A survey conducted during the second wave of the COVID pandemic has found that 9 in 10 people have reported experiencing early symptoms linked to mental health issues.
The ‘Organization Psychological Risk Assessment’ (OPRA) survey was conducted by X-Leap, a design-led management consulting firm. The survey and OPRA toolkit were recently launched via an online event where findings were shared with a group of mental health practitioners, HR professionals, and OD experts.
As the survey shows, there are factors being experienced by respondents that could put organizations at a strategic risk. These parameters are directly related to a person’s job, the organization’s culture and leadership and factors like mental wellbeing support. Although 80% responded that they found their job to be meaningful, 40% found their work profiles to be monotonous. While looking at an organization’s culture and leadership, 35% weren’t happy with how change was managed at their company. 1 in 4 felt that there was lack of flexibility in work hours. What was significant was that half of the respondents were not confident with speaking about mental health issues at their workplace.
People also reported facing a range of symptoms with different levels of severity. Based on this, respondents were divided into those facing severe and those facing mild symptoms. Severe symptoms include, but are not limited to, physical and mental issues like insomnia, gastric/digestive issues, lack of concentration, and poor decision-making. Factors like uncertainty in the workplace and striking a work-life balance, were reported to affect those with intense symptoms in a greater way.
At an individual level, these conditions are challenging enough. But X-Leap argues that at an organizational level, these emerging mental health issues could pose a strategic threat to organizations.
Commenting on the need of adopting a rights based approach to mental health, Priti Sridhar, CEO at Mariwala Health Initiative, and Chief Guest at the launch event said, “We need to look at mental health from a lens of rights. Are we ensuring that everyone has an equal and fair chance to be part of their organizations and be able to perform to their full potential?”
A few job-related parameters as visualized in the OPRA report
A further deep dive into the two groups shows that a person’s intersectional identity (for e.g. age, gender seniority) also offers more detail. For example, among respondents women have been found to be more sensitive to factors like work environment than men. Whereas, factors like job security factor more where men are involved.