COMP NEWS – A bad day at work can put anyone in a bad mood. But a bad job? It can keep you in a terrible season of life. A recent study found that working for a company that doesn’t value its workers’ psychological well-being can raise the risk of depression in its staff by 300%.
When Australian researchers reviewed data on more than 1,000 workers recently, they discovered that working for a company that lacks psychological safety triples a person’s chances of suffering from major depression.
What does not valuing psychological health and safety look like in practice? The research team evaluated companies’ commitment to mental health using a standard scale that asks workers to agree or disagree with statements such as “senior management acts decisively when a concern of an employee’s psychological status is raised” and “senior management considers employee psychological health to be as important as productivity.”
Or as lead researcher Amy Zadow put it, “Companies that fail to reward or acknowledge their employees for hard work, impose unreasonable demands on workers, and do not give them autonomy are placing their staff at a much greater risk of depression.”
As The Great Resignation soldiers on, workplaces that fail to produce empathetic and authentic environments may be the first on the chopping block. Psychological safety in a long-term working relationship isn’t a bonus; it’s become a neccesity, one that workers are leveraging to find new jobs.
That might not be super surprising, but the scale of the rise in the risk of depression is, which makes the takeaway crystal clear. If you are leading a toxic workplace, fix it. If you’re not, leave it (especially right now when employers are falling over themselves to attract talent). And if you can’t leave it permanently, at least take a vacation.
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