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With the average working life longer than ever before, employee wellbeing has never been more important.
This is especially true during times of crisis or difficulty. For example, uncertainty surrounding coronavirus can be a difficult factor to handle. There are many issues that may be worrying your employees – whether it’s economic repercussions, feelings of isolation or fear of the unknown. By providing wellbeing support to your workforce, you can help to manage this stress and anxiety through great health tools and sources of information. Such tools make managing difficult situations easier and provide support to both you and your employees when it’s needed most.
Incorporating an approach that combines all wellbeing factors is beneficial to both you and your workforce. Not only do you increase employee satisfaction by offering your employees the benefits and support they need, but your business will also reap the rewards as your employees are more likely to stay in your employment if they feel fully supported.
Employee assistance programmes
Investing in an employee assistance programme (EAP) offers employees free confidential advice on a diverse range of issues that may affect job performance, mental and physical health and emotional wellbeing.
In the face of a difficult situation such as the coronavirus, support by an EAP can provide much-needed relief from the stress and anxiety experienced by both you and your employees. Not only can you use a 24-hour helpline, you also gain access to a range of materials with tips and advice. For example, our employee assistance programme partner LifeWorks is currently offering a range of coronavirus support information resources.
These great sources of information and the support provided by an EAP are particularly important in the management of mental health at work. This allows you to actively engage with your employees easily and effectively, even when your employees are working remotely. Not only this, but when your employees feel fully supported, they can consistently contribute to the growth of your company.
Ending the stigma around mental health
On top of providing wellbeing support in the form of an employee assistance programme, developing an awareness of mental health will provide you with the skills and confidence to have difficult conversations with your workforce. For example, with more employees working from home, it’s important that you are open about wellbeing difficulties that may arise, rather than brush over them. As a result, your employees will see you as approachable and supportive.
Recently, there has been an emphasis on businesses encouraging a distinction between work and home life, especially with more businesses working from home following the government’s lockdown. Unfortunately, this attitude can be a catalyst for further problems in employee wellbeing. It is important to acknowledge that there is a link between work and home life, as your employee’s work life can often have an effect their mental health. Viewing your employees as individuals rather than as a collective workforce will help them to feel valued and comfortable with communicating with you on a personal level.
58% of the UK’s workforce has been affected by financial worries in the last year (DNA of Financial Wellbeing). There is a fine line between how much ownership employers should take on this subject, as it can be difficult to bring up subjects such as debt worries directly with your employees.
Employee assistance programmes and financial wellbeing support can be structured to cater for this. Designing schemes with the relevant content and tools to improve financial knowledge is a good way to avoid direct conversations over sensitive topics. The tools provided by the financial wellbeing benefit ensures that both you and your workforce have the right resources you need to manage financial worries in the face of coronavirus.
Demonstrate your understanding
Supporting metal health at work is central to the productivity of your employees. Addressing wellbeing at work increases productivity by as much as 12% (Mental Health Foundation).
It is crucial that you prove to your workforce that you are fully aware of wider wellbeing factors, especially during difficult situations such as the coronavirus outbreak. By providing access to resources and tools that help to manage employee wellbeing, you are able to provide support when it is needed most.
Busy Bees Benefits can help you with the provision of employee benefits that support wellbeing in the workplace. Call 0333 333 9100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.