Here are some cost-effective ways to help retain your workforce.
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Remember the long-ago working reality when seeking the support of your co-workers was a matter of visiting their cubicle for an impromptu knowledge-sharing session? Remember the unplanned conversations in the break room that not only provided clarity for the team initiatives but also built confidence and trust with other peers you were working with to solve them?This in-person access to others was so established in our working lives, that the push to a permanent virtual technology environment seemed nearly impossible to execute for many companies.While businesses were contemplating the possibility of a permanent remote work reality, our country went into mandatory lockdown as a result of the pandemic. Related: How to Improve Your Work-From-Home Experience (Even After Months of Doing It)Within days, there was a scramble to try and figure out a system that was the least disruptive for workers. For some, it was a quicker transition (after a period of acclimation) as the new lifestyle that manifested was more desirable — allowing for a lifestyle with more flexibility. Working from home appeared to offer a higher probability of work and life balance for these workers. Employees were able to streamline their time with the reduction of travel to and from work.For others, this period was a very difficult journey of acceptance with emotions that were hard to navigate. People missed the opportunities to network in a traditional working environment or travel to new places. The changes had a counter effect because the merging of work life and home responsibilities were difficult to separate. As a mother of three boys, navigating their online school program while maintaining a full-time coaching schedule was extremely challenging until I could create a system to calm the insanity.Many questions arose for employers in supporting this new remote reality and the additional challenges that the lockdown would bring for employees:In what ways could companies motivate a deeper online connection in a virtually led environment?Were there meaningful ways to support employees dealing with new stresses including navigating their home dynamics?Where could companies focus efforts to ensure they could need the emotional needs of staff?Which tools and resources could be accessed to support resilience for team members?How much funding should be appropriated in retaining employees during the pandemic crisis? Mental and emotional well-being had already seen increased concern for many employers. The unease and pattern disruptions to established norms that came about from more isolated working models manifested into social and financial uncertainty factors.Many health studies showed numerous increases in behaviors that correlate directly to mental health concerns. According to a coronavirus health tracking poll that was conducted six months into the lockdown, 53% of adults felt that an increase in stress and worry directly resulted from the pandemic. More alarming was that one in four responded that a significant impact on their mental state and ability to cope with the new reality incurred because of the crisis. This data had a direct obvious impact on many companies that were facing a reduction in productivity and lower workforce retention from absenteeism.Related: 3 Big Well-Being Trends in the Wake of the PandemicAwareness and focus have opened companies to consider building resilience benefits and under the continued pandemic — and other unfortunate stressors of the past year — it has been brought into even more acute focus.If not already part of their current human resources program, businesses should consider where they have the opportunity to provide resilience benefits that directly support the emotional well-being of their employees. This allows a direct plan of services and support to anticipate and minimize workforce impacts both short and longer-term.The following five resilience benefits are cost-effective to incorporate:Partnering with a health care platform that offers virtual wellness programs focused on exercise classes, mindful living tools, and educational courses on managing healthInvesting in an online meal delivery program that offers employees the choice of personalizing a set amount of healthy meals per month paid for by the companyOffering working parents a more flexible schedule so they can work around their children’s online school programsProviding small monetary incentives for staff members to take necessary time off to counter burnoutCreating a company focused newsletter that offers tips, suggestions, resources, and stories of staff resilienceThe investment to incorporate resilience benefits into your company often far outways the cost of losing long-standing employees. Whether remote work is the new reality or a partial reality for your organization going forward, there are several key things for business leaders to consider with resilience benefits to ensure a productive, healthy workforce and a continued net positive influence.