For a productive environment, an organization needs to focus on maintaining its workforce's wellness. For any establishment, especially in times like these, attention to its employees' well-being becomes inevitable. They are the backbone of any business entity, and hence they ought to be nurtured with care. A recent McKinsey report shows that 62 percent of employees globally consider mental-health issues as a significant challenge during the COVID-19 crisis. The definition of everyday normal has changed, and getting accustomed to it is gruelling. We do not realize the power we hold in transforming an employee's life. So, it is time to introspect how to improve employee wellness and boost their productivity in the long run.
- Give them ample reasons to engage with your organization - Time is evolving faster, and employees are today looking out for more than just monetary benefits. They want to work for an organization that can offer them opportunities to flourish professionally and personally. According to the MetLife and Glassdoor survey, 76% of employees think their workplace has responsibility for their health and well-being, and 87% of employees expect their company to help them balance their work and personal lives. To transform your workforce into loyal employees, give them multiple benefits like flexible working hours, work from home, paid leaves, maternity/paternity leaves, and more to make them feel more connected with your company. Moreover, a loyal employee is a blessing in disguise who can be your trusted lieutenant to lead your organization in times of adversities.
- Listen out and address their grievances - In a dynamic world, it is essential to become adaptable to the world around you. Especially in tough times like this, when the global pandemic Coronavirus already ravages the world, it is mandatory to lend ears to your employees, hear them out and take sincere steps to resolve their problems. When your employees feel valued and heard, the same is reflected in their performance and productivity. Even if it is difficult to go for a one-to-one meeting to redress their grievances, utilize technologies and tools like video conferencing, online discussion, teleconferencing, internal chat, and others that facilitate communication beyond geographical, physical, and linguistic barriers.
- Encourage the culture of short breaks - Do you know companies in Japan encourage their workforce to take regular intervals and monitor them through drones? Yes, it may sound unbelievable, but it does not seem to be a far-fetched effort given the Japanese people's workaholic nature. If you want to see some incredible results in the productivity of your employees, do encourage them to take short breaks at regular intervals to ward off monotony and lethargy.
- Offer them modes of recreation - A quick quiz or a short fun game time can always help take the stress off. Involve your staff in engaging activities and help them stay cheerful during office hours. Working long hours at home can take a toll on anybody. The complete isolation experienced during that period can harm employees, leading to loss of sociability and creativity. In such a scenario, it becomes imperative to promote employee engagement activities through regular online platforms and networking tools, which can help in breaking the monotony of work. Companies can organize virtual contests, training programs, meditation, development sessions, counselling sessions, recognition sessions, webinars on stress management, access to e-learning modules, creative learning sessions, and more to increase the interactions and relieve stress.
- Motivate them with proper rewards and perks - Recognition and appreciation will help boost your employee's morale. When the work done is acknowledged, employees feel more satisfied with their workplace. During the pandemic, businesses were impacted tremendously, and many companies resorted to cutting salaries to compensate for their loss. However, while such a decision might have been critical to tame the situation, one can ensure to disburse the salaries on time and provide bonuses to motivate the employees and gain their confidence in the company.
- Take a step forward to lend support - Many organizations in India switched to working four days a week to help employees focus on themselves. Apart from that, they realigned working shifts and allowed field staff to work from home; some even went to provide hotel stays for employees who wanted to be isolated during their sickness. Organizations have also organized vaccination drives, fumigation of offices, regular medical check-ups, and sanitization for employees.
The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly impacted employees and their families profoundly. Even though companies try their best to lend their help, it is difficult to predict the pandemic situation. It is challenging to feel connected, confident, and communicate effectively with the team while remote working, but one can foster creativity and innovation through collaboration and care. It is these small changes that can significant changes to an individual's life. So, let us move forward to a better, more holistic future.