Your workforce is the most precious resource your business possesses. Looking after its holistic wellbeing will directly translate to greater productivity and an increased return on investment. Let’s explore a few ways you can take care of your employees’ wellbeing.
Health insurance plans, free meals at work, annual events… business owners and managers have increasingly begun to rely on benefits like these to boost their employees’ wellbeing. Although these perks may help organisations design a positive work culture in the short term, they won’t really help keep employees happy and content in the long run.
A recent report by Gallup states that close to 76% of employees have admitted experiencing symptoms of job burnout. The reasons range from unmanageable workload to poor management and even unfair treatment at work.
This further supports the fact that despite all the fancy activities and perks companies plan, employees get overly stressed at work. This negatively impacts both their physical and mental wellbeing. The resultant issues do not simply impact your employees in a negative way, but also the business as a whole through decreased performance and productivity.
In this article, we will be exploring a few effective ways companies can take care of their employees’ wellbeing.
Leverage Technological Solutions to Mitigate Employee Burnout
Employee burnout is a compound issue. In a white paper labelled “Moving Beyond Burnout” published by Kronos, the top two drivers that usually cause burnout are:
Workload – Your employees might be working more than their limits hence increasing their burnout levels at work. This starts to affect them over time and leaves them frustrated, further impacting your organisation’s bottom line.
Work environment – Once your employees start feeling that they are often mistreated at work, they are more likely to experience a high level of burnout. Unfair treatment can include everything from favouritism, bias, and mistreatment by a coworker to unfair corporate policies or even compensation.
Since one of the key drivers of burnout happens to be workload, giving employees more control over decision making and planning in their work schedule can possibly create greater flexibility and be perceived as a benefit. The good news is that technology can help alleviate the negative effects of these drivers and support healthy habits. Two ways businesses can do this include:
Mobile solutions such as an enterprise app that streamlines important company updates, news, events and employee information help to deliver a transparent and clear picture of what the company believes in. Such an app can also update employees about any new event and product launch or organisational decision through push notifications.
Since app development costs greatly vary across different US states, companies can also look to leveraging custom app development solutions. In this way, you can get the solution that suits the specific needs of your business without having to dig a hole in your pocket.
Workforce management solutions such as shift swaps and online scheduling provide employees with enhanced flexibility. Pew Research indicates that close to 81% of Americans now have a smartphone of some kind. When considering technological solutions for scheduling, it only makes sense for employees to use the tools they have regular access to.
Managers also have an opportunity to deal with the factors that lead to employee burnout in real time. They can take proactive steps in the right direction by ensuring employees have schedules that include adequate rest periods. Managers can use technology in 2 ways:
Human capital management (HCM) solutions furnish before managers data on proper staffing levels in time to manage overtime and redistribute workloads. While it’s true that organisations may have to scramble occasionally, that should be the exception versus the norm. An ethics training and developing a code of conduct for both staff and management can ensure all round development of employees while also safeguarding your business at the same time.
Absence management programmes provide managers with the ability to set expectations and monitor resources. Today’s automated absence programmes can also infuse a bit of fun using gamification techniques to change employee behaviours.
Reward and Show Recognition often
Whether your company is a startup or an established enterprise, as founders, you know a lot about your employees: their backgrounds, ambitions, family circumstances, and the challenges they face. Recognition and rewards should come naturally since these are the people who take the plunge and buy into your vision.
Now, the real challenge arises when the venture starts scaling. You have to think about ways you can keep your workforce’s enthusiasm at the optimal level while simultaneously growing your team. This can be done by building and instilling mechanisms to ensure you pivot more on culture as opposed to individual skill sets.
You need to maintain a relentlessly high bar and ensure you build in structures including compensation which reward employees for imbibing the organisation’s cultural values and not just performance on the job. For example, rewards (financial or otherwise) not just for achieving a monthly or yearly target but also setting an example of exceptional behaviour before others on one of your business’ core values.
By expanding the scope of evaluation of employees beyond their targets to also things they do to maintain company culture leaves them with a greater sense of purpose and meaning. It embeds within them a feeling of belongingness which is important for any business trying to target growth.
Think Beyond Work: Mindfulness
Lastly, it is extremely crucial to create avenues for employees to break away from work and perform fun activities together. Creating mindfulness awareness and training has shown to help increase productivity, reduce stress, and generally improve the performance of an organisation’s workforce.
Whether it is a mindfulness training programme spanning a few months, weekly meditation practises, an emotional counsellor available on call/once a month or even a company retreat, this may be an ideal way to create work-life balance and unite workers outside of the office setting. Also, by introducing a few cost-effective perks into the workplace to improve the physical and mental wellbeing of your team, the needs of today’s workforce can be easily met with.
Also, consider tech solutions to help with engagement. Quizzes are a super fun way to keep your employees engaged and connected. Players are first supposed to answer icebreaker questions and then guess other players’ answers in automatically generated quizzes.
Admins can schedule quizzes to go out via email and messages at fixed times during the week. The end result: an intelligent yet non-intrusive way to get people talking about something other than work. Additionally, leaderboards keep your team members motivated and aligned with your goals at all times. You can arrange a lot of fun team bonding activities for remote teams as well.
If you can get your employees’ families engaged in some of the outside-of-work activities, it’s even better. Things like Kids day, Yoga days at work create an inclusive family atmosphere.
Creating avenues like these can help foster friendships that are important in today’s increasingly transactional world. They also provide employees with the emotional and psychological strength to deal with whatever comes their way. Whether it’s an exciting opportunity, a challenge or a crisis, you want your employees to be up for it.
As a responsible employer, you need to make sure that you are doing these three things to take care of your employees’ overall wellbeing:
Leverage state-of-the-art technological solutions such as mobile solutions, workforce management solutions, human capital management solutions and absence management programmes to mitigate burnout and give your employees more control over decision making.
Reward your employees and show them that you recognise their efforts often. You have to think about ways you can keep your workforce’s enthusiasm at the optimal level while simultaneously growing your team. This can be done by building and instilling mechanisms to ensure you pivot more on culture as opposed to individual skill sets.
Lastly, create avenues for your employees to break away from work and rewind for a bit. Whether it is a mindfulness training programme spanning a few months, weekly meditation practises, an emotional counsellor available on call/once a month or even a company retreat, this may be an ideal way to create work-life balance and unite workers outside of the office setting.
As a business owner or manager, you constantly need to be on the lookout for ways you can take care of your teams. Afterall, a business can only be as successful as each one of the individuals putting in effort within it. Show them you care and they will take your enterprise to greater heights within no time.
About the Author
Rahul Varshneya is the co-founder and president of Arkenea, a digital health consulting firm. Rahul has been featured as a technology thought leader across Bloomberg TV, Forbes, HuffPost, Inc, among others.