Ryan Pendell of The Harvard Business Review recently published a thought-provoking piece that should capture the attention of business leaders across all market sectors. The article titled, Stressed, Sad, and Anxious: A Snapshot of the Global Workforce does an excellent job of summarizing how the emotional well-being of employees across the globe is not at satisfactory levels, causing companies to lose high-value talent to burnout and voluntary resignations.
There’s a lesson to be learned; employees have needs that employers must meet to keep company-wide performance successful. Employees must not have reasons to quit or move on to another company because their mental health and wellbeing are unsustainably low.
A Brief History of Wellbeing in the Workplace
While promoting healthy lifestyles seems somewhat standardized with today’s larger corporations, it wasn’t always the case. Sure, now you’ll find a yoga studio, smoothie bar, or exercise equipment on-site at almost every tech corporate campus; however, it’s been decades of progress to get those amenities to where they are today.
Companies began understanding the benefits of having healthier, more productive employees as early as the 1910s when some businesses constructed gymnasiums and outdoor parks for their employees. In the 1970s, we saw the advent of organizations like OSHA, designed to ensure workers’ safety measures were in place. Johson&Johnson received recognition for their Live for Life program, which helped employees who were at high-risk for diseases associated with obesity, as well as stress coping procedures. In the 2000s, almost every recognizable corporation had instituted health-promoting programs and resources for employees who wanted them.
A More Holistic Understanding of Wellbeing
While physical health is very important to the ongoing sustainability of employee wellbeing, it’s not the entire story. As Pendell notes, a recent Gallup poll shows that workers across the globe are coping with record levels of stress, and when stress is prevalent, productivity and engagement suffer. Perhaps an even more alarming statistic is that less than 25% of employees surveyed felt that their employer/company cared about their wellbeing.
The groundswell of data before us suggests for employees to have good wellbeing, companies should also provide support benefits for mental, financial, and social health.
Challenges Associated With Returning From Pandemic Isolation
Coming out of the depths of the pandemic, workers faced challenges revolving around returning to the office, managing a healthy work/life balance, dealing with labor and supply shortages, navigating ever-evolving health precautions, and much more. There are a lot of stressors facing employees today, and the fallout of the global pandemic is far from over and barely understood at this point. But, there are now opportunities for employers to help their employees face these challenges and prove themselves worthy of worker commitment.
Employer Opportunities to Address Employee Wellbeing
According to Gallup’s research, employees who feel their employer is concerned with their overall wellbeing are 69% less likely to search for a new job and 71% less likely to report burnout. Savvy employers will understand that company resources must be dedicated to helping employees enhance their wellbeing or face the high turnover rates and burnout as consequences.
Companies can institute employee wellbeing support through:
- Flexible and fluid work schedules
- Mental health counseling programs
- Financial counseling programs
- Career fulfillment courses
- Upskilling opportunities
- And more…
While there will be no one answer to suit all business and employee needs, the evidence is clear that employee wellbeing needs addressing, and those that make efforts first will have a better chance of retaining and attracting top-tier talent.
Jobiak has spent years developing systems, tools, and proprietary algorithms to help businesses increase their online job posts’ visibility to prospective employees. But, it’s not just about the job data being visible to prospects; it’s critical to showcase what sets your business apart from the competition. As the data has shown, wellbeing should be at the forefront of each business’s list of benefits, and companies should not ignore the opportunity to get that messaging across.
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