It is safe to say that 2020 has been a year full of uncertainty and disruption. Individuals now have additional concerns to stress in managing workloads, such as health and safety, family concerns, and even anxiety as to the security of their jobs. This means that employers need to be more proactive in their approach to support employees and teams during these unprecedented times.
One of the key areas that employees need support from employers during the COVID-19 pandemic is mental health as well as physical wellbeing. The need for benefits has shifted from monetary perks to those that support employee mental and physical health. This blog explores how you can do this.
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Adopt a Holistic Approach to Wellness
As any staffing agency will tell you, acquiring and retaining new workers during COVID-19 is extremely challenging. For that reason, it is imperative that your existing workforce remains motivated and loyal to your organization. One of the best ways to do this under current circumstances is to adopt a more holistic approach to wellness.
Employers understand that better employee engagement usually results in improved productivity and output. However, instead of creating complex programs for engagement, have a look at the basics first. Are your workers in the right mental and physical shape to work properly?
This will help you determine what areas require immediate attention from you as an employer. Remember, by prioritizing employee wellness you are not just helping the employee, but also ensuring your team productivity does not suffer as a result of time off. When hiring for small businesses, advertising this approach is a good way to attract a higher quality of talent.
Encourage Employees to Create and Lead Their Own Initiatives
All attempts to protect and nurture employee wellness don’t have to come from the employer. Many employers are encouraging and supporting employee-led wellness initiatives in 2020. Using surveys to collect information and get an idea of the opinions of your workers is a common practice in most organizations that you can leverage for this purpose.
You can also take the initiative to form a committee with workers or their union representatives to come up with new wellness programs and sort them in order of priority. Since every employer has a different business model, such as a new entry in the startup culture, and a different approach to doing things, it helps to get employee input in your effort to offer better wellness benefits. Employees often come up with excellent initiatives, such as:
- Holding webinars on emotional health and financial wellbeing.
- Cooking classes for preparing healthy food for better physical wellness.
- Working on digital fitness and ensuring all employees have the technical knowledge needed to face 2020.
- Sharing changes to medical policies, as well as updates on the ongoing COViD-19 situation.
Allowing employees a forum to voice their concerns and lead wellness initiatives that are recognized by the employer will boost employee motivation.
Understand Your Workers are People before Human Resources
It is easy to get caught up in day-to-day business and forget that your workers are people with their own families, career goals, aspirations, and opinions. You should value individuality and authenticity among your teams of diverse workers. The opposite can result in you losing them, especially in industries with limited talent pools, competitive hiring tactics, such as using telecommunications headhunters.
Remember, an employer that encourages authenticity encourages employees to be more open about their needs and wants. They are also more likely to be motivated to come in as who they are, having no fear in expressing their reservations, needs, or even desires for a break from the regular workload. It also shows employees that you value them, and are giving consideration to the demands and problems they are individually balancing.
Offer Exemplary Conduct in Your Approach to Employee Wellness
Employees are more likely to accept and adopt new wellness initiatives if they see the employer leading by example. That means as an employer in 2020, you need to examine and develop creative wellness drives that educate and engage employees from the perspective of holistic wellbeing.
One way to do this is to create an online resource library that offers your workers information on health and safety, the latest verified developments in the COVID-19 pandemic, and other information such as managing stress in the new normal as well as working on self-care. This isn’t just for organizations that hire healthcare talent. It can be holistically applied to nearly every organization to ensure employees have all the knowledge they need to face work during a pandemic.
Remember, a leadership position or an employer role comes with a lot of responsibilities. One of these is to set the tone across the organization when it comes to new initiatives or significant changes in the workplace. The strategy you adopt will be clearly visible to your employees. Accordingly, if you want to create a workplace culture that values a worker’s work-life balance and employee well-being, you will have to lead from the front. This will contribute significantly to having a motivated workforce and a positive culture in the workplace.