Why employee wellbeing matters

The case for employee wellbeing on an individual level:

The case for employee wellbeing on an organizational level:

Based on the numbers, it’s clear the human resource department has the ability to influence great change within an organization and its workforce. Benefits for employee wellbeing include higher employee engagement, better performance, and increased retention. So let’s look at some key strategies HR can put into action to support employee wellbeing.

How HR can improve employee wellbeing

  1. Use HR software to monitor staff wellbeing and employee sentiment
  2. Review (and improve) any outdated DE&I policies
  3. Embrace flexibility with remote and hybrid work
  4. Build a culture of recognition
  5. Set clear expectations and boundaries

1. Use HR software to monitor staff wellbeing and employee sentiment

In the 2022 intelliHR State of HR Report, only 21% of respondents stated they use employee engagement or performance management software to monitor employee wellbeing and mental health.

Using people management software to track wellbeing enables you to visualize your people data consistently and identify issues faster. You can see this in action with our customer story with The Aesthetic Skin Clinic.

The team implemented automated wellness check-ins through intelliHR to create a safe space for employees to voice any challenges or concerns. They monitored employee sentiment to identify opportunities to support their people better and in July 2021, the organization achieved an outstanding eNPS score of 83%.

READ FULL CASE STUDY: The Aesthetic Skin Clinic

HR Ecosystem | Integrations

This centralized source of employee information also enables you to act on feedback more effectively, and revisit and reevaluate your company wellbeing strategy to adapt to changes in your workforce over time.

Having specialized HR software with powerful analytics capabilities (like intelliHR) also means that you can also leverage Sentiment Analysis. Sentiment Analysis allows you to understand how your people are feeling. Instead of taking actions based on gut feelings, you can base them on extensive quantitative and qualitative data.

2. Review (and improve) any outdated DE&I policies

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) is an ever-changing factor of workforce management. If you, as a HR leader, want to create an inclusive, empowered, and engaged workforce, then DE&I should be an incredibly important focus for your people and culture strategy. No longer viewed as a “nice to have”, effective DE&I policies and outcomes not only have an impact on compliance and productivity, but also should be top of mind when it comes to your employees’ overall psychological safety and wellbeing.

Research has shown that diverse and inclusive workplaces experience:

However, despite diverse teams being proven to be smarter and more innovative, diverse employees also struggle the most.

Diverse employees experience more severe mental health concerns. They are more likely to face challenges in the workplace that can be detrimental to their mental health — like discrimination, underrepresentation, microaggressions, and unconscious bias. Furthermore, intersectionality plays a significant role as employees who fall in more than one diversity category experience more negative outcomes.

Like all other workplace policies, ensure your DE&I policies are being constantly reviewed and refreshed to adapt to the times. It’s crucial that these reviews and updates are also being progressed through the lens of intersectionality.

READ: The ultimate guide to diversity in the workplace

3. Embrace flexibility with remote and hybrid work

If you work in an organization that does not require employees to complete their work in person all of the time, then consider implementing a flexible work policy.

For some employees, interacting with coworkers in the physical workplace energizes them and helps them thrive. Meanwhile, others may experience “return to office” anxiety and prefer to work from home. You may also have a nationally or even internationally distributed workforce whereby team members can’t work from your company’s HQ. Whatever your situation, it’s important to understand that how employees feel about the nature of their workplace can significantly impact their wellbeing – and have a knock-on effect for engagement, performance, and more.

Remote and distributed working is something many organizations are still trying to find a balance with. The reality is there is no one-size-fits-all solution, so a flexible work policy is your best option – if it’s possible for your company. Not only will this allow employees to choose the option that’s ideal for them (in-person, remote, or hybrid), but it also demonstrates your dedication to their wellbeing.

A flexible work policy gives your people control over their workday and allows them to tailor work around their other life commitments. It’s a great initiative for empowering them to hold themselves accountable for their work, while also showing you trust them to kick their goals regardless of their place of work.

4. Build a culture of recognition

A healthy culture of recognition improves employee morale and consequently, staff engagement and performance. Most HR leaders know by now that employees want more than to work and get paid. They want to feel valued and appreciated, and know they have a purpose in their workplace. They want their contributions to the broader business objectives to be acknowledged, while also honing their skills.

Employee dissatisfaction can be connected to feeling inadequate or unworthy, or even be born from a lack of belief in the work they do. A few best practices for ensuring your workforce’s recognition impacts employee mental health positively include:

It’s important to note that fostering a culture of recognition can be done in many ways. Everyone’s motivation is different, so you need to consider how to tailor your reward and recognition programs to satisfy your employees. Doing so can also boost your retention rates in the long run as your people will feel valued and supported, and, perhaps most importantly, committed and dedicated to your organization.

WATCH ON-DEMAND: The impact of appreciation: How to cultivate engagement through authentic recognition

5. Set clear expectations and boundaries

A big challenge that many employees experience is the inability to switch off or tune out from work. While remote and hybrid work has been beneficial for those who welcome flexibility, it has blurred the lines between work and life for others.

Setting clear expectations and boundaries can look different for everyone, but here are a few effective strategies you can implement right away:

As you can see, employee wellbeing initiatives don’t always have to come in the form of massive policy overhauls. Often, they can stem from the smallest shifts in behavior and mindset.

Consider doing an audit of the ROI you’re getting from your current employee wellbeing initiatives. Optimize the ones that are working and scrap the ones that aren’t. And most importantly, ensure that you’re looking after your own wellbeing too — so your people have a good example to look up to.

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