One of the clearest outcomes from the events of 2020 has been to push wellbeing to the top of priority lists. A few years ago, many employers did not have a documented wellbeing strategy, whereas now our research shows that a majority of Asia Pacific employers are planning to make wellbeing a key differentiator of their value proposition.1
While the focus on wellbeing continues to grow, and many employees now say that they see a genuine interest from their leadership in the health and wellbeing of employees and their families, stress and anxiety continue to be challenges given the pandemic and economic uncertainty. In addition, many organisations continue to struggle with rising costs and operational disruption.
How do we maintain employee wellbeing and build resilience in a post-pandemic world?
The question for employers is clear: How do we maintain employee wellbeing and build resilience in a post-pandemic world?
While employers look to build effective wellbeing programs fit for their purpose, at the same time, many are keen to understand what their peers are doing. Innovative and effective wellbeing benefits can be powerful attractors of talent, and leading employers do not want to be laggards in this regard.
Based on conversations with business leaders and HR professionals, in general we see organisations are at different levels of maturity in their approach to wellbeing.
While much has been written on wellbeing best practices, this paper will highlight what many companies may miss, or get wrong.
Before jumping in with both feet, it’s always best to start by taking a step back to understand what the company has done so far. What are the available resources? Is there an inventory of existing programs, or a list of partners? Have there been visible or quantifiable results to date? Are programs offered relevant to the workforce?
Running a simple wellbeing diagnostic survey will allow employers to understand better what their workforce’s health risks are.
Taking this first step will be crucial to identify gaps, and then decide on next steps or future priorities. For instance, running a simple wellbeing diagnostic survey will allow employers to understand better what their workforce’s health risks are, and whether the current interventions are hitting the mark. A personalised scorecard can allow the organisation to understand where they stand in market, what they have done better than others and which areas may need more work.
Next, make use of analytics and insights to start designing the program. With digital transformation and new ways of working, we have to rethink how wellbeing programs or items can be more impactful and consider changes in what now matters most to our employees. Considerations which were less important pre-pandemic, could now take precedence (download the full version of this article for specific examples and actions to consider).
Resilience enables employees to better manage and thrive during times of stress. This can have a significant impact on productivity, and consequently the performance of the company. Employers need to tackle it proactively — especially against the backdrop of frequent lockdowns and social restrictions. It is important to be prepared for the long-term, with work transformation here to stay; social distancing and reduced person-to-person interactions may be the new normal.
Resilience enables employees to better manage and thrive during times of stress.
After a wellbeing program has been designed, and market best practices adopted, the next step is to think about empowering people managers as part of the execution plan. If managers can be guided on how to practice active listening, understand individual needs, identify burnout, and be empowered to offer appropriate solutions, the program will be truly effective in achieving its goals.
To read more about building a successful wellbeing program fit for the new normal and questions to address, please complete the form on the right to access the full article.
1 2015/2016 Global Staying@Work Survey, Hong Kong, India, Philippines, Singapore; 2020 Wellbeing Diagnostic Survey, Asia Pacific