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Unlocking the Link Between Mental Health and Workplace Success

Updated: Oct 18, 2023

Insights from PVP's 2020 - 2023 Employee Well-being and Engagement Survey in the Philippines (Part 2)

In our ongoing exploration of the relationship between mental health and workplace dynamics, one fundamental question persists: What are the driving forces behind mental health issues among employees? Understanding the underlying factors that contribute to stress, anxiety, and depression is crucial not only for the well-being of the workforce but also for the sustained success of organizations.

In this new post, we will delve on the second part of the insights we got from our study on the State of Employee Well-being and Engagement in the Philippines.

In our analysis, we have identified strong correlations between stress, anxiety, depression, and key HR metrics such as engagement, job satisfaction, ENPS (Employee Net Promoter Score), and intention to stay. The correlation coefficients indicate the strength of these relationships, with negative values suggesting adverse effects. Here's a concise breakdown:

  • Stress exhibits a negative correlation of -0.74 with engagement. This means that as stress levels rise, employee engagement declines.

  • Similarly, stress shows negative correlations with job satisfaction, ENPS, and intention to stay. As stress increases, these metrics all decrease.

These findings align with our expectations and hold significant implications for businesses. Notably, these correlations are substantial, with most falling in the range of 0.5 to 0.7, indicating strong associations. Addressing mental health from a business perspective becomes imperative, as the cost of inaction can profoundly impact HR metrics and in turn business outcomes.

To put this into financial perspective, consider the following example: Employees grappling with depression miss an average of 31.4 days per year and experience an additional 27.9 days of reduced productivity (presenteeism). The consequences of this are substantial.

We also uncovered unique drivers of stress, anxiety, and depression within each organization.

  • Stress: workload, work resource support, role clarity, performance management, and work-life balance.

  • Anxiety: training, work-life balance, performance management, and work-resource support.

  • Depression: recognition, supervisor support, training, voice, and work-life balance.

These employee experience drivers (workload, work resources support, role clarity, and other drivers mentioned above) have surfaced since they impact the mental health factors (stress, anxiety, and depression). And when a driver receives a low score, it is indicative of a potentially high impact on mental health factors. To illustrate, consider the case of work resource support, which emerged as a driver of stress. It suggests that when an employee scores low in work resources support, he or she is more likely to have elevated stress levels. Another example is training, which emerged as a driver of anxiety. When an employee scores low in training, he or she is more likely to have elevated anxiety levels.

Crucially, some drivers recurred across these categories. Work-life balance, a driver within our organizational control, played a significant role, underscoring the importance of fostering a culture and mindset within our organizations. Training emerged as another driver with consistent influence, appearing in at least two of these categories. Additionally, the availability of work resource support, ensuring accessibility of resources for our employees, surfaced twice in our findings.

While it's undeniable that stress, anxiety, and depression are influenced by external drivers beyond our control, it's essential to recognize that a significant portion of our daily lives—approximately one-third—is dedicated to work-related activities and experiences within our organizations. Employee experience factors can undeniably impact these aspects, regardless of an individual's personal circumstances. Hence, it's prudent to consider these common drivers while acknowledging that each company may still possess its unique set of drivers influencing these critical mental health dimensions.

In terms of employee engagement, our data reveals noteworthy trends and global benchmarks. While engagement levels had remained relatively stable, even showing a spike during the peak of the 2020 pandemic, recent years have seen a decline. As of 2023, our engagement stands at around 68%, a trend consistent across major sectors.

Comparing these figures to global benchmarks, we find that the global average engagement in 2023 is 72%, not significantly higher than our 68%. Specific industries may vary, with some in the 70s and 80s, while others, like accommodations, food services, and manufacturing, trend lower in the 60s. Utilities and government sectors report 64%, but most service sector industries tend to score higher than the global benchmark.

Turning to the Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS), which measures how likely employees are to recommend their company as a place to work. Our current average stands at 38, and this relatively high eNPS is particularly notable compared to the global benchmark for 2023, which sits at a significantly lower 12.

This can be attributed to the "great resignation" experienced during the pandemic in 2021-2022, which appears to have subsided as of 2023, indicating stabilization in this aspect. This means that the "great resignation" experienced during the pandemic in 2021-2022 seems to have subsided as of 2023, indicating stabilization in this aspect.

When we compared the results between the service sector and the manufacturing sector, there were minimal differences. The trends and patterns were quite similar, showing little variation between these two sectors.

We also identified common drivers of employee engagement that cut across organizational boundaries. These consistent factors included career development, recognition, supervisory support, role clarity, and training. These recurring drivers should be carefully considered when formulating strategies to enhance employee engagement and overall workplace contentment.

Based on the results of our study, several critical conclusions and recommendations emerge:

  1. The data underscores the ongoing mental health crisis, particularly pronounced in the service sector, where nearly 60% of the workforce faces mental health challenges. Despite previous efforts, there is a need to intensify our focus on mental health programs. These initiatives should include continuous awareness campaigns, enhancing psychological skills, and ensuring readily accessible professional help. Addressing the stigma associated with seeking mental health assistance should also be a priority.

  2. The correlation between mental health and HR metrics is evident. Investing in a mentally healthy workforce directly impacts key performance indicators and, ultimately, our bottom line. Therefore, it's crucial to incorporate mental health measurement and tracking as an integral part of your organization’s Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

  3. Work-life balance, career development, and recognition consistently emerge as pivotal drivers when considering HR metrics and their relationship with mental health factors. These factors notably influence the younger segment of our workforce, particularly Generation Z and Millennials, who are more susceptible to mental health concerns. Given that 90% of our active workforce belongs to this youth segment, adapting to their evolving needs, expectations, and worldviews is essential.

In summary, the challenges posed by the mental health pandemic are far from over, and they have deep implications for both individuals and organizations. As we move forward, it is imperative that we continue to prioritize mental health, recognizing its integral role in shaping the well-being of our workforce and the success of our businesses. By doing so, we can foster a healthier and more productive work environment that benefits everyone.

Read the first part of this study here:

If you're interested on assessing the mental health of your employees, we're pleased to introduce our eWellnessMetre. You can easily reach out to us via email at or by calling us at +632-8404-9524 to understand how this tool works and the potential benefits it can bring to your organization.

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