The vast majority of 17,000 U.S. workers in 19 industries who participated in a survey conducted by the nonprofit group Mental Health America and the Faas Foundation said they are unhappy with their jobs. They are so unhappy that 71 percent also said that they are looking to change employers.
Employers, the study found, are not giving the recognition that most employees want. Forty-five percent of respondents said they “rarely or never” get the money they deserve and 44 percent believe that they are “always or often” overlooked. Sixty-four percent say their supervisors don’t give them enough support and a majority of the participants are resentful of their co-workers. So much for teamwork.
The study also shows that most employees are just plain stressed out. Almost two-thirds of those who responded believe that their job is having “a significant impact on their mental and behavioral health,” and 63 percent said that they have “always, often or sometimes” taken part “in unhealthy behaviors such as drinking or crying regularly.”
All of these job stresses — brought on by unreasonable employer demands and excessive responsibilities — are cited as potential reasons approximately 120,000 workplace deaths occur annually, according to researchers at both Harvard and Stanford Universities. Too much stress in the work environment may also be contributing to increased absenteeism as well as mental and behavioral problems.
“We know that employees who are overstressed and undersupported can significantly impact the people around them and a company’s success,” Paul Gionfriddo, president and chief executive of Mental Health America, told The Ladders.
Will changing jobs fix these problems for an employee, when so many already seem unhappy? That’s up for debate. But for business owners, the research underscores the importance of paying more attention to the individuals who work for us, giving more feedback and doing what we can to help them balance their work responsibilities. We all know that our people are our biggest asset.