The Covid-19 pandemic disrupted and transformed the priorities and processes of the labour force. First, it accelerated the use of digital technology and communication in order to keep business affairs going despite being quarantined at home during the last two years of the pandemic. Second, many companies are considering a permanent hybrid work model as they continue to adjust to the ongoing pandemic. Lastly, the wellness and mental health of workers are now part of the prime concerns of employers to support their productivity and retention.
According to the 2022 hybrid work statistics conducted by Zippia, a global job search platform, 84% of companies believe that the health and wellness of employees are essential. This statistic affirms and recognises the International Labour Organisation’s critical emphasis on the importance of workplace wellbeing because “it is a key factor in determining an organisation’s long-term effectiveness”.
The overwhelming impact of the pandemic has made 2020 the most stressful year for the global workforce. Apart from stress, languishing and burnout are some of the mental and emotional challenges that many workers are facing today. How can employers and the whole organisation effectively address employee burnout and dissatisfaction? What are the ways to boost employee wellbeing and happiness in the workplace?
1. Build a strong organisational culture and values
An employee’s healthy wellbeing only stems in one place— a positive work culture and environment. A workplace that values respect, empathy and caring for one another makes employees feel safe with their colleagues, inspired to fulfil their job roles and compassion for those who are struggling at work. This kind of culture builds trust and promotes inclusivity that improves organisational effectiveness and client satisfaction. A toxic workplace makes employees disengaged, unhealthy and prone to more errors. According to a research by Gallup, there is 37% higher absenteeism, 18% lower productivity and 16% lower profitability in companies with low employee engagement.
2. Job crafting
Job crafting is a self-initiated and proactive approach of employees to redesign how to do the work that they do and align it with their personal skills and goals. The key to job crafting is for the employees to take the initiative to change their mindset and perspectives on their job roles and tasks; reshaping how they interact, communicate and engage with others; and changing up their responsibilities in a creative way. Job crafting can help employees find meaning in their work, improve relationships with their colleagues, and feel more engaged to accomplish new things.
3. Active listening and counselling
There are boundaries to professional relationships but managers and employees alike can create trustworthy, sincere and friendly conversations that can make a positive impact on each other. Organising in-person or virtual catch-up meetings to discuss challenges at work, employee concerns and how they can work together to solve the issues can help boost morale and confidence. Employers can provide a program and safe space for employee counselling to let them know that the management cares about their mental health and wellbeing.
4. Improve schedule stability and workloads
Employees with a high work demand, long hours of work and high pressure from the management can develop health risks such as cardiovascular diseases, depression and high blood pressure. Managers should help their team manage their workloads by setting expectations and agreeing on their top priorities. In this way, they’ll be able to define how they can achieve a work-life balance.
5. Enhance the financial wellbeing of employees
Employers recognising and rewarding staff for good work has always been used to increase employee engagement and retention. But aside from the reward scheme, companies must also look into their financial wellness benefits for employees such as employee assistance programs, healthcare plans or employee purchasing programs and discounts. Many employees are also caregivers who are juggling to provide for their family’s needs and managing their responsibilities at work while meeting their own personal needs.
CXC is a global HR outsourcing organisation with 30 years of experience in workforce management. Our innovative and cost-effective solutions help companies gain a competitive advantage by improving efficiency while reducing risks.