New issues have made significant impacts on job satisfaction and overall workplace mental health, according to Allianz Australia's new research.
The study was commissioned by Allianz and YouGov in accordance with the Australian Polling Council standard. It surveyed 1,500 employees (middle managers and below) and 521 managers (senior managers and above) across Australia aged 18 years and older. The data was then weighted by age, gender, and region to reflect the latest ABS population estimates.
While the direct impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on workplace mental health has eased, Australian workplaces are facing new issues, with 35% of the respondents pointing to cost-of-living pressures, 33% pointing to fatigue and burnout, and 24% saying they feel underpaid at work.
The study further revealed that 28% of Australians have felt work-related exhaustion over the past 12 months. Among the respondents, Gen X (41%) and Gen Z (40%) were more likely than Millennials (29%) to feel that cost-of-living pressures were negatively impacting their job satisfaction.
Gen Z (27%) and Gen X (32%) were least likely to be satisfied with work and were more likely than Millennials (30%) to feel the pressure of fatigue and burnout (Gen X at 45% and Gen Z at 48%), respectively).
Millennial employees were most likely to state that the speed of technology changes, such as the adoption of AI in the workplace, makes them feel out of date and is negatively impacting their job satisfaction (17%).
“Ongoing disruptions have continued to fuel a disconnect between managers, employees, and organisations on the most important workplace mental health issues,” said Julie Mitchell, chief general manager of personal injury at Allianz. “This disconnect continues to have a serious impact on workplace satisfaction and employee retention, and in turn, is continuing a worrying trend of increasing mental health claims in the workplace.”
Allianz said companies can improve job satisfaction and workplace mental health by:
“Displaying empathy and establishing meaningful connections with employees is the first step to develop trust and to spark workplace realignment. In this environment, employees are more likely to feel heard and that their concerns are being addressed by their workplace,” said consultant psychiatrist Dr Mark Cross. “Business leaders must take a nuanced approach to modernising workplace mental health support, tailoring policies to the evolving needs of employees across all generations. This goes beyond just the control of direct workplace mental health risks; it also encompasses initiatives around employee engagement, culture, attraction, and retention.”
Insurance Business recently revealed the best insurance companies to work for in Australia and New Zealand for 2023.