With 2021 here with glimpses of a fresh breath of air in many aspects, it is high time employees and employers reflect on the lapses they faced in the uncertain times of 2020. Taking time to identify the previous shortcomings can help in overcoming them and strategize for a better 2021 and long term future.
One thing the world learned from the 2020 pandemic was that nothing was permanent, including our jobs and health. From the sudden layoffs to the front-line workers battling the pandemic, 2020 was chaotic. While few people got to spend more time with family, the remote working and social isolation impacted the mental health of many people across the globe. Adding to the stress was the economic meltdown, which led to people struggling to pay their regular bills. Also, the increased rates of burnout impacted mental health.
Studies have shown how the pandemic has impacted the mental health and holistic wellness of employees, and its influence on employee productivity. And so, in 2021, employers are looking for multiple ways to improve overall employee health and wellbeing, and productivity, emphasizing mental wellness benefits.
Redefining Employee Mental Health
Mental health awareness is gradually increasing over the years. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for mental health provisions. The pandemic shifted the spotlight on the individual experiences and concerns of employees, creating an urgency to redefine mental health and promote its wellbeing offerings. Employers started including mental wellness programs to their corporate wellbeing initiatives and invested in various mental health offerings. Reports say that these mental health initiatives will continue in 2021 along with holistic wellbeing resources that contribute to employee wellness.
Emphasizing Mental Wellbeing
The pandemic has driven employers, employees, and benefits plans, to emphasize mental being. Most companies, large, medium, and small-sized, have pushed employee mental wellness initiatives to the forefront. They are looking to implement workplace benefits programs to promote mental wellness. Also, the management and HR teams are proposing employee engagement strategies to ensure employees receive all the resources and support they need to improve their mental wellbeing. Most of these strategies include employee wellness programs with mental health resources, one-on-one counseling, therapy sessions, financial wellbeing sources, social wellness programs, and more.
Lining Up Mental Wellness Initiatives
The year 2020 and the pandemic have made employers and HR teams apprehensive of employee mental health. These mental wellness initiatives are bound to continue in 2021 and further. Prioritizing mental health calls for the management and the HR teams to play an active role in identifying employee concerns and needs through employee engagement surveys, pulse surveys, polls, and discussions. Despite the economy’s slow recovery from the meltdown, employers are still hesitant about recruiting newbies, adding to the unemployment stress. Companies must invest in a diverse workforce and promote career pathing to ensure a happy, active, and engaged workforce.
Focusing On Holistic Wellbeing
Employee health and happiness are affected by many factors, and they directly or indirectly impact workplace productivity. Employers must implement corporate wellness programs that focus on holistic wellbeing aspects, including physical health, emotional, social, and financial wellness. They must seek employee feedback and offer resources that support and promote holistic wellbeing, employee engagement, and workplace productivity. Additionally, companies must also focus on miscellaneous solutions like elder care giving programs, child care, working parents, and other factors.
2020 has been a hard year for all, and it has also been an eye-opener. Employers now understand the importance of employee wellness and its impact on organizational productivity. For the business to run and to have a competitive edge, companies must redefine their employee wellness policies and workplace benefits, emphasizing mental health and holistic wellbeing.