Mental Health Challenges Dominate HR Acuity’s Eighth Annual Employee Relations Benchmark Study

By Greg Grzesiak Greg Grzesiak has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on May 16, 2024

HR Acuity, the leader in employee relations case management and investigations software, has released its Eighth Annual Employee Relations Benchmark Study. This year’s study provides insights into the changing landscape of workplace challenges and the ways organizations are responding. With contributions from over 250 organizations representing more than 8.7 million employees worldwide, including nearly 20% of Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies, the findings reveal the rapid evolution in employee relations since 2020. 

Mental Health at the Forefront

For the second year in a row, mental health issues have been the most significant factor affecting employee relations. The study shows a surge in policy violations, behavioral issues, discrimination, harassment, retaliation allegations, and EEOC claims, all reaching their highest levels since 2018. Performance issues have also increased compared to 2022.

A staggering 70% of organizations reported that mental health challenges were the primary reason for rising case volumes. The ongoing mental health crisis in the workplace is being intensified by the lingering effects of the pandemic, stringent return-to-office policies, and a more mentally health-aware workforce. Organizations are urged to refine their processes to better address mental health issues, using employee data to identify patterns and implement targeted interventions.

The Importance of Trust and Transparency

The study highlights a significant gap between the recognition of the importance of trust and the actions taken to build it. While 89% of organizations acknowledge the need for transparency to build trust, only 11% share aggregated, anonymous outcomes of employee relations and investigations with their workforce, often due to legal concerns. This lack of transparency can lead to misunderstandings that harm an organization’s reputation.

The Role of AI in Employee Relations

There is strong interest in the potential of AI to enhance employee relations. Nearly 90% of surveyed organizations are interested in using AI for data analytics, predictive modeling, and ensuring compliance. However, adoption is still in its early stages due to concerns about legal and ethical implications. A balanced approach to AI, one that complements essential human interactions, is crucial to maintaining the human element in employee relations.

“This year’s benchmark findings are a call to action. The continued rise in mental health issues and policy violations require that we refine our processes, gather feedback, and enhance aftercare for affected employees,” said Deb Muller, CEO of HR Acuity. “It’s crucial for organizations to embrace transparency to foster trust and integrity. By integrating AI and enhancing investigative training, we can support our workforce more effectively and preserve our organizational culture. However, it’s critical to adopt AI ethically, ensuring it complements essential human interactions to protect our employees.”

Navigating today’s workplace challenges requires a thoughtful approach, and HR Acuity’s Eighth Annual Employee Relations Benchmark Study offers essential guidance. By focusing on mental health, building trust through transparency, and exploring the benefits of AI, companies can create a more supportive and fair work environment. These strategies will help tackle current issues and set the stage for a stronger, more resilient workforce. For deeper insights, check out the full study.

By Greg Grzesiak Greg Grzesiak has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team

Greg Grzesiak is an Entrepreneur-In-Residence and Columnist at Grit Daily. As CEO of Grzesiak Growth LLC, Greg dedicates his time to helping CEOs influencers and entrepreneurs make the appearances that will grow their following in their reach globally. Over the years he has built strong partnerships with high profile educators and influencers in Youtube and traditional finance space. Greg is a University of Florida graduate with years of experience in marketing and journalism.

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