We are seeing a shift in the concept of work-life well-being every day, from shared values and living wages to accessible mental health support. The key to retaining staff and increasing profitability in 2023 may lie in strategically adapting to this rapid evolution.
Using Empresaria's research, here are some of the wellbeing trends leaders must focus on in the next 10 months:
Flexible working hours
Working flexible hours can have a significant positive impact on your employees, as well as make their lives a great deal easier. For parents of small children and those caring for elderly relatives, flexibility makes being a care giver easier to manage, especially when it comes to medical appointments, school runs and other logistical considerations. Furthermore, employees have a greater sense of control when they can work when, where, and how they want.
In general, the more control we feel we have over our working lives, the better we feel about what we do for a living. This gives employees the freedom to work around their family commitments and reduces stress and anxiety, which allows them to focus on providing the best possible care for their family members. Having the ability to work flexibly can also improve the morale and motivation of employees, as they feel more valued and empowered in their roles.
Due to all of these factors, the demand for flexibility has never been greater. Focusing on flexibility is an excellent way to recruit and retain healthy, motivated, productive employees.
Hybrid and remote working
Many employees are loathe to give up remote and hybrid work after experiencing the new freedom and flexibility that they enjoyed during the pandemic. It is essential that employers provide this kind of flexibility if they wish to attract and retain top talent. A hybrid or remote workforce can increase productivity and create cost savings for companies as well as provide employees with a more flexible work schedule, resulting in a better work/life balance and general wellbeing. It also allows for more flexibility when it comes to where and when employees can work, which can be especially attractive to certain demographics.
Improved culture and leaders who consult with employees regularly
In order to create a strong culture and experience, it is essential to build trust. To create a workplace where diversity of inputs is acknowledged, leaders must question how their actions contribute to the culture, and this information must be communicated transparently. This means creating an environment where employees feel safe to express their opinions and ideas without fear of retribution. Leaders should also ensure that everyone’s voice is heard and valued in decision-making processes. Additionally, it is important to recognize both successes and failures, and use them to learn and grow. Leaders should create a culture of trust by actively involving their team members in decision-making processes, allowing them to have a say in the direction of the organisation. This is similar to a gardener nurturing their plants – they must provide a safe environment and the necessary resources while listening to the plants’ needs, allowing them to grow and blossom at their own pace.
Workplace mental health support
Healthy, motivated, and focused employees contribute to the success of an organisation. Mental health problems can impact employees' ability to cope and recover. People's ability to return to peak performance depends on how well and how quickly their employers support them.
The importance of standing by your employees when they experience mental health problems goes beyond keeping them on board - it sends a message about your company's values, as well. In order for employees to feel engaged and respected, their organisation must live its values and treat its employees well. Engagement is driven by trust and integrity, and organisations that support their staff enjoy the benefits of employee loyalty and commitment.
When it comes to talking about people's mental health, people often wonder how to begin, but all you need is common sense, empathy, approachability, and listening skills that you use every day as a manager. In the absence of action, problems can spiral out of control, which can negatively impact both individuals and organisations.
You may need to take the lead and raise the issue with a member of your team if you suspect they are experiencing a mental health issue, as many people are reluctant to bring up such issues themselves. There are times when managers lack confidence about mental health and may initiate an overly formal discussion or refer it to Human Resources.
However, as their manager, you are best positioned to know how to support your employee's well-being, and you should speak with them directly and come up with solutions that could be helpful to their situation.