Mental health support lacking in Singapore’s workplaces

Seven in 10 employees in Singapore regularly experience stress at work and do not feel sufficient support from their employers.
By: | January 25, 2024

Organisations in Singapore are not doing enough to support their employees’ mental health, despite an increase of stress levels in the workplace.

According to ADP Research Institute’s People at Work 2023: A Global Workforce View report, only 51% of employees feel that their employers support them with mental health at work, a drop from 57% in 2022. Neither are they receiving support from fellow employees, with only 54% feeling supported by their colleagues in 2023, compared to 61% in 2022.

Yvonne Teo, Vice-President of HR, APAC, ADP, said, “During the pandemic and the immediate years after, many employers were aware and supportive of measures to alleviate mental health and stress. However, as the pandemic fades and businesses shift their focus back to growth, these support systems have waned. Yet, workers remain under a tremendous amount of strain.” 

ADP found that 68% of employees express stress at least once a week, with most (28%) experiencing stress two to three times a week, while 12% of employees say they experience stress every day.  Collectively, almost two-thirds (67%) say stress adversely affects their work.

In response, more organisations are turning to team-building activities and employee assistance programmes as mental health-boosting initiatives, although ADP has called for more to be done, including embedding support into day-to-day working practices and creating an environment where employees feel supported and comfortable to express their concerns.

READ MORE: HR leaders are burnt out. What can organisations do?

To ensure the success of this ecosystem, managers must have open communication and regular check-ins with their employees. Organisations, Teo advised, should educate and train managers to recognise signs of stress and take prompt action such as offering support resources or referring employees to other support programmes or structures.

She added, “A caring workplace culture is incredibly valuable for both employers and staff. When people feel safe and supported, they’re much more likely to do a better job, need less time off sick, and feel more positive about their company.”