The concept of well being which was mainly confined to physical well being has changed over the years and the recent pandemic has further widened the scope to include anything and everything related to health encompassing physical, mental and emotional aspects of health & well-being. With changes in the concept of well being organizations too have been quick enough to start talking about it and some have even started programs around the new concept of wellbeing.
Human Resources as a function responsible for employees it is but natural to expect changes in their approach towards wellbeing in organizations. Extension of workplace to our homes has added more complexity to this issue.
There needs to be greater thrust on employees’ health, wellness, and mental well-being, including a recognition of the health footprint left by the pandemic
Listening & empathising with unique challenges of employees will be critical while developing any well-being program. One size does not fit all, engaging with employees is more important than ever to find out where they need the most support. Being responsive to those needs should be the starting point of all initiatives.
Additionally engaging leaders in health and wellbeing training and programs, they will be able to influence company culture by leading from the top down. It’s incumbent on company leaders to drive awareness and action on mental health. By talking about mental health openly and backing up that talk with significant action, leaders can destigmatize mental illness and signal that employees can and should access the support the company provides.
Mental health support is the new normal. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought well-being to the forefront as employers are more aware than ever how of the impact of mental health on employees and by association, the workplace. Therefore, an increased budget allocation to mental & emotional well-being programs is recommended. Employers will also be looking at ways they can support mental wellbeing remotely, such as offering stress management courses or virtual therapy sessions. De-stigmatizing mental health by expanding mental health benefits & building awareness across the workforce about this critical issue is an imperative.
Employee well-being is key for workplace productivity. The impact of wellbeing extends far beyond how people feel – it affects the number of sick days employees take, their job performance, burnout, and likelihood of leaving your organization. Care for the protection, safety and wellness of people will become a priority in the future in the workplace. Workers are prioritizing safety, security, and health when evaluating employers. Where wellness has been something “nice to have,” it will become more of “must have”. Establishing a workplace well-being strategy which is aligned with your organization’s unique purpose, brand and culture is an imperative.