Are You Offering Well-​Being Support to Your Employees?

BY Kathy Crosett
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Did you know that nearly one in three of your millennial workers is likely suffering from either anxiety or depression? This statistic is from Psychology Today. It also appeared in a column on LifeWorks by Morneau Shepell. The company recently surveyed CEOs to determine their attitudes about employee well-​being. Maintaining a healthy and productive workforce is key if your organization is to meet its goals. Here’s what you need to know about offering well-​being benefits to your employees.

Asking Employers for Help

Previous generations of employees suffered stress silently for the most part. They tried to hide any personal or emotional problem they were having from their bosses. Members of the millennial generation believe differently. They openly discuss the issues they’re having. 

LifeWorks research also shows that employees expect assistance from their employers. Millennials consciously seek out employment at organizations with robust employee-​assistance programs. To stay competitive in the marketplace, introduce this kind of program as a new benefit if you don’t already have one. In addition, promote the availability of your employee-​assistance program during your recruitment process.

Offer Flexibility

We all know that work-​life balance is key to a robust and engaged workforce. Part of work-​life balance means giving employees the flexibility to work when and where they want to. Some organizations have also shifted to allowing people to work only the hours needed in order to complete their tasks.

Another part of the balance equation centers on the features you offer in your well-​being program. Some employees may take advantage of discounted health club memberships. Other employees will seek guidance and advice on how to manage their eldercare issues. 

You’ll also find that some employees want to interact with the well-​being knowledge base or staff members during their nonworking hours. And they might prefer to have interpersonal exchanges via text messages or video chat, instead of in-​person meetings. 

Training Managers

Executives in the LifeWorks study strongly supported the need for well-​being programs in the workplace. But they often aren’t sure of how the programs should work. Developing a culture that encourages the use of these programs is a good first step.

Managers should regularly remind employees that these programs are available. Employees always appreciate hearing updates from the HR department. But when a direct supervisor talks about a new wellness feature in a one-​on-​one meeting, employees might be more likely to listen. They’ll understand that the manager won’t penalize them for using the well-​being program. And if managers describe how they’ve used a feature or two of the program, employees will realize that the organization supports them.

The latest research from Gallup reveals 67% of employees feel burned out at work. You can head off the costs related to burnout — sick days taken, lack of engagement, and turnover — by offering well-​being programs and encouraging team members to use them.