Canady, V., “MHA survey addresses psychological needs of the workforce” (2020). Mental Health Weekly, Volume 30, Issue 5. 4-5.
Background & Theory:
Past surveys by Mental Health America (MHA) have been helpful in revealing that a company culture that is safe and includes open communication is correlated to employee motivation, confidence, and pride. This new survey is a helpful addition to this previous assessment because it helps identify factors in a workplace that influence employee engagement, workplace stress, and mental health.
Surveys were conducted to answer the following question:
- What contributes to a psychologically healthy and successful work environment for workplace employees?
Partnering with Qualtrics, MHA conducted a 15-question survey that explored topics of supervisor communication, company communication culture, employee engagement, and well‐being. MHA synthesized findings from its previous 2018—2019 10,000 survey respondents and conducted the new Qualtrics survey in 2019 with 1,000 respondents. After collecting data, 9,802 responses were deemed fit for analysis.
Data analysis indicated that a company culture centered around safety and openness provides employees more opportunity and willingness to provide constructive feedback on improving the workplace. This type of company culture is also correlated with reporting unethical practices that would put the company at legal risk.
Additionally, it was found that employees who take pride in their company and feel safe to report unfair practices were more likely to speak positively about their organization. Employee pride in work and company was also correlated to supervisor communication and a safe company culture.
Finally, it was determined that silence is damaging to employee health. A large number of respondents who reported having a lot of stress in the workplace felt it was safer for them to not share their personal problems.
What We Can Learn:
Looking over this research, we can take away this key insight:
- A company culture rooted in safety and openness makes employees feel more comfortable to provide constructive feedback, speak positively about the company, and report unethical practices. Fostering employee pride and limiting silence may be a helpful avenue for creating such a company culture.
For Consultants: Employees may not recognize that smaller issues they experience in the workplace are symptoms of a larger culture-based problem. Helping organizations understand how their culture lacks safety and openness may be a good start to improve company and employee health.
For Everyone: Working in an unhealthy company culture that does not provide the safety of giving feedback or reporting unethical behavior can be very personally demotivating and challenging. Taking actions that make you personally feel safer and more comfortable in your working environment is a great step towards creating a healthier work life.