According to a Deloitte report estimates, poor mental health amongst employees costs Indian employers around $14 billion per year due to absenteeism, presenteeism, and attrition.
India Inc needs to step up and dedicate funds to win the battle against rising mental health concerns as around 80 percent of the workforce has reported mental health issues over the past year, according to a new survey released on Thursday.
“Around 47 percent of professionals surveyed consider workplace-related stress as the biggest factor affecting their mental health, followed by financial and COVID-19 challenges. These stressors manifest in multiple ways, affecting both the personal and professional facets of an individual’s life; often with associated social and economic costs,” Deloitte’s Mental Health Survey has found.
According to the report, poor mental health amongst employees costs Indian employers around $14 billion per year due to absenteeism, presenteeism, and attrition. Presenteeism is the phenomenon of attending to work while under mental stress and hence, performing at low productivity, the report explains.
These costs build up over time and are incurred when poor mental health impacts how individuals deal with day-to-day stressors and are unable to thrive in their work environment, according to the report.
However, despite alarming numbers, societal stigma prevents around 39 percent of the affected respondents from taking steps to manage their symptoms. Moreover, at the workplace, 33 percent of all respondents continued to work, despite poor mental health, while 29 percent took time off and 20 percent resigned to better manage their mental health, the report added.
Punit Renjen, Deloitte Global CEO, said, “This study demonstrates that businesses must prioritise the mental health and well-being of their people. It is essential that senior leaders play a major role in destigmatising mental health challenges within their organisations.”
Deloitte India’s Partner and Life Sciences and Health Care Leader Charu Sehgal noted that mental health-related challenges are not new to the Indian workforce, but these have come to the fore in light of the pandemic and a younger workforce that is open to speaking about individual well-being.
“Not only is the number of impacted employees large, the degree of the challenge is also high, accentuated by performance-oriented cultures anchored in long and demanding work schedules, economic uncertainty, and peer comparison (especially on social media platforms). Employers have traditionally struggled to address this, as most employees feel uncomfortable speaking to their supervisors or talent teams due to the fear of retribution,” she said.
She also pointed out that while most corporates in the country have recognised the importance of employee well-being, the share of mental health measures at the workplace is still limited, with a few sporadic events and the use of third-party employee assistance programmes.
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