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Canadian HR leaders are lacking resources to address mental health and well-being challenges

Joint study by Dialogue and Environics Research reveals HR leader challenges in talent attraction and retention

MONTREAL, March 14, 2023 /CNW/ - New research reveals that Canadian employers don't have adequate resources to address increasing demands for employee mental health and well-being support, resulting in critical HR challenges to attract and retain talent, along with workplace engagement and productivity.

Canadian HR leaders are lacking resources to address mental health and well-being challenges (CNW Group/Dialogue Health Technologies Inc.)
Canadian HR leaders are lacking resources to address mental health and well-being challenges (CNW Group/Dialogue Health Technologies Inc.)

The State of Workplace Health and Wellness in Canada report is a research initiative that highlights top concerns and challenges facing HR leaders across the country commissioned by Dialogue Health Technologies Inc. (TSX: CARE) ("Dialogue"), Canada's premier care and wellness platform, and conducted by Environics Research, a Canadian market research firm providing evidence-based insights for over 50 years. The report includes new trends and insights that identify a lack of mental health and well-being support as a key contributor to talent attraction and retention challenges, as well as barriers to improvement.

According to the report, staffing is the top issue facing HR leaders in 2023, with 70% identifying difficulties attracting talent, retaining staff and managing staff shortages as key challenges. As a result, concerns about burnout are top-of-mind, as 61% of respondents cited employee mental health as an important challenge to manage this year.

Access to mental health support can have a positive impact on the well-being of employees, but HR leaders in Canada say that workplaces don't have the right resources in place to address increasing demands - almost half (48%) shared that their employee benefits programs do not provide access to a mental health professional.

Beyond specific benefits, the issue extends to education and training, as 45% of HR leaders find it difficult to ensure employees are making the most of their benefit plans and 70% have not trained managers or feel managers have insufficient training to help them recognize and support employees' mental health needs.

"It's important to recognize where organizational blind spots may be and make improvements that promote a positive and healthy working culture to attract and retain top talent," shares Jean-Nicolas Guillemette, Chief Operating Officer at Dialogue. "This report confirms that mental health and well-being will continue to be an important focus for employees. Organizations would therefore gain by providing HR leaders with the resources to adapt strategies to employee needs and by investing in benefits and programs that support a healthy workplace."

Initiatives, programs, and benefits aimed at promoting employee well-being can enhance an organization's ability to effectively deal with these critical HR challenges. 44% of employees report better job satisfaction if well-being initiatives are taken by employers. Ultimately, investing in wellness helps keep employees feeling mentally and physically fit, productive, engaged, and happy, all of which directly impact talent attraction and retention.

However, HR leaders are facing barriers that make it challenging to implement new initiatives and adapt benefits to help tackle health and wellness concerns at the root of staffing issues. Half (50%) of respondents shared that it was difficult to secure financial resources for HR initiatives, while 36% said it was challenging to gain C-Suite support for human resource priorities. Despite the need for more HR support, 46% of leaders said they were prevented from improving benefits due to financial constraints.

"HR leaders are challenged with talent retention and attraction; and recognize that employee mental health and well-being are related challenges. They want to improve their employees' well-being, but need support from leadership across the organization," said Ahsan Sadiq, Vice President, Health & Wellness at Environics. "Employers that prioritize the well-being through comprehensive benefits and services will benefit from a more productive and engaged workforce, which creates an attractive work environment for new talent."

As employee needs and workplace support continue to evolve, organizations should consider solutions that empower employees to be in control of their mental health and well-being. Programs that are flexible, accessible, and inclusive, especially tools that employees can use without having to consult with a professional, make it easier to access support that works for them.

The full report can be found here.

About Dialogue

Incorporated in 2016, Dialogue is Canada's premier virtual healthcare and wellness platform, providing affordable, on-demand access to quality care. Through our team of health professionals, we serve employers and organizations who have an interest in the health and well-being of their employees, members and their families. Our Integrated Health Platform is a one-stop healthcare hub that centralizes all of our programs in a single, user-friendly application, providing access to services 24 hours per day, 365 days per year from the convenience of a smartphone, computer or tablet. Dialogue is the first virtual care provider to receive the Accreditation Canada Primer award, a third-party validation of safety and high-level quality of care.

About Environics Research

Environics Research is a Canadian market research firm that provides organizations with actionable, evidence-based solutions to real business problems. Environics Research partners with clients to understand the business challenges they face and leverage innovative and creative solutions to generate understanding and insights. Founded in 1970, Environics Research delivers evidence-based solutions to clients working in a range of sectors and industries.

SOURCE Dialogue Health Technologies Inc.

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