How mental health issues are impacting employer brands

CHIEF OF STAFF TV: In the debut episode of Chief of Staff Asia's panel discussion series, titled The HR Agenda, host Justin Harper and guest consultant Sam Neo discussed the importance of mental wellbeing across the workforce in Southeast Asia.

According to a report by Willis Towers Watson, one in four employees across Asia Pacific experienced mental health issues in their workplace during last year. While 43% experienced burnout, 27% reported having suffered from stress-related conditions.

Neo, the Singapore-based CEO of PeopleMentality, noted that the rising figures were probably "understated", and that the extent of the crisis across the world is actually higher than even the most serious calculations might indicate.

"All of us are undergoing some sort of mental stress because of the work from home situation, and being isolated from the rest of the community," he told the program. "This is something that is critical for HR to pay attention to, and to ensure that employees have an outlet to unload the stress."

Neo mentioned that in Southeast Asia employees tended not to be as outspoken as those in Europe or the US on mental health issues. But the stigma surrounding mental health is still evident amongst Asian employees, which makes it challenging for HR to really get a strong handle on the issue.

Neo suggests organisations should tackle the issue by "going back to the basics". Employers should send a message across to their employees that they care about them, including through simple gestures such as sending a message to check in on them, or care packages sent to them while working from home.

Learn more about this topic in the clip below, or see the full episode of The HR Agenda, featuring Justin Harper and Sam Neo, at this YouTube link. Subscribers can also download Chief of Staff Asia's full report on mental health, Pressure from all sides: Mental Health in the Covid-era workplace from here.

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