Workplace mental health statistics sometimes run the risk of failing to see the positive potential workplaces have, when it comes to quality of life, mental health and wellbeing. As such, it’s important for leaders to understand how their workplace plays a role in how staff are feeling, whether they take time off work and how productive they can be.
This is just as critical for school principals as it is for any CEO. In fact, principals can in many ways be likened to CEOs as there is extensive crossover between these two high-pressure roles.
To help provide great insight into what mental health looks like in Australian organisations, leading workplace mental health organisation, SuperFriend, recently released its 9th annual Indicators of a Thriving Workplace report.
The report is Australia’s most comprehensive survey on workplace mental health encompassing 10,000 Australian workers across 19 industries, including K-12 education.
Below, are some of the key takeaways from the report when it comes to what mental health looks like in Australia’s schools.
Prevalence of Burnout Symptoms
- 39% of respondents reported burnout symptoms in primary school.
- 43% of respondents reported burnout symptoms in secondary school.
- An equal high level of distress (18%) was reported between primary and secondary schools.
Intent to Stay in Jobs
- 70% of primary school respondents intended to stay in their jobs in the next 12 months.
- 75% of secondary school respondents intended to stay in their jobs in the next 12 months.
- Connectedness ranked the highest, scoring 78 for both primary and secondary schools.
- Work design scored the lowest with 51 for primary school and 55 for secondary school.
- Capability scored at 62 for primary school and 63 for secondary school.
- Overall scores rated 2 points lower than the national benchmark.
Psychosocial Hazard Scores
- Workload scored the lowest overall, with 57 for primary school and 62 for secondary school.
- Work relationships scored the highest, with 77 for both primary and secondary schools.
Superfriend CEO Darren Black said the lower scores in work design and higher workload suggest a need for improved work structure and potential risk of burnout, especially in a more rigid workplace setting.
“The capability scores indicate the importance of recognising distress signs and symptoms, practicing work-life balance, and ensuring access to employee assistance programs and effective support/training for teachers in primary and secondary schools,” Black told The Educator.
“These statistics underline the necessity for better work design, support mechanisms, and training initiatives to address burnout risks, improve work-life balance, and enhance overall wellbeing among educators in both primary and secondary schools.”