S’pore Companies May Lose Employees To Exhaustion, Advised To Reduce Mental Health Risks At Work

Singapore Companies At Risk Of Losing Employees Due To Workforce Exhaustion & Mental Health

One of the biggest concerns arising from the pandemic was mental health challenges. Due to changing circumstances, exhaustion and burnout became part and parcel of life for many employees in Singapore and worldwide.

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Unfortunately, a study has found that local companies are in danger of losing employees over these issues. Apparently, tackling mental health and workforce exhaustion is low on their priority list, possibly costing them talent vital to their businesses.

Therefore, the study recommended that companies invest in a more holistic approach and attend to at-risk employees.

Companies risk losing employees to workforce exhaustion

Mercer Marsh Benefits (MMB) published a report on 4 Aug, highlighting the need for companies to prioritise their employees’ mental health.

According to MMB, 92% of firms in Singapore consider health and safety to be the most serious threat to business, higher than 89% in Asia and 87% internationally.

Source: @frantic on Unsplash

Despite this, not many of these firms are actively addressing these risks, especially when it comes to mental health and workforce exhaustion.

Only about 66% of local employers are reportedly taking the initiative to alleviate the burden of such challenges on employees. This is lower than 70% internationally, and an average of 74% in Asia.

Source: @headwayio on Unsplash

As for workforce exhaustion, only 62% of Singaporean employers are addressing it, compared to 66% internationally and 69% in Asia.

Senior Minister of State Mr Zaqy Mohamad spoke on the issue at the Singapore Health Forum organised by MMB. He shared that companies can act early by preventing risks of mental health issues among employees rather than waiting till they become larger business problems before affording treatment.

He pointed out the importance of doing that, as it helps companies retain employees, keep morale high, and absenteeism low.

MMB leader Neil Narale said:

Half of the workforce in Singapore feel stressed every day, one in three employees are considering resigning in the next six months and Singapore is officially the fourth most overworked city in the world.

Despite these alarming statistics, he noted that firms are continuing to focus on immediate challenges, disregarding risks like mental health and workforce exhaustion.

Companies should apply a more holistic approach

In their survey, MMB also found that 86% of companies see rapid digitisation as a serious threat. Cybersecurity and data privacy were both among the top risks impeding businesses.

Due to remote work, many companies reportedly had trouble monitoring employees’ access. They cite devices in employees’ possession as a common cause of security incidents.

Source: @kobuagency on Unsplash

Exhaustion often leads to human error, which an IBM study claimed accounted for 95% of cyber security breaches. The study explained that “overworked and stressed employees are more likely to make mistakes”.

High turnover rates similarly worsened data privacy risks for companies.

To address these problems, Mr Narale recommended that companies take a holistic approach instead of tackling each issue separately. For instance, Human Resource (HR) and risk managers can work together to alleviate the various emerging threats.

Speaking to The Straits Times (ST), he said that this could mean doing more than just covering medical insurance and organising welfare programmes like therapy and exercise.

Hope more firms can tackle mental health issues effectively

Despite the costs of living today, high attrition rates in a trend that has been dubbed “The Great Resignation” are rather concerning.

If the numbers really are due to poor mental health and general workforce management, perhaps it’s high time companies start addressing this problem.

After all, a dwindling workforce can impact our overall economy very negatively.

Hopefully, companies will look into improving mental health support for employees moving forward.

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