A recent employee wellbeing survey conducted by ONS stated that more than 49% of people over the age of 16 expressed high levels of anxiety. That is 25 million people. Although the levels of happiness had gone up compared to last October they remain significantly worsened compared with pre-pandemic levels. With 68.4% of the population still believing that the economic situation will worsen, the levels of anxiety are only going to increase.
The Social Connection Void
The recent mutation and the subsequent lockdown this January has dampened this sense of optimism. With stricter regulations in place, social connections have virtually come to an end. We all crave social connections. As human beings, we have evolved by sticking around and being there for each other. An extreme form of punishment even a century ago was banishing people from the village town or community. The modern-day version is the prison, but even in prison, there is a level of social interaction between inmates. The lockdown is similar to banishment and is already having a severe impact on our emotional wellbeing. 2020 has been a year of change and upheaval.
With companies rapidly changing to adapt to a new normal, employee wellbeing has not only come to the forefront more and more but has also shown a need for new forms of team management.
As the usual office party or excursion are outdoor, so are physical training programmes or trips. With so many people working from home now, the introduction of furlough and many facing job insecurity employee wellbeings is easy to ignore. But that would be a mistake. On the contrary, this is a time when management and Human Resources can monitor employee engagement and wellbeing even more closely.
Adopting to New Employee Wellbeing Challenges
We are all learning to be more adaptable, so harness that skill to create better employee engagement and experience. Take the time you have now to evaluate management techniques and see what is working. Yes, it may seem hard, but this is a time when you can assess deep-down what your team’s wellbeing need is?. You can see what is helping or hurting productivity now more than ever. This is the time!
Wellbeing isn’t just for the employees. Retaining a happy workforce not only improves the lives of employees, but it has long term positive effects on management and HR teams as well. A productive and positive team is one that raises the bar. Employee retention and engagement is a sign of how well things running. Therefore, it is in the best interests of management teams and HR to pursue employee wellbeing as a core value when managing their workforce.
Importance of Financial Wellbeing
If you don’t meet your employee’s financial needs, that is going to induce emotional stress which then impacts their sleep; in turn, affecting their physical wellbeing. Prolonged periods of sleeplessness can cause manic depression which moves it to mental wellbeing. You can see all of this is connected.
While there are various forms of wellbeing like financial, mental, physical, etc., the common thread that runs through all this is emotional wellbeing. It is therefore essential to measure the emotional wellbeing of your team as that will set the tone for your wellbeing approach going forward.
Employee Wellbeing is a Must
Wellbeing is here to stay and is not going to be the new buzz word or the flavour of the month.
Traditionally Wellbeing initiatives were the result of employee engagement initiatives. More and more organisations are now understanding that they are not mutually exclusive and both have to be dealt with equal passion. Earlier it was an uphill battle to convince organisations about the importance of wellbeing and the impact it has on performance.
Covid-19 has reinforced the need to look at employee wellbeing more critically. This has, as a result, become one of the core themes of HR and leadership. Progressive companies have a wellbeing strategy in place and have moved beyond running wellbeing programs or initiatives. A well thought out strategy helps identify the impact of wellbeing on team performance. It then allows organisations to identify specific wellbeing providers, programs and initiatives to overcome the wellbeing challenges with a view to enhance engagement and performance but do it with consideration and empathy.
KAYA, helps leaders and people directors to identify individual wellbeing challenges and helps create support plans to address the challenge. If you would like to know what KAYA can do for your team then contact us or click here to register for a free trial.