We’re at the end of Stress Awareness month and there’s enough happening already to make us all feel stressed. The war in Ukraine, Covid and the Cost of Living Crisis to name just an important few. Then add the stress of normal family life and work into the mix. That’s a lot of stress for people to carry with them. What can HR do to help employees cope in stressful times?
Support Mental Wellbeing
Give employees access to a range of employee benefits which they can turn to when they need help with their own emotional and mental health. An Employee Assistance Programme should be at the core of the offering. This gives employees access to confidential telephone counselling support when they need it most, for wellbeing, legal and financial issues. We include this for free with all of our standard BenefitHut® builds as we recognise how it important it is.
Offering an app as a benefit to teach good mental health, mindfulness and meditation practices will also help employees build resilience to cope with stressful situations.
Also consider training up a number of mental health first aiders in the workplace. They can be on hand to spot signs of an employee struggling and then signpost them to the different forms of support.
Help with the cost of living
Inflation has hit the highest in 30 years and we are all struggling with the rising cost of living. Offer a discount programme to help employees mitigate some of these costs. Discounts on regular essentials such as supermarkets, home insurance and car insurance can make quite a difference over the course of a year. Some of our employees are saving more than £600 a year with the clever use of their discounts portal, which goes a long way to offset their increased energy costs, for example. We are currently running a campaign with our clients called #makeyourpaygofurther. It’s designed to highlight how to make the best use of discounts on their portal. Regular communication of the discounts available and how to make the greatest savings is key.
Develop a community spirit
Watercooler moments are few and far between with employees working in a hybrid way. Which is a shame as that’s where all the gossip is to be had! It’s also where people form friendships and that sense of community.
In LinkedIn’s latest league table of ‘Great Places to Work’ one of the key themes coming through was a ‘sense of belonging amongst employees’.
Consider having an online recognition scheme where employees get to give their fellow colleagues a public high-five. It creates a collaborative culture where employees get to feel good and feel part of a community, wherever they are based. Our recognition module allows you to set company values which employees can recognise their colleagues against eg Going that extra mile or Supporting sustainability. You then get to give perks against those recognitions.
According to recent research* one in three UK workers believes that they will experience burnout at some point. With everything going on in the world and theme of this year’s Stress Awareness month being “Community”, let’s put a protective arm around our employees and ensure we do everything we can to help them in stressful times.
*research by Asana