by Yvonne Vargas HR Blogger for Glocalthinking.
The amount of information we find about how people’s mental health has changed as a result of the pandemic is endless. However, this does not appear to be sufficient for some organizations as the question of whether or not a wellness strategy should be implemented, with a particular focus on mental health, arises.
If the unknown prevails, I suggest bringing some studies to today’s reading, such as the report on the state of remote work in Mexico during the COVID-19 epidemic, published by the University of Puebla, UPAEP, and the Competitiveness Observatory. and New Forms of Work, the organizations that together consulted more than 1,000 employees about the major mental health challenges they observed when working at home.
Here are some results:
- It’s more sensitive: 44.1%
- Get irritated more often: 35.9%
- Feels that small problems have turned into conflict situations: 31.6%
- Get angry more easily: 33.6%
- You are more tired from working from home: 62.1%
- Screaming more than usual: 30.8%.
- Headache often: 40.1%
- Suffered from joint pain: 52.2%
- Feel a tightness in the neck or back: 59.5%
- Technology application caused stress: 37.1%
- Had an anxiety attack: 30.4%
With these numbers there is no alternative, we must have well-being strategies. Its development and implementation is also a valuable tool for attracting talent and increasing their commitment. How do you start or promote this activity in companies? I suggest starting with four main aspects:
- Cancel the option to do nothing.
- Find out the true return on investment for the program.
- Forget traditional strategies.
- Focus on driving change, not just raising awareness.
In this first installment, let’s analyze the first two.
1.- Cancel the option to do nothing.
There has never been a more important time to invest in employee health and wellness than today. This is the starting point. Managers are certainly aware of this need, but some areas still have no idea why a budget is necessary for it. Mapping the cost of claims, for example, is so urgent that these numbers give us the “needed value” of the investment in the topic and here are some examples:
In turn, absenteeism and being present affect productivity. A survey published by the National Center for Chronic Disease and Health Promotion found that 30% of employees take time off for mental health reasons. Besides the impact of the pandemic on physical health, organizations are experiencing productivity losses across the board. This is why it is important to keep in mind that the better the health of the employees, the less sick leave. You need to be clear about how much absenteeism and work accidents are costing the company.
In contrast, there is declining commitment, which is a global problem. Data shows that 85% of employees do not feel connected to their work, according to Gallup figures. However, among those who drew inspiration from the company’s culture to make decisions for their well-being, 80% said they were engaged and indicated satisfaction with their jobs, team members, managers, and benefits.
The phenomenon of great renunciation
Staff turnover has reached a new high since the start of the pandemic, with dozens of people changing jobs or even jobs. This phenomenon is so massive that the term “Great Concession” was coined. Even before that, the organization was already four times more likely to lose talented workers if they were dissatisfied with the wellness promotion. If we translate this into dollars, the cost of turnover and replacement ranges from 21% to 150% of an employee’s salary, depending on their skills, experience, and field of work.
No wonder one in four adults around the world reports depression or anxiety during the pandemic, with economic uncertainty, isolation and stress. Employers around the world are feeling the productivity and performance effects.
2.- Obtaining funding for a wellness program, already entering the field of return on investment, requires designing a case in the company.
This can be achieved by working on the following points:
- Potential employees are more likely to stay with a wellness-promoting employer. In fact, 64% of workers satisfied with the health promotion said they plan to stay at least five years with the organization. When health and wellness is actively promoted, companies are 2.5 times more likely to be seen as the best companies to work for, suggested professionals from Body Systems, a company that specializes in implementing corporate wellness programs and culture.
- Regardless of the business model, the workforce is what drives business outcomes, so it must be healthy, engaged, motivated, satisfied, and productive. To predict the profitability of your company in the next year or the satisfaction of your customers, measure the level of satisfaction, behavior and turnover of your employees for only one year and you will find the answer if you delay the health plan.
- Additionally, when implemented properly, health programs can go hand in hand with other initiatives. For example, they can be linked to workplace safety, through injury prevention or work environment initiatives, which are associated with lower rates of injury, absenteeism, and worker compensation.
It is a fact that there has never been a more urgent time to keep in touch with employees. Now that remote work is the norm, it is imperative that employers find a solution to bring their teams closer wherever they are. In this case, a digital wellness program can work so that the whole team can join anywhere.
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