HR teams worldwide have been weathering storm after storm in the past few years: from a global pandemic to the current economic downturn. As we plan for another unpredictable year, focusing on employee resilience can offer HR teams a controllable variable in an uncontrollable world.
The impact of prioritizing employee resilience not only bolsters employee satisfaction and engagement but can have a direct impact on your bottom line. In fact, Colonial Life found that 41% of workers reported being less productive due to workplace stress, 33% were less engaged, and 15% admitted to looking for a new job.
When it rains, it pours, but with the right plan in place, HR teams can plan for sunnier days ahead. Here are five ways People-Ops teams can build more resilient teams.
1. Prioritize Mental Health Support
Acknowledging the impact of world events on your employees' engagement, productivity, and satisfaction is the first step to building stronger teams. Deloitte research in Canada found that organizations with mental health programs in place for one year had a median annual ROI of $1.62 for every dollar invested.
So, not only will prioritizing mental health at work create stronger teams and reduce burnout, it will help support your bottom line.
Tangible tip: More than half of employees reportedly don’t use all of their vacation time which can exacerbate feelings of burnout. Empower managers to check in on their direct reports in one on ones and encourage them to take a vacation if they’re underutilizing the benefit.
2. Promote Wellness at Work
When employees aren't feeling their best physically, we can’t expect them to bring their best selves to work. Companies with highly successful health initiatives generate 11% more revenue per employee. Even if you think your organization has a robust wellness program, survey your employees on how the program could be improved, easier to understand, or more inclusive. More on inclusive benefits in the next section…
Tangible tip: Introduce an annual wellness stipend for employees to spend on supplementary wellness-enhancing items or activities like yoga classes, athletic clothes, or meditation app subscriptions. Yes, you’ll have to set aside funds to do this, but investing in your team pays dividends.
3. Create Equitable Access to Benefits
Benefit equity is an important lever for HR teams looking to increase organizational resilience. Employees’ ability to take care of their mental and physical health is paramount to the success of your organization. Addressing equitable benefits starts by letting go of any assumptions you have about who is using the benefits you’re offering and why.
Then, you can move on to asking your team if you’re offering enough benefit choices to meet their needs. In order for employees to fully utilize their benefits, they first have to understand them. Tools like Bennie are great solutions for HR teams who want to make benefits less complex and more accessible.
Consider the scenario of a lower-income employee. You might be offering benefits to them that aren’t accessible with their salary range. Some companies have counteracted this issue by tiering the cost of benefits for employees based on their salary ranges to make essential benefits accessible to all.
As we continue to embrace remote work, you may also have to think about the employees in rural areas with fewer in-person healthcare options available. Does your benefits program offer telemedicine services or compensate employees for travel if they have to trek further for primary care?
Tangible tip: Conduct a focus group or survey asking employees what you could do to make benefits more equitable. Here are a few sample questions to get you started:
- Which benefits do you value the most?
- Are [company name]’s benefits competitive with other companies you’ve heard of?
- Which benefits would you like to see our organization offer?
4. Practice Transparency
Transparency can serve as a powerful antidote to the anxiety of uncertain times. A study by Leadership IQ found that when management teams were visible, approachable, and candid about layoffs and post-layoff structure, employees were 72% less likely to lose productivity.
The same workers were also 65% less likely to report a decline in the quality of their company’s products or services if they considered their managers visible, approachable, and honest. When business decisions are made with empathy and transparency, employees are far more likely to trust leadership and feel a greater sense of psychological safety.
Tangible tip: Share the reasons behind financial decisions and empower teams to come up with money-saving initiatives that will impact your company’s bottom line.
5. Start Recognizing Your Employees
Employee recognition is a powerful tool to power your people through uncertain times. In a recent survey, Bonusly found that 72% of customers said that Bonusly improved employee morale. Expressing gratitude and embracing a positive outlook can enable teams to recover from setbacks, adapt well to change, and keep going in the face of adversity.
Tangible tip: Effective recognition is timely, specific, visible, inclusive, and values-based. Consider these best practices when building out your own program. When evaluating a tool for your rewards and recognition program, look for a peer-to-peer recognition solution with powerful people analytics, integrations with your favorite tools, and the ability to connect recognition back to your company values.
Time to Take Action
Though this is the end of this blog post, it’s only the beginning of your journey to build more resilient teams. Get started today by scheduling time with an employee engagement expert to learn how Bonusly can help build stronger teams. We hope these tips and tools help transform your team from experiencing a perfect storm to enjoying an unexpected windfall.