Why Employee Wellbeing in the Workplace is Now a Major Concern

Employee Wellbeing in the Workplace.

The pandemic has made this topic a major focus for HR practitioners across the globe.

On the back of the fear instilled in most of us about COVID, our mental and physical wellbeing have suffered immeasurably. And this is affecting business.

Back in 2019, employers were starting to appreciate the challenges of mental health at work. The concept of assisting employees with their mental health, eliminating stigma around it, and talking about mental health care were starting to evolve. Fast forward two years, and the (perhaps only?) silver lining of the pandemic, is the normalisation of these challenges.

In today’s ‘workplace’ (still mostly remote), business is suffering from the downward slide of worker’s mental health. From increased attrition to its deep prevalence at all levels of the organisation, few companies have evaded the negative impacts of worker’s declining mental health.

Today, I’ve put together information from a couple of recent studies, highlighting where things have declined for the employee.

I’ve also provided some tips to help you navigate the best path for assisting your employees at this time.

Employee Wellbeing in the Workplace.

Employee Wellbeing in The Workplace: Where Are We At?

From a recent study undertaken by Benefex, employees are far more open about their mental health, since the start of the pandemic.

  • 87% of HR leaders have experienced increased numbers of workers, revealing issues about poor mental health.
  • 82% of HR leaders have reported an increase of workers reporting feelings of loneliness.
  • 96% of HR leaders recognise that the employee experience is now more important. And, employee wellbeing is the major driver for improving their experience at work.
  • 83% of HR leaders are planning to increase investment in employee wellbeing initiatives.

What Are the Elements That Contribute to Employee Wellbeing in The Workplace?

  • 71% of HR leaders noted a commitment to employee wellbeing as the most critical feature
  • 66% said ensuring employees feel connected to company values
  • 62% said recognition for work achievements
  • 62% said the provision of intuitive workplace technology
  • 61% said effective internal communications

How Are Employers Delivering on Wellbeing Initiatives?

A more strategic approach to the wellbeing of employees is being adopted. Specialist resources are being engaged, and the focus is heavily weighted towards measuring improvement in employee wellbeing in the workplace.

  • 83% of HR leaders expect that the best performing organisations will introduce a ‘Head of Employee Experience’ role, in the next two years.
  • 86% believe that most organisations will have a dedicated employee wellbeing resource
  • 84% believe that the new critical measure of HR’s success will be the ‘return on employee experience’

In 2020, mental health support went from a nice-to-have to a true business imperative.

Harvard Business Review

The 2021 Mental Health Report by Mind Share Partners in the US offers a unique look at the state of mental health, stigma and work culture in workplaces before and during the pandemic. This study found:

  • 68% of Millennials (50% in 2019) and 81% of Gen Zers (75% in 2019) have left roles for mental health reasons, both voluntarily and involuntarily, compared with 50% of respondents overall (34% in 2019).
  • 91% believed that a company’s culture should support mental health, up from 86% in 2019.
  • 76% of respondents reported at least one symptom of a mental health condition in the past year, up from 59% in 2019.
  • Nearly two-thirds of respondents talked about their mental health to someone at work in the past year.
  • That said, only 49% of respondents described their experience of talking about mental health at work as positive.

Employee wellbeing in the workplace is a critical business issue today. Forward thinking companies are already introducing resources specifically designed to assist workers navigate work and wellness, in this era of COVID. Now is the time to act, so your workforce is primed with support and confidence about their future with you, and for themselves.

If you would like to discuss employee wellbeing in your workplace, you can reach me here. I look forward to speaking with you.

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