That people are struggling with mental health challenges right now is no surprise. That they would cite that as a primary reason for looking for a new job should be a wake-up call to all businesses.
Earlier this year, Georgia legislators exhibited a laudable display of bipartisanship, passing legislation intended to increase access to mental health professionals in our state. It is good that our government is doing its part to address this crisis, but any results of the state’s efforts will take years. For Georgia businesses and workers, the crisis is now.
This latest goBeyondProfit survey also asks Georgians which institutions they trust to do what is right. Only 36 percent say they trust state government. Conversely, 65 percent say they trust their employers to do what is right. And an incredible 75 percent of Georgians trust their own employers to go beyond what is right and actually help solve the societal problems we collectively face.
If you run a business in Georgia, here is what you need to hear: your employees are burned out and hurting. They trust you to help them, but if you don’t, they will leave. It is as simple as that.
So, what are business leaders to do?
Employees are certainly looking to their employers to help connect them with mental health professionals and other resources that can help them. More importantly, when asked what their employers can do to truly show that they care, the number one answer is to provide flexibility.
This should not be oversimplified to mean that people just want to work from home. What employees are looking for is their employers to engage with them to determine when, where and how they can work in a way that can help them manage the incredible number of stresses currently in their lives.
Every business is grappling with turnover during this time of “Great Resignation.” There is a shortage of workers, wage inflation is real, and businesses are having to make difficult decisions to balance the increasing cost of labor with their ability to deliver quality to their customers. However, one thing every business leader can do is actively strive to understand what is happening in the lives of the people they work with. If businesses leverage their resources for their employees who are struggling, we can be a part of the solution.
Georgia needs us.
Shane Jackson is president of Alpharetta-based Jackson Healthcare and co-founder of goBeyondProfit, a statewide alliance of more than 1,800 business leaders committed to corporate generosity and improving people’s lives.