Employee well-being is not another talking point but a serious issue for most businesses. Studies say that only half of the United States workforce has positive emotional and mental well-being. Employees must start covering much more than employee health insurance because strategies like time off have been shown to have a significant positive effect on employee well-being.
The HR department has become crucial for managing, improving, and ensuring employee well-being. This article looks at the different ways HR practitioners and leaders do this.
Providing The Resources Employees Need To Get Help
About half of employees say they would reach out to HR if they have emotional and mental health challenges, while the same number had talked to HR about job-related stress or worry. HR departments must do a better job of providing with employees the resources they need to get help if they are experiencing job-related stress.
By doing so, they will encourage employees to take advantage of these resources, with the result being better employee well-being.
Manage Employee Workloads Better
Many people say they are experiencing signs of burnout due to high-pressure work, short deadlines, long work hours, and a large workload. They might already be experiencing stress and exhaustion, and increasing their workloads or not managing them well can only worsen the issue.
HR leaders must either reduce employee workloads or ensure all departments, teams, and roles are adequately staffed to match demand. Even though doing this will increase costs, it benefits the business due to the increase in productivity and job satisfaction that comes from employees knowing the business cares about them and their well-being.
Additionally, it will help the business save on the money and time it would take to get a replacement when a worker leaves. This is in line with the thinking that employees will leave their jobs if they feel overburdened or overworked.
Recognize Employee For Their Achievements and Contributions
Employee appreciation is crucial for keeping employees motivated and improving job satisfaction. Additionally, it helps employees feel emotionally invested in and connected to their peers and jobs.
HR departments have to change how they have handled employee recognition in the past. As more millennials enter the workforce, they expect a lot of praise because that is what they have had since they were young. Some people react better to monetary rewards, while others appreciate gifts if they are thoughtful and well-meaning. Businesses can use gifts like gift cards for employees appreciation and to show them that they are doing a great job.
Some employees are motivated by better compensation and growth opportunities, so the HR department should make these options available. The takeaway is that HR leaders should create personalized programs that align with employee preferences, so they work best for their intended outcomes.
Helping Businesses Adopt Flexible Work Modes
While it was the way things used to be done in the past, long gone are the days when businesses and managers would micromanage their employees. These days, it feels intrusive and like managers do not trust their employees if they are micromanaged. Also, many people hate feeling like they are wasting time on sending and receiving too much feedback from their managers.
The last few years have shown that businesses can operate without micromanagement and thrive with remote work models. These models allow employees autonomy and freedom, leaving them to do their best jobs without the added pressure of a manager looking over their shoulders.
Businesses can also save significantly on infrastructure and office-related costs when they adopt work-from-home or hybrid work models while benefiting from the additional employee productivity.
HR leaders are responsible for planning how such models could work in different businesses.
Creating Well-being Campaigns
Mental health, emotional health, and well-being resources are great but are a waste if no one uses them. HR leaders and employers should develop campaigns that help employees know about these resources. That should be followed up by campaigns that encourage employees to leverage them. Employers and employees can only see the value of these programs if they are actively using them.
Creating a Culture of Open and Transparent Communication
Nothing good comes from bottled-up feelings. There could also be additional consequences for doing this, including unwanted stress and tension in the workplace. Any frustrations or negative feelings employees have should be vented instead of being allowed to simmer.
Encouraging employees to speak up when they see something they do not like, including helping employees feel they can trust each other and allowing the business to know what is going on in employees’ minds. The HR department also gets a crucial tool for knowing what changes leaders need to make.
If employees feel uncomfortable venting their feelings in front of their colleagues and management, the HR department can create anonymous surveys or use other anonymous communication tools. Doing this encourages employees to share feedback, suggestions, anxieties, and everything else they need to without fearing repercussions or their colleagues finding out what they have to say.
Allowing Employees to Take Time Off
Anyone who has been working long enough knows that time off is not a vacation but, instead, time to take care of yourself and recharge. Allowing employees to take time off ensures they can spend their time and occupy their minds with something other than work. Because of this, they will come back motivated and energized to keep going.
Paid time off is an even better arrangement because it allows employees to leave work and still have a safety net while they are away. Also, employees feel they can take this time without being penalized.
HR leaders should work with employees to create policies governing how employees go on paid time off to ensure the models they care about are fair to both the business and employees. They can also use time off management software to ensure the process is completely transparent.
Using Technology To Support Employees
The use of technology in the workplace is neither new nor revolutionary. Businesses have used technology for decades for different things, including making it easier for employees to do their jobs. However, how businesses use technology is changing.
These days, businesses use big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence for holistic employee management. For example, they can use the data they collect to provide medical and financial literacy to employees. Some businesses already partner with healthcare and financial institutions to provide this training.
Employees can also get this additional training through apps and software. Businesses should include any wellness and literacy apps they want employees to use in the campaigns we have discussed above.
Providing What Employees Need To Do Their Work
Not having the right tools for the job is a source of frustration for many employees. That frustration can turn into anger and stress, which are not good for an employee’s well-being.
HR leaders must, therefore, ensure all employees have everything they need to do their jobs and thrive. They must provide the right technology and tools, allow work flexibility, and create a work culture that promotes productivity and teamwork.
They can also support flexible models like remote work, flexible working hours, and work from any other location arrangements.
Improving employee well-being is no longer an option for businesses but a necessity. There are signs that employee well-being will determine whether people want to work for your business in the future, so you should take it seriously. HR leaders are crucial for ensuring employee well-being is considered and upheld.
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