How can HR improve the wellbeing of young staff?

Employers are not doing enough to support the mental health of their young employees, according to new data

How can HR improve the wellbeing of young staff?

Poor experiences at work such as regular stress, a lack of recognition and an unhealthy diet are severely impacting the mental health of retail employees and leading to increased anxiety, depression and poor wellbeing, according to Suzanne Deeming, co-founder of WorkScore.

Indeed, WorkScore recently reviewed the scores from over 1,000 employees across six key industries (retail, education, government, health care, engineering and financial services) to better understand the wellbeing needs of Australian workers.

The survey results reveal that retail employees have the lowest wellbeing scores across the mindset, fuel and work elements

In particular, the data identified 10 key areas that are impacting their physical and mental health, and happiness at work.

  • Recognition for work
  • Stress at work
  • Happiness at work
  • Feeling depressed
  • Feeling anxious
  • Low wellbeing,
  • Feeling negative
  • Work negatively impacting wellbeing
  •  Unhealthy diet
  • Work impacting ability to eat healthy.

The WorkScore data shows that retail workers are a younger demographic with 75%of respondents aged between 16-24 and 17% aged 25-34.

Deeming added that it is disturbing to note that retail employees are the most anxious and depressed with 48% rating that they had felt very anxious in the last week and 40% rating as feeling depressed in the last week.

“It’s clear from our data that employers are not doing enough to support the mental health of their young employees and more needs to be done,” said Deeming.

Retail workers rated as the unhappiest at work, with one quarter of employees feeling very unhappy whilst at work.

They also reported a lack of recognition at work with 42% of retail employees stating they do not receive recognition at work. Stress levels were also higher in this group with a staggering 59% of retail workers rating that they experience stress at work most days.

“We also discovered that retail workers have the unhealthiest diet with sugar intake the highest and vegetable intake the lowest,” added Deeming

“And they strongly feel that work is to blame. Not only preventing them from eating healthier but one quarter of employees feel that work has a significantly negative impact on their wellbeing.”

The good news is employers can take action to improve the wellbeing of their employees:

  • Offer healthier food choices in break out areas
  • Provide regular positive reinforcement and recognition
  • Support employees with a mental health and wellbeing program

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