Last year has thrown plenty of challenges at employers and HR leaders. You may have had to make drastic changes to keep operating, from moving your team to remote work or even switching your entire sales model.
The challenging landscape has also illuminated many trends and even pushed them forward. People’s attitudes have shifted alongside the challenging circumstances. In many ways, 2020 has changed what’s important and put new emphasis on what people value.
There has been a renewed focus on health. Obviously, people are thinking about their physical wellbeing, but the concern goes deeper. Your team members are likely thinking about their health more holistically.
Employers should be promoting not just healthy habits to prevent cold and flu but to prevent other ailments that could be holding your team back as well.
Mental and Financial Wellness Become Focal Points
Physical health is usually the first thing considered when someone mentions wellness. In this environment, washing your hands and maintaining social distance have become more important than ever.
The uncertain landscape and economic upheaval have also placed incredible strain on people’s mental health. Health officials are appealing to employers to put more emphasis on safeguarding their team’s health in the mental/emotional sense too.
Lockdowns can be difficult, and working remotely can increase feelings of social isolation. Cold weather and long hours of darkness will also take their toll.
Financial wellness is less talked about but just as important. Financial strain and worry could easily turn into stress that affects your team members’ wellbeing. It can cause a downturn in their productivity and engagement at work. It could even lead to mental and physical health issues.
Your team members may have been worried about paying their bills before, but they’re even more concerned now. Household income might have gone down, increasing strain.
How Employers Can Help
Encouraging social distancing in the office or offering a more robust sick leave policy could promote physical wellness. How can you help support and promote mental and financial wellness for your team members?
The workplace is often a hub of social interaction for your team. If new restrictions appear, it may become one of their only sources of interaction. Help your team members by offering them positive ways to interact with each other, such as a virtual happy hour. Check in with them often.
You can also support mental health by offering more robust sick leave, as well as other benefits that extend to mental health. You could add counselling services or a mental health app to assist your employees in seeking help if and when they need it.
You can even promote resources and awareness. Some of your team members may not recognize the signs of stress, loneliness, or depression. Team up with local healthcare providers to raise awareness. Foster a more understanding space for team members who are struggling with mental and financial wellness. You could even be open about any challenges you yourself are facing, even in one-on-one conversation.
Financial strain can be similarly approached. Employees may feel embarrassed or ashamed that they can’t manage their finances. In many cases, they simply might not know about the resources available to them.
You could offer a financial literacy program, designed to help them learn about their options. You can keep them posted on government programs or put them in touch with a financial advisor. If you offer any employee discount programs or preferred provider agreements, ensure your team is aware of these benefits.
Finally, keep your door open and encourage communication. Sometimes, people need to know they’re not alone and that help is available. Once they have the information they need, they can take the next steps to turning things around.
Take the First Step to Better Mental and Financial Wellness in Your Workplace
If there ever was a time to promote mental and financial wellness in your organization, it’s now. These simple ideas could help you get started in supporting your team members beyond just physical health. In turn, they’ll be more productive and ready to turn in an amazing effort.
Looking for the tools to help you support your team? Get in touch and discover what technology can do when it’s combined with the right HR policies.