Well-Being at Work (Wherever That Might Be)
The concept of well-being at work has been rapidly growing in importance over the past few years. Workplace stress, long and unsociable hours, late night conference calls, and an overload of communications has taken its toll on the world’s workforce, causing or contributing to many forms of both physical and mental illness.
According to a survey conducted by the Josh Bersin Academy, the topic of mental well-being ranks highest in importance for both HR professionals and employees, yet a third of HR professionals still feel uncomfortable talking about those challenges at work. Out of those HR professionals who participated in the survey, only eight percent said that their organisations currently offer any form of employee mental health programs.
Why It’s Important to You and Your Organisation
Employee well-being is essential to any business and organisational success. It impacts on a workplace’s culture, on its resources, productivity, and ultimately the bottom line. How employees are feeling, both mentally and physically, is more than an HR issue. It is a fundamental foundation for business growth, stability, strength, and sustainability. It is worth noting, however, that it is not just the HR community’s responsibility to provide care to employees. HR’s role is to develop a framework and guidelines, and coach the people managers in the business to conduct authentic employee engagement and care activities as they see fit, in accordance with their teams’ requirements.
With the impact of the current COVID-19 pandemic, HR leaders around the world are reviewing their organisations’ existing employee benefits packages and re-communicating the details of these to their workforces. Since this all began, we have spoken to several HR leaders who have confirmed that their organisations have taken additional steps to introduce new or enhanced employee benefits and support frameworks in the light of the current crisis. Although the introduction of additional health and well-being benefits will add to the financial burden on employers, those interventions (however big or small) will ultimately enhance the employee experience and cement long-lasting engagement and loyalty due to the solid support in these difficult times.
At ChapmanCG, we are seeing more demand for benefits, total rewards, and wellness experts to join businesses. These HR specialists are creating the additional frameworks to address benefits and well-being priorities.
Those employers who adopt a proactive and preventative approach to well-being in the workplace can see advantages and impact on the business. Such as:
Increased Employee Commitment and Productivity
Employees who feel valued and listened to are more likely to engage in the goals of the organisation, work together positively, and perform to their optimum level.
Better Employee Retention
A workplace culture that fosters employee loyalty and high morale is likely to keep its people for longer and reduce costs associated with turnover.
Reduced Sick Leave and Absenteeism
Employees who feel their well-being needs are being met are less likely to take sick leave and more likely to return from leave taken in a timely and sustainable way.
A More Resilient Workforce
Building resilience can help people cope better with day to day stresses at work and problems at home. And, putting the right mental health strategies in place can help stop problems from escalating.
An Enhanced Reputation
Investing in well-being in the workplace sends a powerful message about an organisations’ values and ethics and can help attract (and retain) high quality talent.
Why It’s Important to Your Employees
Work plays a crucial part in most people’s lives, and not just in providing a source of income. Doing our best work can give us a sense of purpose and achievement, and boost our self-esteem, as well as the opportunity to socialise and build friendships with our colleagues.
We spend a substantial amount of our day at work. It’s inevitable that a workplace with high levels of stress and presenteeism can affect someone’s mental health, leading to burnout and exhaustion. People experiencing mental ill health, or major changes in their life such as bereavement, relationship problems, having a baby, debt or a workplace restructure may struggle at work for periods of time. Being at work can sometimes have a negative effect on someone’s mental health, but it can also have a very positive one as well. A supportive, inclusive workplace can help to prevent new mental health problems and support employees struggling with their mental health, to stay at work and thrive!
Our Future Workplace
- Employee well-being is a priority in all areas of the business
- Employees who are experiencing mental health difficulties, major life events or juggling caring responsibilities can talk openly without fear of stigma – regardless of their culture or personal circumstances
- There’s good communication and an ‘open door policy’ – employees know what support is available to them, to help them stay well at work, and how to access it
- Flexible working is offered where possible and having work-life balance/integration is actively encouraged
- Employees know what is expected of them and are clear on their job roles, areas of responsibility, and how their role contributes to the overall organisation goals
- Employees are given space for growth and development, so they feel able to make a meaningful contribution
- The culture is inclusive, diverse and welcoming, where employees feel able to be themselves
- There is zero tolerance for bullying, harassment and other forms of discrimination
At ChapmanCG, we’re looking forward to getting to this future scenario quickly. Whilst unfortunate, some good may come out of the current world events – including the acceleration of a healthier and more flexible workplace for all.
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