According to the Future Workplace HR Sentiment Survey 2021, 68% of HR leaders now consider employee wellbeing and mental health a high priority.
Conversely, recent data shows that only 24% employees think that their employer cares about them.
It’s clear there’s some disconnect here.
Based on Heka’s Wellbeing Trends Report, examining these top 7 wellbeing trends, in conjunction with collecting and acting on employee feedback, can help you build healthier, more productive workplaces.
First on our list of trends is financial wellbeing, as employees begin to look towards leaders for both support and education when it comes to better managing their personal finances.
According to a Close Brothers Asset Management survey in 2019, 77% of employees identified money worries as impacting their work lives.
In a fight to reduce its impact on employee productivity and performance, leaders should consider tuition reimbursements, financial literacy programs, and other financial incentives to support people in the workplace.
With tuition fees higher than ever, and many people struggling financially due to the rising costs of living, financial wellbeing is set to become a more prominent issue in 2022 and beyond
According to the House of Commons Library, 15.52M women aged 16+ were in employment in Q4 2021.
These figures highlight just how large a segment of the workforce is made up of women, yet so much more needs to be done to vastly improve working conditions.
According to a ‘Women’s Health - Let’s talk about it’ survey by Gov.uk, 62% of respondents said a health condition or disability had impacted their experience at work. What’s more, many respondents to the survey have called on employers to do more to encourage openness and discussions around female health with line managers.
In the workplace, each and every employee must be educated on female health topics in 2022 and beyond. In fact, 67% of respondents from a Bupa survey said they’d be more honest about their symptoms with a female boss. This demonstrates the need for education for all colleagues on topics of menopause, periods, sexual health testing, and more.
With 8 out of 10 menopausal women unable to tell their employers why they had to take a day away from work, it’s clear that more needs to be done to normalize female health. What’s more, Bupa found that 46% respondents didn’t feel comfortable telling their employer their period was the reason for absence.
In fact, companies will go even further, by offering flexible working environments and safe spaces for women to alleviate stress and collect themselves. An example being the repurpose of first aid rooms to become relaxation or quiet areas.
Ultimately, the lack of awareness around these topics involved in female health must be addressed more directly, with education accessible to all. Only once the workplace feels comfortable discussing female health will it become a more accepting environment.
Moving to holistic wellbeing, this approach to happier, healthier employees focus on body, mind, social, and spirit. It is about recognizing that they are interconnected, and all have an influence on one another.
In the workplace, this translates to yoga classes, breathwork training, or even mental health consultations, all set up for employees to improve their wellbeing and happiness.
By viewing employee wellbeing as much more than simply “checking in” with colleagues, and undertaking holistic treatments like meditation and yoga, so much more can be achieved when it comes to health and happiness.
Employers who encourage their team to take up mindfulness practices and holistic activities can create a culture of health, and openness to outside-the-box wellbeing strategies.
If you’re an HR professional or leader, perhaps begin asking questions to your employees on the following topics (this way, you can create a clear strategy of holistic wellbeing in the workplace):
- Sleep hygiene
- Diet and nutrition
- Mindfulness and meditation
- Mood tracking.
Managing Digital Wellbeing
However, there hasn’t been much progress made in the way of employee wellbeing. Despite improvements in telehealth and access to wellbeing initiatives, companies need to utilize technology in a way that promotes healthier lifestyles for employees.
For instance, there are many mobile applications that can monitor screen time and suggest more breaks are taken. Employers should also ensure people are following working hour policies seriously, and aren’t overworking themselves from home. This can be achieved through checking in with employees on a regular basis to discuss their digital wellbeing and habits.
According to one survey of 4,000 employees, around 75% of respondents said they believed their mental health would improve if they limited their screen time. Therefore, employers should be looking for ways to reduce screen time while ensuring productivity and performance aren’t hindered.
Related Read: People Management Tips For New And Experienced Managers
Personalised Experience And Incentives
A one-size-fits-all approach really isn’t suitable for anyone in the workplace.
In fact, many employees feel like their employers are simply ticking boxes by having a set of generic employee benefits and incentives. Of 2,000 employees, a staggering 73% of respondents said they want a tailored benefits package.
The workplace is made of several generations, all with their own set of values and ideas of what their employee benefits package should look like.
For some, an emphasis on retirement incentives and flexible working hours may be more appealing; whereas younger generations of workers may see subsidized gym memberships as their ideal choice.
It’s down to employers to personalize their employee experience, including the incentives and benefits available to staff.
Through Heka, members have access to thousands of well-being experiences and incentives. However, it all starts with the ‘check in’ questionnaire. This is where Heka finds out current wellbeing levels on an individual level. Gaining the insight to suggest tailored wellbeing picks.
The coming years will hopefully companies genuinely listening and responding to the needs of their staff, and we’ve begun to see this happen in some of the tech giants of the world.
Companies such as Netflix, Microsoft, and Salesforce have developed robust employee benefits packages that focus on fertility, tuition support, on-campus fitness centres, and parenting initiatives.
The End Of Burnout Culture
If the global COVID-19 pandemic taught us anything, it’s that burnout culture needs to end—and we may be on the brink of a big change.
In the height of 2020, conversations around mental health in the workplace began to take place for thousands of companies and employees. Enough wasn’t being done, and as the world moved from offices to homes, leaders really had to step up and support their teams.
However, this then raised issues of employees taking fewer breaks while working from home, and struggling with creativity and collaboration.
In fact, 95% of respondents to one survey said “microbreaks” had decreased while working from home, with more of us unable to break away from laptop screens at home.
In 2022 and beyond, we envision a culture of wellbeing taking centre stage against the past several years of burnout culture.
Unfortunately, it has become a status and badge of honor to be overworked and exhausted. This hustle mindset has seen thousands of employees simply burning out and having to step back from their working lives to focus on their health and wellbeing.
Leaders, managers, and employees alike are all beginning to realize that a healthier lifestyle and focus on wellbeing can help prevent burnout.
Not only this, healthier, happier lives make us much more productive in our working lives; one reason leaders must back the move to wellbeing culture.
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