This time of year – especially post-Christmas – is always a time when the winter blues can seep into your organisation. It’s fair to say that this year the impact on staff engagement and motivation will be worse. The pandemic hampered the usual season of goodwill and celebration, and further lockdowns and restrictions are set to continue into 2021. This, when coupled with the consequent change and disruption in the workplace, means organisation’s must make an extra effort to boost and protect employee wellbeing.

A wellbeing strategy fit for the new normal

Existing wellbeing strategies are no longer equipped to address the needs of today’s workforce. While everyone has been affected by the same pandemic, the impact and our experiences have been unique. Some employees are optimistic about starting a new year, while those who were unable to see loved ones or get some quality R&R are starting the year in a lower mood than usual.

To deliver an effective wellbeing strategy with longevity, organisation’s must consider a holistic, multi-faceted approach to address social, financial, physical and mental wellbeing. In each area, the support offered needs to be hyperpersonal and flexible to match the individual requirements of each employee.

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Remote employees will not be back in the workplace any time soon, so employers must invest in wellbeing initiatives that proactively reach out to them wherever they are. While a wellbeing strategy is important in any organisation, the level of success and engagement of it comes from the commitment of leadership to develop and maintain a culture of resilience across the company. They must lead by example, encourage feedback, foster open communications and provide relevant and meaningful resources.

Employee benefits and wellbeing go hand in hand

Employee benefit programmes can enhance wellbeing, however they are currently underutilised as many have not been revised in light of the pandemic. In our recent survey we found that 1 in 5 employees do not find their benefits relevant. If reviewed and updated, such benefit programmes can provide a much-needed incentive and support outlet for employee wellbeing.

Now, more than ever, HR must take the lead and help their organisation avoid a New Year dip as employees return to work, but still not to normal. Revising or even creating a wellbeing strategy to ensure your benefit programmes, policies and support are fit for purpose will help your workforce feel motivated and engaged throughout 2021 and beyond.

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