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Employment

All Wellbeing and Good?

Mental health and wellbeing

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

The incessant bombardment of news related to Covid-19, mostly bearing heavy messages of death, infection rates and strain on the NHS is affecting most of us. How can we not be affected by the constant round of daily stats and latest notification of job losses making staff even more anxious over their own job security?

To help fend off the impact of such a negative period in our lives It is very likely you’ve put in place a wellbeing programme to support your workforce through the pandemic.  Insurance broker AON surveyed 332 HR Directors in the UK and discovered that 41% were actively re-evaluating their Employer Valuation Proposition (EVP).  Given the number of organisations who’ve re-purposed with new strategies since the pandemic hit it’s probably not that surprising to hear.

But what is the EVP and do you think yours is fit for purpose?  By definition Employee Value Proposition is the support, recognition, and values that an employer provides to employees to achieve their highest potential at work.

The AON discovered re-think is primarily based on concerns that existing programmes are not meeting the needs of the workforce. Homeworking, home schooling on top of the external noise of the pandemic are all serving to add strain to the mental resilience of our workforce and its only to be expected.

86% of respondents are focussing on wellbeing initiatives for those working from home and 68% setting sights on supporting the emotional needs of staff.

All sounds very positive however the reality for many workers right now is getting through the week, coping with child-care and homeschooling. Staying safe and well and not falling into an unhealthy routine.

Paying lip service to wellbeing has been a common failing of many businesses now brought into sharp focus given the crisis we’re collectively working through.

Declining mental health is a worrying outcome of dealing with Covid for almost a year. Unfortunately, most managers are not sufficiently qualified to identify symptoms or early signs of concern.  Placing responsibility for such support in the hands of a line manager without offering them correct training is a frequently expressed frustration from staff. In reality the line managers themselves are also under increasing pressures and may be working longer days than in the days before the pandemic so they too require careful consideration.

Our resilience and “bounce back-ability” has depleted over time and batteries need re-charging.

Suggestions

  • If looking to your EVP ensure that it speaks both of the genuine purpose of the business and is deliverable given the culture and practicalities of operating in your market.
  • Ensure the senior management team are aligned to the EVP and fully behind creating an environment that supports its workforce
  • Ensure that those responsible for the wellbeing of staff at a line manager level are suitably trained and resourced.
  • Introduce non work focussed gatherings for staff to talk and share any concerns.
  • Use surveys and carefully monitor responses to identify trends and pick up any causes for concern from those less likely to share face to face/ on screen.
  • Engage professional mental health practitioners or services to ensure options are available if required.

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