More than 85 per cent of employees around the world report a decline in their overall wellbeing since the start of the pandemic, according to a recent Harvard Business Review survey. Many cite a decline in their mental health, loss of connection with others, and increased work demands.
Without a clear approach to health and wellbeing, organisations are often unable to unlock the high levels of engagement and productivity that allow them to drive successful change and transformation in the face of shifting economic circumstances.
Below are actions you can take to show employees you’re listening.
Ask for feedback
Someone working remotely with a young family may have different concerns to a nurse working nightshifts. One might be concerned about their mental health due to a lack of clarity around goals, while the other could be struggling with poor physical health. Ask for feedback so you can better understand your employees’ needs.
Take meaningful action
If employees say they are working longer hours and spend too long in meetings, you could introduce a policy that specifies one meeting-free day each week. Taking action will show employees that their feedback results in tangible outcomes, leading to more honest feedback that you can use to drive higher engagement.
Model healthy behaviours
You may have introduced an unlimited holiday policy that lets employees prioritise their mental health, for example. But unless senior leaders embody the desired behaviour and champion the policy, it’s unlikely to be adopted throughout the business.
Make it part of your culture
To support the ongoing health and wellbeing of your people, organisational values need to reflect the kinds of behaviours that support good mental, physical and financial health.
As employees become more familiar with your values and see them modelled in the way people act within the organisation, they will begin to embody those values.
When it comes to employee health and wellbeing, prevention is always more effective than a cure. To ensure success, organisations need to provide ongoing support for employee health and wellbeing, and ensure it is woven into their organisational culture.
Rick Kershaw is Senior HR Director at Peakon, a Workday company
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