Several recent studies are raising concerns about employee well-being globally. Notably, a study by HP reveals that only a small percentage of surveyed workers consider their job relationships to be 'healthy', which has significant implications for their mental and physical health.

In the United States, mental health continues to deteriorate in 2023. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that one in five Americans lives with some form of mental illness. Additionally, a study by BrightPlan highlights financial stress, with a staggering 76% of C-suite and HR leaders feeling its impact. In India, a prevailing sentiment among the workforce prioritises quality of life over a hefty paycheck, as revealed by a study by UKG. Meanwhile, in Singapore, more than a third of workers are navigating high-risk mental health challenges.

To address these issues, companies and leadership are increasing their investment in mental health benefits and expanding resources such as life coaching, self-care apps, and comprehensive mental health insurance. However, the journey toward mental well-being in the post-pandemic era remains an ongoing expedition, overshadowed by the spectre of burnout, which affects both leaders and employees alike.

In an interaction with People Matters, three senior HR leaders based in Singapore explain how they are addressing the challenge of mental health for their teams and themselves. Here, we've condensed three vital insights about mental health from their experiences:

  1. Well-being is interconnected and cannot be viewed in isolation
  2. AI and automation tools have the potential to set us free
  3. Taking care of mental health is a shared responsibility

Subhankar Roy Chowdhury, Executive Director and Head HR - Asia Pacific & Japan at Lenovo says, 'Mental well-being has rightfully taken centre stage in every organisation.' He asserts that it's crucial to recognise that mental well-being isn't isolated; it encompasses all five vital aspects: body, mind, connection, purpose, and prosperity, adding, 'We encourage employees to participate in various sports and recreational activities both within and outside the workplace,' He further explained, 'We focus on providing psychological safety, reducing stress, and promoting a healthier work-life balance for the mind. Managers are equipped with the knowledge to assist employees in navigating through these challenges.'

Tanya Heng, Vice-President of Human Resources at IBM Asia Pacific, attests to the transformative power of AI and automation in HR. This technological marvel not only saves time but also positively impacts mental well-being. She says, 'AI and automation have transformed HR, liberating us from pen and paper and saving countless hours.' Tanya further shares how IBM employees focus on high-value decision-making backed by AI: ‘I've personally experienced its positive impact on my mental health through our HR digital assistant.’

For Andrew Newmark, CHRO of Asia Pacific (excluding China) at Marriott International, mental well-being is not solely an individual concern but a collective responsibility for companies and society at large. He emphasises the crucial role of open discussions about mental well-being.

Mental health influences thoughts, emotions, actions, and stress management. 'My journey toward mental health is ongoing, and I'm committed to refining my habits and learning from others along the way,' Andrew said. His toolkit includes advanced tracking tools, regular physical activity, and deliberate disconnection from the digital world.

For more information, watch the video.