How to Improve Employee Wellbeing: Advice from HR Consultants
At Simplify ER, our team of HR consultants are here to help you reduce anxiety and loneliness in your workplace.
With the current situation in the pandemic, more of your staff are likely to be remote working.
With employees working from home, how can you promote wellbeing? Here’s some brilliant advice from our HR consultants, (who have been there and done that) to keep employee satisfaction high.
When loneliness affects your colleagues, it’s likely to impact the quality of their work.
In a study by TotalJobs, 68% of individuals said loneliness increased stress. But it wasn’t just health that was affected. 38% also felt they were less productive.
Yet, a Perkbox survey revealed that most employers thought loneliness and anxiety at work were less of an issue than they used to be.
As 34% of people suffering from loneliness didn’t mention this to anyone, this may be partly why there’s a lack of awareness. Why wouldn’t someone say how they’re feeling? It could be due to embarrassment. Mental health still, undeservedly, has a stigma that needs to be shed. They could also be worried about how admitting their issues may affect their role or career.
Recognising Employees’ Health
Whether you have a small business or a larger workplace, the first step is becoming aware of any changes to your employees’ health.
A common result of anxiety is avoiding social situations.
So, if you notice that an employee who’s usually quite outgoing stops going to office parties or joining virtual team quizzes, this may be a sign that they’re feeling stressed or anxious.
It’s in your best interests as an employer to improve employee wellbeing.
TotalJobs’ study found that 25% of employees experiencing workplace loneliness left their jobs. So, staff retention can be negatively affected by mental health declines too. The survey also revealed that most people who feel the effects of loneliness don’t consider their employer to do enough to help.
How Has the Lockdown Affected Your Staff’s Mental Health?
According to Perkbox, 4 in 10 employees who usually work in offices found coping with anxiety to be a challenge in our current remote working climate.
Remote working can also affect work/life balance further. It can remove the clear cutoff for when work ends and personal life picks up. It doesn’t help that all the social activities associated with work have now also stopped. They provide a vital lifeline of regular social contact for a lot of people outside of their busy or stressful home lives.
Reducing Workplace Anxiety and Loneliness
The problems are clear, and it’s time to do something about it. Here are our ideas around how you can tackle the issue:
You could ask staff to complete an anonymous survey about employee wellbeing.
This would help you gain an awareness of how common mental health concerns are in your workplace. It also shows your employees you care about them.
Your HR team could conduct a tailored survey to find out more about how your staff are currently feeling. (If you’re not sure how to do this, our HR Consultants can help you).
Encouraging communication between staff can also help to remove any stigma your employees may worry about.
By having open chats, you offer a friendly ear to talk to, which may reduce stress in the office.
Why not offer optional 1-to-1 chats with managers or HR? Our team of HR Consultants can help to brief you in best practice. That way, you can show your support to your staff members.
Use Mindfulness Apps
When it comes to anxiety and overall mental health, having a relaxing outlet can be great.
Why not offer free subscriptions to apps like Calm or Headspace as a workplace perk? Aimed at reducing stress and promoting good sleep patterns, these meditation apps could help your staff increase their productivity in the workplace. They may also make them happier, well-rested workers.
Have a Mental Health Day
Giving staff a day off, so they can recharge can be a great way to help reduce anxiety and risk of burnout at work.
You could also encourage your employees to split their annual leave across the year, so they take regular breaks.
Acknowledge Mental Health Awareness Week each year. Encourage your staff to engage with this.
However you acknowledge mental health, don’t make assumptions about your staff. It’s vitally important to respect their confidentiality and privacy. Looking for employment law help or advice from HR consultants? Contact us today to find out how we can help.