz, we believe in creating environments that are safe and rewarding by championing transparent and empathetic conversations about mental health, so Australian workers can focus, feel supported, and thrive.”

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