The changing perception in employee mental health

30 May 2022

Whether its employees demanding support or businesses proactively adjusting their strategies to prioritise mental wellness, there’s no doubt change is happening and it’s here to stay.

Why now?
Together with the accumulation of micro stressors, the increasing rate of change across organisations world-wide, and a global pandemic, concerns around mental health in the workplace have increased since 2019.
A recent Mental Health at Work Report found that 20% of respondents had willingly left roles for mental health reasons. With more employees than ever, prioritizing their mental health and wellbeing, there has been an increased need for companies to provide resources, tools, and support. This has changed the landscape, not only in the way organisations adapt to this change, but the importance of mental health as a whole.

What affects employee mental health at work?
The reality is, the global culture of work is changing, and it’s had a massive impact business. Since 2020 the conversation has shifted from focusing on those with pre-existing mental health conditions to now focus on how work effects everyone’s mental health.
According to recent findings across multiple companies, these are the most common effects that work can have on employee wellbeing: People are increasingly finding their work stressful, overwhelming, or feel that they are burdened with an unsustainable workload. Other factors that contribute to mental health stress (particularly exacerbated during lockdown) are poor communication or support from, colleagues or leaders. All this resulting in an unhealthy work-life balance.

Why Digi prioritises mental health
While ensuring the mental wellbeing of our employees has always been a focus, the current reprioritisation has led us to look deeper into how our organisation approaches mental health. What we’ve understood is that performance and mental health are closely linked.  Melanie Nieuwoudt, Digi’s Organisational Development Manager explains it like this: ‘There is no doubt that the platform for exceptional performance is optimal health.’
For us at Digi, getting more from our people is about giving them more.  More support, transparency, and tools to cultivate their own wellness. Allowing them to show up better and more consistently at work.

How we do it at Digi
Melanie, who plays a large part in shaping how DigiOutsource maintains the wellness of its employees explains the approach, ‘We have a respectful culture that ensures the support, awareness, and education of all our employees around mental health and wellbeing. As an organisation we have put systems in place that prioritise employee mental health.’ She believes, ‘the values, leadership style, and culture of organisations need to reprioritise people as the most important focus and provide support and help where it is needed.’
From proactive wellness initiatives and mental health support to creating a culture that prioritises mental wellbeing at a team level, Digi approaches wellness as a wholistic concept with mental health at the centre. We believe that it is our responsibility to foster diverse work environments where discrimination and stigma toward mental health is addressed and removed.