Work and Well-Being in America

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Today, we are going to take a slight departure from peer-reviewed articles and talk about a report that came out of the American Psychological Association (APA) about the 2023 Work in America Survey. The results from this survey highlight the state of work in America and American attitudes around workplace well-being.

The Good

The vast majority (92%) of American employees want companies to care about their emotional, psychological, and mental well-being. Additionally, 77% of employees were satisfied or somewhat satisfied with the support they get at work for mental health and well-being. Majority (72%) even felt like their employer helps employees live a healthy lifestyle.

Good news! Some employees are happy with the support they are receiving from their companies!

Further, the APA leveraged the workplace wellness framework from the U.S. Surgeon General in their report to highlight the state of the U.S. in their 5 key areas. Here are some wins for those areas:

  • Protection from Harm – 87% of workers report being satisfied with physical health and safety practices at work
  • Connection and Community – 89% of employees are satisfied with their relationships with coworkers
  • Work-Life Harmony –  84% are satisfied with their work schedules (including things like flexible scheduling)
  • Mattering at Work – 93% of employees think its important to have a job where they work they do is meaningful
  • Opportunity for Growth – 74% of employees are happy with the developmental opportunities available at work

In sum, there are some good wins around workplace well-being. Importantly, employees agree that well-being is important. This is super important for companies to note. When wanting to improve the employee experience, leaders need to ensure they are meeting the needs of their employees around well-being.

The Bad

Unfortunately, the whole story isn’t positive. For example, over half (55%) of employees think their employers overestimate how mentally healthy the workplace is. Additionally, 77% of employees experienced stress recently and 57% indicated burnout symptoms.

Unfortunately, not all employees are fairing equally well. Many are experiencing things like harassment and loneliness at work.

Along those lines, here are a few lowlights of the more negative findings:

  • Protection from Harm – 22% of employees experienced harassment in the last year
  • Connection and Community – 26% of employees indicated loneliness or isolation at work
  • Work-Life Harmony –  Less than half (40%) feel that their employer creates a culture where time off is respected
  • Mattering at Work – 29% of employees feel like they do not matter to their employer
  • Opportunity for Growth – Men are more likely to be satisfied with developmental opportunities when compared to women

The research finds that a lot of people are still struggling at work in America. Well-being isn’t solved and is an important area of focus for employers.

The Reality of Work in America

Additionally, the survey explored what is currently being offered at organizations to help support mental health. Only 43% of employees receive health insurance that covers mental health. Further, only 35% of organizations have a culture that supports taking breaks and only 21% provide meeting-free work days. Finally, formalized support like for things like company-wide mental health days is rare (15%).

While the report is descriptive and doesn’t share what should be done, we already know those answers. We’ve focused on that in many of our other articles and in our own research on leading for wellness. This report is important because it gives us some insight into the experiences of employees in the U.S. and helps us and companies know where to focus. Reach out if you want to talk more about how we can help you in this space!

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