Managers are 41% more depressed than they were last year

There's a miasma of stress and burnout approaching

Managers are 41% more depressed than they were last year

The global pandemic has taken its toll on all of us – both personally and professionally speaking. With so many of us still working from the confines of our homes, the line between work and rest is becoming increasingly blurred. Unsurprisingly, this has led to a surge in mental health concerns.

Emerging research from MetLife has found that managers are currently 41% more likely to report feeling depressed and 14% more likely to report feeling burned out compared to this time last year.

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“As remote work policies continue to blur the lines between work and life, many managers today not only have to cope with their own well-being struggles, but they’re also offering support more than ever to their direct reports, who are overwhelmingly feeling stressed, burned out and holistically unwell,” Missy Plohr-Memming, SVP, group benefits at MetLife, told HRD.

“What’s more, although managers are now acting as a direct line between employees and their employers when it comes to well-being, many haven’t been provided with the necessary skill trainings to take on these new responsibilities. In fact, 32% of employees said managers at their organization are not equipped with the skills or training to ensure the overall well-being of their direct reports, while 37% said their managers were not equipped to support employees dealing with stress, burnout and other mental health issues. These added pressures, coupled with a lack of important training from employers, has led many managers to feel more depressed and burned out than ever before.”

This dearth of necessary skills is worrying HR leaders. If managers themselves report feeling stressed and overwhelmed, how can they help their equally stressed-out teams? Well, according to the research, it all comes down to compassion, empathy, and support. In fact, 72% of employees say that having a supportive manager would improve their mood – and 70% said it would definitely alleviate their stress.

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“In the short term, HR professionals should prioritize manager skills trainings,” added Plohr-Memming. “In particular, managers are looking for trainings that will help them more effectively: support their direct reports’ overall health and well-being, manage their stress/burnout and support their mental health, and recognize the signs of employee stress, burnout, and mental health issues.

“These trainings can put a solid infrastructure in place that allows managers to feel prepared for, and less stressed about, offering support to their direct reports who may be struggling. That said, while trainings are a great short-term solution, employers should also look for ways to mitigate burnout, at large, and provide all employees – managers, included – with the necessary resources and benefits to make that happen.”

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