Support the Whole Employee – Including Quality of Life

from Leslie Tarnacki

We’ve seen an almost overnight shift in the way people work and a shift in the balance of power from employers to employees. This is especially true in hard-hit industries like healthcare, retail and hospitality, where the business is the people and without whom there is no ability to meet the customer’s needs.

To attract and retain employees, businesses are required to support the whole employee and deliver a new employee value proposition. That is forcing companies to look beyond traditional benefit options to meet individual employee needs.

One notable change in businesses across industries is that, in addition to considering corporate workers, they’re taking a closer look at how they can support their deskless workers. These workers make up 80% of the global workforce and play an essential role in many industries.

Despite their significance, deskless workers have traditionally been overlooked in company initiatives and technology investments. As employers struggle with ongoing worker shortages, they are evaluating deskless employees’ needs and seeking new workplace benefits and practices to address them.

Another noteworthy change in workforces across industries is employees are prioritizing work/life balance. We can expect this to continue, even as our work and personal lives inch closer to normal. As people continue to prioritize their overall wellness, businesses will need to provide healthcare and wellness benefits that help workers improve their overall quality of life.

Allow Flexibility to Make Health & Wellness a Priority

At WorkForce Software, we’ve found that flexibility is key. Our latest study found that most managers and employees agree that schedule flexibility is essential to job satisfaction. Seventy-nine percent of employees surveyed say they would prefer an organization that offered more flexibility over one that did not.

We encourage employees to step away, take time to take care of themselves properly, and return to complete their work at a time that works for them. That reduces a lot of their stress, especially when they’re ill; shows that we bring a human element to our teams; and builds culture by giving people more control and a vote of confidence. And they come back to work refreshed and more productive.

In addition to encouraging flexibility, I also suggest that companies prepare to engage in benefits conversations year-round, if they aren’t already doing so. This can be done simply through email updates, and organizations can also create additional touchpoints via webinars, lunch and learns, and virtual Q&A sessions. By sustaining awareness of the company’s healthcare offerings, they’re reinforcing that their employees’ health and wellness are a priority. 

Whole-Person Care and Personal Connections

Healthcare has consistently been one of the top benefits job seekers look for when searching for lucrative jobs. This may be obvious, but it is so crucial that HR leaders ensure their business provides competitive, thorough health and wellness benefits packages to their employees. We are heading into the third year of the pandemic. Health and wellness benefits are still top of mind for employees, so they need to be top of mind for employers as well. When companies prioritize the well-being of their employees and provide health benefits like whole-person care, they show their employees that they appreciate them and support them as a whole person, in addition to supporting their productivity and job satisfaction. Healthcare offerings are effective in retaining talent, as these benefits are seen by employees as something of real value.

I also believe that personal connections between employers and their employees will be more important than ever in the post-pandemic world. We can expect staffing to get leaner amid ongoing worker shortages, and interactions with employees — especially those that involve asking for feedback, managing fatigue and intervening to prevent burnout before it happens — will continue to be valuable for a positive employee experience and better business outcomes. The new normal will demand more personal connections, and empathy will emerge as one of the most important post-pandemic leadership skills. 

Leslie Tarnacki brings more than 22 years of executive level HR experience to her roles senior vice president of human resources at WorkForce Software, the first global provider of workforce management solutions with integrated employee experience capabilities. where she is responsible for all global HR functions, from talent acquisition and onboarding to organizational development and succession planning.

See the full story: Ever-Changing Healthcare – The new impact healthcare is having on our companies and their people

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