Employees have had a very unsettled time recently. The New Year is a good opportunity to re-set and to offer staff the boost they need to be able to face 2022 with a positive and productive outlook, as Brett Hill, distribution director at Towergate Health & Protection, explains…
Employees have suffered from lack of routine and stability over the last few months and even years. The New Year provides employers with an opportunity to use their health and wellbeing support to assist employees in getting back to normality. Work is good for us. Under the right conditions, it is a positive experience that brings drive and focus to our lives. Instilling the right mind-set and ensuring the right health and wellbeing support is in place will help facilitate this.”
Many employees would have felt isolated over the Christmas break. Now is an opportunity to build a sense of community at work – whether virtually or in person. Encourage team events, and help employees build good relationships.
Fit for work
People are often keen to start new health and fitness routines in January and, with the right options and support, this is something that they can continue throughout the whole year. There are lots of simple but effective fitness apps available that can help employees to introduce and maintain healthier behaviours.
Healthy body, healthy mind
Implementing healthy lifestyle support can have a much more holistic outcome. Physical health is strongly linked to mental health, and being physically fit can help employees to deal with mental pressures.
Direct mental health support
Mental health support can also be offered more directly. This may be as simple as introducing mindfulness sessions or may involve offering mental health training and resilience courses. While prevention is the best option when it comes to mental health issues, if employees are already suffering from depression or anxiety there are many ways to introduce more specific support, whether through an employee assistance programme or as standalone assistance.
Removing the fear
The pandemic has brought health concerns to the fore, and employees may be worried about not just Covid but also postponed medical appointments leading to missed diagnoses. Implementing health screening is an inexpensive and effective way for employees to feel in control of their own medical concerns, and early diagnosis and treatment is the best way to provide better health outcomes.
For those who have missed check-ups or had trouble getting access to their own GP during the pandemic, virtual GPs are a simple option for looking after employee health.
Consider financial concerns
Particularly after the expense of Christmas, many staff may have concerns over their financial situation. This can influence their focus and mental wellbeing. There are online financial awareness and support tools, such as the Money Helper website, and financial education programmes that could be offered. Employee assistance programmes (EAPs) will often provide access to debt counselling and support.
It is all about making employees feel in control – of their physical, mental, financial and social health, which will all help their overall wellbeing. If an employer can help to alleviate these concerns, then they will be rewarded with a more focussed and productive workforce.