Indian bosses blame long hours for mental health issues, employees blame bosses
Most employers feel long erratic working hours is the top aspect leading to mental health issues, while majority of employees have put the role of leadership as the top factor, according to a survey. Employers and employees contradict each other on factors of influence, as 77 per cent of the employers surveyed point to long, erratic and always-on-work hours as the top factor, and play down the role of leadership, according to human capital solutions and services provider Gi Group's study 'All in the Mind: the state of mental health in Corporate India'.
It showed that 79 per cent of the employees put the role of leadership right on top of the factors.
The study was done among 1,088 employee respondents and 368 employer respondents from leading small-, medium- and large-scale businesses based out of Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi-NCR and Pune.
It has been done keeping the employee, employer and the human resource department in consideration and has inputs from experts from the fields of psychology and emotional wellness.
The study further found that the top concerns that lead to mental health issues, as perceived by employers are work-life balance, work-related stress and anxiety over career growth.
The COVID-19 pandemic was a mixed bag for issues concerning mental wellness and awareness and accessibility leapfrogged and taboos significantly diminished, it said.
However, only a small proportion of employers were more in control of their mental health with 29 per cent of the employees surveyed suffered due to erratic work schedules and 21 per cent suffered due to reduced salaries, it said.
Meanwhile, the employers interviewed stated that they understood the fall-out of mental health issues as 70 per cent of all employers believed that mental health has a serious (45 per cent) or significant (25 per cent) impact on organisational performance or growth.
About 30 per cent believed that there is insignificant or negligible impact on either performance or growth, it stated.
However, the study found that organisational policies and mechanisms do not effectively address mental health concerns in an overwhelming majority of cases.
Only 14 per cent of the employers surveyed were found to have policies and mechanisms receptive to mental wellness cases, it said. About 54 per cent of the respondents have not put formal policies and mechanisms in place and deal with mental wellness concerns in their informal ways, it added.
A large proportion of the employers surveyed (82 per cent) are sensitising their organisations to be receptive to mental health concerns, 63 per cent are opening up multiple channels for people to speak up and 51 per cent encourage healthy interpersonal equations between people, it added.
Information technology (IT) and IT-enabled services (64 per cent) and banking, financial services and insurance (57 per cent) are among the top sectors on awareness levels on mental health, with fast-moving consumer goods (50 per cent) and automobile (53 per cent) industry faring at the bottom-end, it noted.
On the cities with high awareness on the topic, southern capitals like Chennai (63 per cent) and Bengaluru (57 per cent) score better than the rest while Delhi-NCR (50 per cent) is at the bottom of the list when it comes to awareness on mental health, it added.