Why Concern for Mental Wellbeing Has Tripled in the Finance Sector

Why Concern for Mental Wellbeing Has Tripled in the Finance Sector

We’re experiencing one of the worst economic recessions in history. It’s worse than the Great Recession that hit in 2007, and worse still than the Great Depression that put an end to the decadent splendour that defined the Roaring Twenties.

It was all triggered by the COVID-19 virus. And as the global economy has faltered in the wake of the pandemic, the Financial sector has become the central, critical element that will help mitigate its impact and support economic recovery. 

Pressure is mounting on financial institutions to help kickstart this recovery into solvency — and this pressure has been passed down to the sector’s employees. Understandably, it’s having a very real impact on their wellbeing.

We took a look at comment behaviour from employees in this sector to find out what additional pressures they’re facing, how this is taking a toll on their mental wellbeing, and how their organisations can better support them.

Employee discussion on wellbeing in the Finance sector tripled between March and May

As anxiety began to rise on the pandemic, employees globally began to voice their concerns in their survey comments — and the Finance sector was no different.

In March, employee discussion on wellbeing in the Finance sector comprised 5.2% of all survey comments left on the Peakon platform. But by May, this concern really began to take off.

On a global level, 10.8% of all comments left by employees in May were on the topic of wellbeing. However in the Finance sector, this number was much higher at 14.5%. Finance employees were not only discussing wellbeing 34% more than the average, but their comment rate on this topic in May was three times that of March.

Employee discussion on wellbeing in the Finance sector tripled between March and May.

During this time, employees in this sector have been faced with increasing external pressures and a difficult work-life balance. Our data shows that this is having a detrimental impact on their wellbeing — and they’re asking for more support from their organisations.

Job security and work-life balance are top concerns for Finance employees

We gain a better insight of how employees in the Finance sector are experiencing work during COVID-19 when we analyse their survey comments on the topic of wellbeing. 

An analysis of the top ten terms discussed in wellbeing-related comments by employees in this sector reveals that job security became the most-discussed term in March and April. This is magnified by the use of terms such as reassurance, communication, anxiety and stress, demonstrating how the constant uncertainty has negatively impacted employee mental wellbeing over the months.

By May, life balance became the top concern globally for employees in this sector, with further mentions of family and WFH adding further context into how they are struggling to balance the demands of their home lives with the increasing external pressures levied upon them to prop up the global economy.

Industry analysis consistently places the Finance sector among the worst for employee wellbeing, particularly with regard to stress, work-life balance and mental health. Yet as we can see from their comments, employees in this sector are speaking out to demand more support from their organisations.

Why supporting employee wellbeing is good for business

As we found out in our Employee Expectations Report 2020, employee expectations about wellbeing is continuing to grow across all sectors — but it’s especially felt among those in the Finance sector.

In recent months, that expectation has risen to a roar. As Finance employees worldwide have been faced with the onerous demand of maintaining economic stability, they’re understandably beginning to feel the impact of this on their mental wellbeing.

Yet employees are the central driver for their organisation’s success, and employee success begins with how their organisations safeguard their wellbeing — physical and mental — during this time. This is why as we transition back to the office amid an economic recession, organisations in this sector will need to ensure they’re listening to the wellbeing needs of their employees and ensuring they feel supported.

As workloads and stress begin to mount, organisations in the Finance sector will need to be empathetic and responsive to each individual’s differing needs. Above all, organisations will need to maintain regular communication to foster a culture of trust, so that employees feel protected, supported and safe.

To find out more about how you can support employee wellbeing during COVID-19, click here.