A survey conducted during the second wave of the COVID pandemic found that 9 out of 10 people said they experienced early symptoms related to mental health issues. The Organization Psychological Risk Assessment (OPRA) survey was conducted by X-Leap, a design-focused management consulting firm. The OPRA survey and toolkit was recently launched via an online event where the results were shared with a group of mental health practitioners, HR professionals and OD experts. As the survey shows, there are factors experienced by respondents that could expose organizations to strategic risk. These metrics relate directly to a person’s job, the organization’s culture and leadership, and factors such as mental well-being support. Although 80% responded that they found their job meaningful, 40% found their work profile monotonous. Looking at an organization’s culture and leadership, 35% were unhappy with how change was handled at their company. 1 in 4 felt there was a lack of flexibility in working hours. What was significant was that half of the respondents were not comfortable talking about mental health issues in their workplace. People also reported experiencing a range of symptoms with varying levels of severity. Based on this, respondents were divided into those facing severe symptoms and those facing mild symptoms. Severe symptoms include, but are not limited to, physical and mental issues like insomnia, stomach/digestive issues, lack of concentration, and poor decision making. Factors such as workplace uncertainty and work-life balance are thought to affect people with intense symptoms more.
At the individual level, these conditions are difficult 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 for a rights-based approach to mental health, Priti Sridhar, CEO of Mariwala Health Initiative and keynote speaker at the launch event, said, “We need to look at mental health from the Rights. Are we ensuring that everyone has an equal and fair chance to be part of their organization and to be able to realize their full potential? »
Some employment-related parameters as visualized in the OPRA report
An in-depth analysis of the two groups shows that a person’s intersectional identity (eg, age, gender seniority) also offers more detail. For example, among the respondents, women were found to be more sensitive than men to factors such as the working environment. Whereas factors such as job security are more important when men are involved.
Difference found between mild and severe symptom groups as reported
Although many organizations have responded to these wellness challenges by incorporating measures such as wellness leaves and other EAPs, there is much that can be improved. X-Leap’s OPRA team suggests that the lens be returned. Saikat Ghosh, Managing Partner at X-Leap, says, “Instead of viewing this as an ’employee issue’ that requires a ‘wellness approach’, it is strategically important for organizations to think about more deeper and more informed that could genuinely improve employee well-being. , thus leading to better performance. Shruti Pakrasi, organizational psychologist and co-creator of the OPRA toolkit also shares the same sentiment: “Mental health and emotional well-being at work is a function of a complex interaction between 3 factors – the workplace, the work itself and the individual.Most organizations focus their interventions on equipping individuals, but the psychosocial risk factors present in the other two factors must also be considered.Hamsaz Wadhwani, CEO of The 7th Fold , added, “There needs to be a lot of education among HR professionals about mental health and wellbeing. There continues to be a lot of myths and misinformation about mental health and its impact on an individual.” Otherwise, these interventions will be out-of-the-box programs.” The OPRA results were collected from a group of 71 global respondents, who represent all walks of life, from freelancers to permanent employees. Of these, about 67% hold a postgraduate degree, while about 27% of them hold a graduate degree.
OPRA as a solution can serve as a rapid yet robust wellness diagnostic that can be adopted by organizations. The result is a visual dashboard (modified to fit each organization’s context) that provides an overall representation of an organization’s wellness status.
It’s not about assessing the well-being of every employee. In fact, all information is collected anonymously from employees. If organizations feel the need to deploy change interventions, the X-Leap team is well equipped and supported by a number of qualified partners, including human resources and wellbeing company The 7th Fold and the social enterprise Rays of Yoga.
VMerge, based in Norway, is a close partner. X-Leap is a human-centric strategy and culture solutions company, working with changemakers in social and private enterprise to build a more respectful world – a world where people, planet and profit can coexist.