Boost morale and productivity with these five New Year's resolutionsby
As 2022 begins with more uncertainty, HR can give employees a lift with these resolutions to boost both business and employee morale.
As we head towards 2022 facing the disruption brought by another Covid-19 variant, businesses and their people will be facing yet more uncertainty. Here are five employee benefit-related New Year’s resolutions that make good business sense during the unpredictability of a pandemic.
1. Think the unthinkable
The pandemic has fundamentally changed head-in-the-sand behaviour for both employers and their workers. The nonchalant it-won’t-happen-to-me approach towards serious illness and death has flown out of the window and we are all thinking the unthinkable – that it could actually happen to me.
For an employer, unthinkable questions could be, ‘What will happen to the business if we lose a key person?’
For employees, this change of mindset means facing previously unarticulated questions such as ‘How will my family survive without my salary?’, ‘Will I still get paid if I’m off ill for a long time?’ and ‘Who will help me through all this?’.
For an employer, unthinkable questions could be, ‘What will happen to the business if we lose a key person?’, ‘Can the business afford to pay out for a death or for long-term sick leave?’ and ‘What sort of help should the business provide?’.
2. Answer the unthinkable questions
HRs need to answer these questions for both their business and its people. If the answer to any of these questions is ‘nothing’ or ‘I don’t know”, now might be a suitable time to look at making some inexpensive changes to the organisation’s benefits package.
It’s also a good time to look at any insurance in place to protect members of staff and the business against financial loss resulting from the death or long-term absence of an employee. There’s nothing worse than wanting to support a worker or their family in these circumstances but not having the funds to do so.
Awareness of the impact of the pandemic has ensured that employees are looking for peace of mind that they and their family will be supported financially if the worst happens. So it makes good sense to generate some for both the business and its people by putting solutions in place which answer these questions, thus removing some of the mystery around what is there for when the unthinkable happens.
3. Choose to be a nurturing employer
Three quarters (73 per cent) of employers believe the pandemic will mean long-term changes in the way they support the health and wellbeing of staff, with 71 per cent of employers believing the pandemic will mean a continued uplift in checking in with staff as a way to support them.
Being a caring, nurturing employer should always be a priority but employers really do need to walk the walk
Everyone benefits from a caring and supportive employer, and this has been especially highlighted by the pandemic. It’s by no means a new concept that a valued employee will be engaged and productive which, in turn, is good for business.
Employers who take this approach already will have little to fear from the current ‘Great Resignation’. However, thinking the unthinkable, furlough and new ways of working have resulted in employees re-evaluating what they want out of life and work, and they may look for work elsewhere within a more supportive environment. if they don’t see their employer as having been particularly supportive during the pandemic.
4. Walk the walk
Being a caring, nurturing employer should always be a priority but employers really do need to walk the walk at the moment to ensure they don’t lose key staff. Employers looking for painless way to be more supportive would do well to explore the additional help and support that’s included within any existing benefits.
For example, insured group risk benefits (employer-sponsored life assurance, income protection and critical illness benefits) have embedded services such as an Employee Assistance Programme, HR and line manager advice, online GP services, second medical opinion services and physical and mental health apps. These types of support can be used by employees, line managers and HRs every day and saw exponential increases in interactions during 2020 and 2021.
If employees are pointed in the right direction and communications are little and often, then they remember to use the support and help when they most need it
5. Shout it out
When a business has put measures in place to both protect and nurture its staff, it needs to shout it out using a bold communications strategy so that staff can derive maximum benefit from everything that has been put in place for them. This can generate a virtuous circle by driving engagement and appreciation which then aids productivity, attraction and retention.
If employees are pointed in the right direction and communications are little and often, then they remember to use the support and help when they most need it. Colleagues will also be prompted to remind others of what help is there for them too.
Developing an external communications strategy on top of this can also be useful in winning the attention of an organisation’s next generation of employees and in attracting those who might not have felt supported and nurtured by their current employer.
We all hoped to be heading into the new year without the ongoing threat of the Covd-19 virus but it looks like we’re still in for a bumpy ride in 2022. Nothing says ‘We’ve got your back’ better than drip-feeding out reminders about a protective, supportive and relevant benefits package that can get people through the toughest of times.
Interested in this topic? Read The power of a fresh start: How HR can energise employees for 2022.
Katharine Moxham is the spokesperson for Group Risk Development (GRiD), a position she’s held exclusively since May 2009. Katharine regularly contributes to industry and business publications and debate and has actively raised the profile of the group risk industry with the media and business organisations.
Prior to joining GRiD, she...