Recruitment Blog

Why prioritising the mental health of your employees is critical

Martin Herbst

It’s nearing the end of 2022 and suffice it to say, we’re all tired. While the pandemic may no longer be front of mind for everyone, its presence nevertheless lingers and its impact is still being felt – and will be for years to come.

Over the last two years, many people have been reassessing what’s important to them and the role their job plays in their life. There have been those who have pulled back from jobs they love to supervise at-home learning; others who, for the first time, experienced the benefits of flexible work; and others who have left jobs they felt were no longer the right fit.

We are now also seeing the emergence of what American TikTokker @zaidlepplin has dubbed ‘quiet quitting’: the act of workers doing what is expected of them in their roles and nothing more – extra duties, overtime and weekend work are being traded for a healthier work-life balance and less burnout.

After years of lockdowns and uncertainty, people are experiencing burnout and are seeking a more balanced lifestyle, which includes taking a step back at work.

Many young people say they’re “no longer willing to hustle, pretend to love their jobs and go above and beyond for employers” they feel are unappreciative of their efforts. Some employers have come back swinging, arguing that it “takes time to earn your stripes and that meaningless work is part of the course when you’re starting out”.

And while this may seem like the usual employee-employer rhetoric, we can’t forget that it’s underpinned by the most traumatic collective event of our lifetime.

So, this R U OK? Day, I’d urge employers who may have experienced an increase in the number of disengaged employees, to use this day as a circuit breaker.

Instead of being frustrated that some employees have taken a step back, why not use this as a chance to sit down and talk about what’s going on in their lives, and ask whether there is anything you can do to make their time at work more meaningful?

To read the full piece by JobAdder’s CEO, Martin Herbst, head to HR Leader here.

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