I think it’s fair to say that 2020 has taken us all on a roller-coaster ride. Due to the pandemic, things have been changing rapidly and we have no option but to adapt.
We can all agree that it has not been easy. The pandemic has affected us on both fronts - personally and professionally - blurring the important lines and making it difficult to maintain a work-life balance. Employees and employers alike have had to start working from home; which has brought along with it a plethora of challenges. Similarly, those who couldn’t work from home had to bring about significant changes in their workflows. People are juggling multiple tasks simultaneously. Suffice it to say that employees are overwhelmed and are looking for support.
A company’s long-term success and growth is in direct correlation with employee happiness. A Glassdoor survey states that 87% of employees expect their employers to support them in maintaining a work-life balance. Similarly, a report by the American Psychological Association states that 89% of employees promote their company as a good place of work if the company supports employee wellbeing initiatives. Companies need to take this opportunity and be mindful of their employees’ wellbeing now more than ever before.
Companies are trying to future-proof the workplace by introducing long term policies to fight any uncertainty. So, ask a question before making any changes - How will these changes affect the employees? Will it make their lives easier? Are you doing everything to support your employees?
Here are some employee wellbeing strategies adopted by ICE Group that will go a long way in having a positive effect on productivity and retention:
A big part of maintaining employee well-being is having a robust communication system in place. The new normal has widened the online communication platforms used by ICE Group. These platforms are utilized to be proactive in giving feedback and strengthen internal communications. This is the time when those words of appreciation should take a lead and guide the company through these difficult times. I have been working from India since March and have never felt disconnected from anything happening in the Galway office.
At ICE Group, we do a daily catch-up session with all our team members. Everyone stands in a room adhering to social distancing norms and I take part in it virtually. Engagement is encouraged to address issues at an early stage which helps in improving life at work. ICE believes that the key to gain trust and loyalty of the employees is through engaging with them while developing and implementing new policies. A culture where employees are comfortable talking about issues that can hinder their work process without fear of judgment or retaliation is promoted.
Transparency & Flexibility
ICE encourages an environment of openness and trust. To endorse that culture, complete transparency about the ongoing and upcoming changes in the workplace is practised. Like all other companies, ICE had to adapt very quickly with the changing circumstances. Employees were given space to adapt the change and get back into their grooves. Along with successfully continuing the 4-Day Week policy. Honestly, what’s better than a 3 day weekend!
People spend almost 85,000 hours of their life at work. Providing them with an environment that supports their physical and mental health will be a step closer to continuous success. The world is changing, and today’s generation cannot be motivated by just money. Companies need to take a step forward to create a culture that embraces the needs of their human capital - the most valuable asset.