This is the first of a three-part series of megatrends that are currently defining human resources across the world.

Affecting Workers Globally
Chronic anxiety is a global issue, but here in the United States, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the country affecting 40 million adults every year, according to Anxiety & Depression Association of America. The American Psychological Association has called the rise in anxiety a “national mental health crisis.” The effects of the current state of our world and COVID-19 have only exasperated the issue:

  • 1 in 6 people say reading the news has become “severely problematic” and leads to obsessing and anxiety
  • There is a 25% increase in the presence of anxiety and depression globally over the course of the pandemic
  • 65% of psychologists say their practices are at capacity due to surging demand

Anxiety clearly affects peoples’ ability to operate, both in personal and professional daily life. The negative impacts on culture, retention, performance and innovation are mounting, leaving organizations wondering how they can reduce stress for employees. Employers now have a critical opportunity to become an anchor of stability for their employees by meeting the right kinds of needs at the right time.

What Employers Can Do
With sixty-eight percent of employees stating that improving their well-being is now more important that advancing their career, it’s vital for employers to focus on the moments that matter to their employees in life and work. The two biggest hurdles to getting there are heavy, stressful workloads and long work hours. Organizations should fully embrace the HR technology available to them to ensure they are using a measured approach. The examples we cite below highlight features from our partner UKG’s HR solution. Key actions include:

Safety and Autonomy: Creating operational processes around scheduling that boost employee confidence, promoting life-work synergy and reducing stress.

Respect and Trust: Ensure your people know that you’re proactively looking out for their wellbeing. Address their needs in order to increase retention, even through unexpected challenges. Use HR tools that alert you when there’s a flight risk among your employees, so you can work on building the needed trust to let them know they belong.

Inspiration and Fulfillment: Facilitate deeper, more meaningful connections by encouraging regular performance and career development conversations. This reassurance and transparency will help your staff understand they have a bright future with your organization. Utilize the easy-to-access meeting templates available within your HR technology tool.

Are you ready to start proactively managing your work staff’s anxiety to create healthier mindsets and boost wellbeing? Contact us at for a free demo of UKG’s HR solution so you’ll build loyalty and retain your best workers.