In a wake-up call to executive teams and managers patting themselves on the back for how they have valiantly guided their teams through the pandemic, Allianz has released 2 guides with tips to help Australian managers and employees confidently spark “crucial conversations” in the workplace, particularly about mental health.
A “crucial conversation” is defined as a discussion with high stakes, differing opinions and strong emotions (eg conversations about promotion, pay rises, resigning, bullying and harassment).
Allianz-commissioned research reveals psychological injury claims have increased 12% since the pandemic began (based on data from December 2019 to December 2021). However, almost 1-in-2 employees feel uncomfortable having conversations about their concerns in the workplace with their managers, and many managers feel ill-equipped to deal with such conversations.
The research highlights the difference in perception between employees and managers about their track-record on crucial conversations.
Handling the pandemic
- 90% of managers feel satisfied with how their organisation has worked to facilitate a more mentally healthy work environment in the last 12 months.
- Conversely, only 20% of employees stated that they are very satisfied with their employer’s ability to create mentally healthy workplaces.
Managers’ perceptions of check-ins and crucial conversations
- 38% of managers reported they have a crucial conversation with their direct reports about mental health every month.
- Only 25% managers say they will proactively approach team members to check in with them and create opportunities to engage in crucial conversations.
- 16% of managers reported that they haven’t had a crucial conversation with their direct reports in the last year.
Employees’ perceptions of check-ins and crucial conversations
- 33% of employees reported they haven’t had a crucial conversation with their employer in the last year.
- Only 25% of employees felt comfortable starting a conversation about their concerns in the workplace with their manager.
- 25% of employees said they only speak with their managers once a month.