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Managers Impact Employee Mental Health More Than Doctors and Therapists

A new report from The Workforce Institute at UKG revealed that managers impact employee mental health more than doctors and therapists. The study conducted for the report surveyed 3,400 people in 10 countries, including the United States, to explore mental health in and outside work.

Not surprisingly, work impacts employee mental health, and organizational leaders and managers can be critical in supporting workers. Consider the following key findings from the report:

  • Work influences mental health the most, according to 60% of employees.
  • Managers impact employee mental health (69%) more than doctors (51%) or therapists (41%).
  • Managers have just as much an impact on employee mental health as a spouse or partner (69%).
  • Mental health is valued over a high-paying job by most employees (81%), and 64% would take a pay cut for a job that better supports their mental wellness.
  • Work stress negatively impacts employees’ home life (71%), well-being (64%) and relationships (62%).

The research also revealed that managers are often more stressed than their team members and senior leadership. Companies are encouraged to be inclusive with mental health support and not forget about managers in their efforts.

Being overwhelmed consumes human energy and impacts retention, performance, innovation and culture. Employers can be the anchor of stability for their people by giving them the support and resources they need—not just what we think they need.

Dr. Jarik Conrad, executive director of The Workforce Institute at UKG

What Can Employers Do?

Workers want their employers and managers to do more to support mental health. They are also willing to make trade-offs for their mental health, as nearly two-thirds of employees would take a pay cut for a job that better supports their mental health. Fortunately, managers can play a vital role in supporting employees, which can bolster employee attraction and retention efforts. Employers can create supportive work environments by being authentic, building empathy and listening actively to employees.

Contact Strategic Services Group for additional mental health and employee communication resources.