Employers are being more creative to help employee balance work with their personal life, the differentiation of which has been blurred by the pandemic. Milestones along the employee journey can be met with specific policies to support wellbeing in different contexts. For instance, Saga has introduced paid leave for becoming a grandparent in reflection of their own values and their focus on serving the needs of those aged 50 and over, while online retailer Asos has introduced policies to support employees going through the menopause or experiencing pregnancy loss. For those harnessing digital technology to deliver hybrid working and avoid the fatigue of remote working, Accenture has built a ‘virtual floor’ to support mixed reality working; this reimagines hybrid working to facilitate greater collaboration when working with international colleagues.
4. Ensure benefits benefit everyone
Businesses must understand what the workforce really wants in order to successfully refresh their benefits package and make the biggest impact on their operation. Work perks provide the opportunity to bolster commercial performance – but only if employers are sure that they have taken the time to define and incorporate what truly matters to their employees. Before redesigning the benefits package, which might be at considerable cost and time if employees have to be trained on new platforms and new initiatives, organisations should consult with employees to identify what will deliver the best value.
Employee consultation could be done on a team basis or by wider employee listening programmes. Effective communication strategies will also determine the success of new schemes and to what extent they truly support wellbeing. Awareness needs to be built around the package itself and what employees have access to. Others are trialling a four-day working week, with flexible working arrangements being formally tested in terms of their effectiveness and impact. According to Ernst & Young, 47 per cent of workers reported that they would consider changing jobs if flexible working arrangements were not an option. Therefore, testing new ideas and initiatives can also ensure that there is something to support everyone’s wellbeing.
5. Look at wellbeing holistically
Finally, ensure that wellbeing is looked at in its entirety. Beyond the pure physical benefits that traditional benefits target such as gym memberships, bike schemes and private medical insurance; financial and mental wellbeing are also key elements of employee wellbeing. After the sustained uncertainty and restrictions introduced by the pandemic, and recent reports that two thirds of employees are experiencing stress and anxiety, which is reducing productivity, mental health needs to be actively supported.
Rachel Suff, senior employment relations adviser at the CIPD said employers should focus on prevention, saying “crucial to this proactive approach is training line managers to identify potential causes of stress and ensuring they are effective at managing people and workloads.” Line managers are crucial to how effective wellbeing strategies are when they are rolled out across an organisation. They should be equipped to deal with queries facing employees that directly affect their financial, mental and physical wellbeing.
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In a recruitment market where there is a significant shortage of skilled candidates, employers that fail to provide wellbeing support may struggle with higher employee turnover rates. We will help you cultivate a strategy that delivers real value and underlines the vision you have for your organisation. Get in touch today to discuss your approach to supporting the wellbeing of your colleagues and teams.