The impact of the pandemic and lockdown restrictions resulted in widely publicised mental health challenges, with employers rushing to support their employees on how to cope with working from home and reduced social interaction. According to mental health charity Mind, 60% of adults experienced mental health challenges in 2020, and the focus on employee wellbeing has become more important than ever for employers.
Maintaining wellbeing is critical for the employee, their family and the team around them. It goes without saying that workplace culture has changed. Increased remote and flexible working options mean employers and employees have to adapt to this changing routine and how it could become a permanent fixture for many.
Employers are now required to empower their employees to take control of the four pillars of health: mental, physical, emotional and financial by providing easy access to remote and in-person tools and resources for all employees. Taking care of employee wellbeing helps build resilience, improves productivity and supports the way they manage their work-life balance.
As a result of the pandemic people have also been re-evaluating their lives and work, with many now expecting their jobs to be a significant source of purpose in their lives. It’s evident that employers will need to help meet this need or be prepared to lose talent to companies that will. According to McKinsey the relationship between individual purpose and work falls in to three key areas:
– Purpose outside of work: caring for family, volunteer activities, hobbies
– Purpose from work: engaging with and making progress on work activities that provide energy and meaning
– Purpose from your organisation: corporate purpose, company culture and employee experience
Purpose from the organisation is the only aspect of purpose that organisations control. Corporate purpose considers the company’s role and contribution to society, providing employees with meaningful ways to reflect on the company’s efforts and their impact.
Before employees believe in or care about the culture and vision of their company, they need to feel valued as a person. There is a need to feel that their leader and the company is invested in them? So how can leaders demonstrate their appreciation for employees and contribute to their wellbeing?
Personal help – provide support in an employee’s personal and work life, helping an employee with a personal issue creates a loyalty that’s invaluable
Relatability – show your own vulnerability and imperfections to help employees overcome their own challenges
Personal life – take an interest in what they do in their personal life and the family/partners they share it with
Transparency – be real and honest with your employees, ensuring they understand the bigger picture within the business
Make time – take time to chat and have a conversation, helping employees to feel valued and respected
Encouragement – send encouraging emails or make regular announcements, explaining why you value your team
Barker advocates the importance of mental health and wellbeing and has introduced schemes including Sage Employee Benefits and AXA Private Heath Cover which both include wellbeing and counselling packages. The company has a number of well-being ambassadors who provide invaluable support to Barker employees.
Look out for our blog series highlighting the invaluable work carried out by the Barker well-being ambassadors and how this benefits the company.