The current lockdown has brought out the best in the British public. There’s a home front camaraderie as we all stand together and cheer on our NHS and key workers. It’s given us all a new appreciation for communities up and down the country, and this carries over into our work lives.
We’re more appreciative of the staff who are going above and beyond to keep our businesses moving, despite the massive upheaval. With this in mind, the organisations who lead with purpose and stay committed to their staff will be the ones we remember when all this is over. They are the ones actively trying to build their staff up, feeding into their wider organisation’s wellbeing, education, and economic growth and making themselves a stronger, more socially valuable business in the process.
This situation has made us more isolated than ever before, which is why we shouldn’t let employee wellbeing fall to the wayside. Here are three ways you can still have a positive impact on your staff.
Training and development
What was once a staple of many organisations is now sitting on the backburner. Put simply, the money might not be there to deliver your usual training initiatives. It’s an unfortunate circumstance but instead of focusing on what you can’t do, look to what you can do.
Training has always been a vital way of adding value to an employee’s work life. By building on their education, you can develop their skills and help create an ever-evolving workforce to improve individual lives and help the economy thrive. This hits some of the UN’s SDGs, namely number four, quality education, and number eight, decent work and economic growth.
So how can you continue to provide this quality education? There are solutions available to make training and collaboration easy over distance. For example, an interactive whiteboard is a perfect space for teams wanting to offer training and much more refreshing experience than Google Slides and zoom. One we’ve been using for our Impact:Sprint workshops is Mural.
Many people’s homes have become a blend of work and family life, which is why remaining flexible is so important. After this is over, 45% of people expect permanent changes to flexible working so it’s worth thinking about what this might mean for your organisation now.
It will present an interesting quandary for businesses – now they’ve had a taste of it, how do you get people to come back into the office? It might not be as great a challenge as many expect – a significant portion of us (30%) are feeling the lonely effects of isolation. Some people are getting tired of being stuck at home and will be raring to get back into the office, whereas others may be coming to realise that flexible working is the perfect fit for them.
By offering flexibility as things return to normal, you allow your staff to make their work fit around their lives rather than the other way around. You can encourage staff to do what suits them best, leading to better productivity, employee satisfaction, and lower staff turnover. This also feeds into their mental health and encourages a healthy balance of work and life.
Being open-minded, understanding, and flexible is how your organisation can create a balanced work environment that puts mental health on the pedestal it deserves. This fits into another SDG: number three, improving your staff’s wellbeing.
Look out for your staff
Following on from this, between mental health struggles, burnout, and navigating a work-life balance, there are plenty of reasons your workforce could be silently struggling. Go one step further in supporting your staff and, where possible, offer education and support on good work habits and ways to balance productivity with self-care. You can also look into mental health first aiders, an initiative that seeks to push the topic of mental health even further into the spotlight.
In this lockdown, this invisible enemy becomes all the more elusive. Early studies are showing an increase in anxiety and depression across the UK so you need to be keenly aware of the signs in your team. Offering an open door and an honest discussion is a start. Some companies are weaving ideas into their working days – from coffee sessions to yoga and mindfulness practice, it’s about acknowledging and sharing the burden of this situation.
These are all issues you would have thought about pre-crisis, but in this new world, you can’t let them fall down your list of priorities. Yes, keeping the business afloat and finding money are all chief concerns, but if staff wellbeing was a key issue before, it should be even more so now.
Mental health and wellbeing will be problems that persist beyond the lockdown. Many are predicting we will feel the shock wave for years to come. By paying attention to employee wellbeing, you directly affect your triple bottom line and hit a number of valuable SDGs. We can build upon a solid foundation of good health and wellbeing, continue to push quality education, and feed into economic growth, for yourself and the wider world.
It creates a stronger workforce, which positively affects your profits, that much is obvious. But it also helps your social initiatives and ticks multiple boxes on your path to generating social value, such as those mentioned above. And by doing what you can for your staff, you help in our pursuit of creating a world where we can all thrive.
What will also be key is how you quantify what you do. If you are making a difference, shout from the rooftops about it – prove you are what you claim to be.
Monitoring and tracking such nebulous data can seem an impossible task, but our COVID-19 social impact calculator shows it doesn’t have to be so hard. Turning your quality actions into tangible proof shows you, your staff, your customers, and your investors that this is more than lip service.
You can also one step further and use a measurement framework such as the UN’s SDGs to trace your efforts and results when it comes to employee wellbeing and satisfaction. A happy, healthy, and committed workforce is a significant part of an organisation’s appeal to both potential employees, customers, and investors, making it an essential piece of non-financial data to follow.
At Impact, we provide a way to collect, analyse, and report on your organisation’s non-financial data, including employee satisfaction. Our platform does all the heavy lifting for you, including conversions and outputs. With simple processes and an easy to access and understand interface, getting the insights you need has never been easier. If you’d like to find out more or have any questions, get in touch on 0161 532 4752.