988 hotline one year after implementation

Fostering a Healthy and Productive Workforce

The novel coronavirus has forced employers to implement a variety of strategies to transform their workplace and adhere to the needs of their employees. From updating leave policies to accommodating work from home needs, the importance of prioritizing an employee’s health and wellness cannot be understated.

While resuming “business as usual” as quickly as possible may be an initial instinct, Laura Hamill, an organization psychologist at Limeade, says employers may find it counterproductive as it would overlook the critical challenges their employees are facing. Employers need to recognize the added emotional challenges and stressors to employees’ mental health and productivity and respond accordingly.

During the pandemic, employers who show empathy towards their employee population have been able to foster a more loyal and productive workforce. According to a survey by McKinsey, employees are four times more likely to feel engaged and six times more likely to have a positive sense of well-being when they feel their employer cares about them. Additionally, the BusinessSolver’s 2020 State of Workplace Empathy Study states that seventy-eight percent of employees say they would work longer hours for an employer they consider to be empathetic to their needs.

“Now more than ever, it’s critical to understand employee’s needs. In this time of crisis and beyond, providing a mix of benefits and programs can help mitigate stress, improve employees’ holistic well-being and support them when they need it most, which in turn can help bolster engagement and loyalty from the workforce.”

Todd Katz, Executive Vice President of Group Benefits for MetLife

Some employers have already taken proactive measures by offering benefits or programs to help improve employee’s well-being. Consider offering employees free counseling, access to carrier well-being resources, or a more flexible work schedule. Do not underestimate the impact of addressing the challenges posed by the pandemic head on, with humanity and empathy.

Information provided by Employee Benefit News.