One in five Canadians don't think their CEO cares about their wellbeing

How can a CEO promote a positive workplace environment?

One in five Canadians don't think their CEO cares about their wellbeing

Half of working Canadians believe that their chief executive officers (CEOs) care about their well-being, according to a new survey.

Survey from the LifeWorks Mental Health Index revealed that 50% of employees believe their CEOs genuinely care about employee wellbeing. These respondents have -4.9 mental health score, the most favourable mental health score, and more than five points above the national average. On the other hand, 18% of employees do not think their CEO cares about their wellbeing, with those belonging to this classification recording a -19.3 or the lowest mental health score. A remaining 32% remain undecided, however, on their CEO's position on their employees' well-being.

Paula Allen, global leader and senior vice president, research and total wellbeing, stressed in a statement the importance of leaders being visible in their support to employees.

"A positive view of the use of mental health services and communications that come directly from leaders will ensure employees feel valued and appreciated by all levels of management and that their wellbeing is top of mind for their employer," said Allen.

In the same survey, HR policies seem to be more appreciated as 59% of employees believe that they are in place to really support them. Employees who belong in the said category reported a favourable mental health score of -5.7, while those who disagree received the lowest mental health score of -20.

The overall Mental Health Index for December 2021 is -10.2 points, according to LifeWorks. It is a measure of deviation from the benchmark of mental health and risk.

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CEOs and a positive workplace

Meghan Stettler, director of the O.C Tanner Institute, previously told HRD that successful leaders are the ones who see the need to connect with their people regularly to better understand their concerns.

"Rather than reverting to just doing the work themselves, they led with empathy and spent more time coaching and making sure their people had access to the tools, information, and support they needed to do their jobs with wellbeing top of mind," Stettler told HRD. "This highlighted the necessity of all leaders to intentionally make the transition from doers to influencers, and those who understand the value of providing autonomy alongside empathy and support will get the best results moving forward."

CEOs are also in charge of creating a positive workplace culture, which "feeds off" of employee engagement and vice versa, according to Jarik Conrad, senior director, human insights & HCM evangelism at Ultimate Kronos Group (UKG).

"Culture is heavily influenced from the top through vision, mission, and core values that articulate what the company cares about and its expected behaviours. Culture is reinforced through policies, procedures and practices that dictate what gets done and how those things get done," Conrad told HRD. Culture, he said, has an influence on employee engagement, which in turn also has an effect on the creation of a more positive workplace.

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