Curating the week in wellness Nov. 15–19, 2021: Tying wellness to retention, celebrating ‘invisible’ employees, and more

The week’s essential content for those dedicated to employee well-being.

By Robby Brumberg      @robbybrumberg      
How well-being ties to retention

Hello, wellness pros!

We hope you find this collection of thought-provoking articles, tips and takeaways edifying and empowering.

Please get in touch with any ideas, suggestions or feedback on how we can serve you better or cover topics that are top-of-mind at your organization. Email: kaceyl@ragan.com.

1. How well-being ties to retention.

As “The Great Resignation” rages on, full steam ahead, People Matters shares a timely piece about the inextricable link between wellness and retention. As the piece notes, “More than 50% of organizations have difficulty retaining some of their most valued employee groups since most are open to new job opportunities with better pay and additional benefits,” which means companies must be proactive to keep workers on board.

How? Well, beefing up benefits is a good start. The article says, “72% of employees feel that having more work benefits would increase job satisfaction,” adding that you must go beyond the basics to provide more substantive perks. This might include more robust telehealth access, discounted medicine and childcare stipends, for example.

Before settling on specific offerings, make sure you frequently gather feedback to ensure you’re providing what employees actually want. That’s the key to boosting retention and staff morale right now—and the surest way to endure the continuing chaos wrought by “The Great Resignation.”

Beyond retention, you might also consider adding staff well-being as a KPI. It’s high time companies walk the talk on staff wellness and enshrine worker well-being as an essential component of a healthy bottom line.

2. How to spot—and thwart—burnout.

Fast Company offers four science-backed signs of burnout, which include:

  • Lack of motivation
  • Lack of resilience
  • An uptick in bad interactions
  • Inability to make decisions

How can you fend off impending burnout? Fast Company says working with a therapist or coach can help. The piece closes with three reasons to consider reaching out for help:

“First, if you are dealing with a more general depression, changing jobs alone is unlikely to be the cure. Second, even if a job change is needed, there may be some skills that you need to develop that will help you to be successful in a new position. Third, a good coach can help you decide whether the best change for you is to look for another job in the same industry or whether a more significant change in your career path is needed. Finally, burnout can put a stress on your relationships. By engaging with a therapist or coach, you’re lightening some of the burden your loved ones may feel to help you get better.”

3. As the pandemic wears on, companies beef up mental health offerings.

KFF reports that companies are stepping up with more robust coverage—and employees are taking full advantage. The piece reveals:

At companies with at least 50 workers, 39% have made such changes [to benefits], including:

  • 31% increased the ways employees can tap into mental health services, such as telemedicine.
  • 16% offered employee assistance programs or other new resources for mental health.
  • 6% expanded access to in-network mental health providers.
  • 4% reduced cost sharing for such visits.
  • 3% increased coverage for out-of-network services.

KFF’s data also shows that “38% of the largest companies with 1,000 or more workers reported that their workers used more mental health services in 2021 than the year before, while 12% of companies with at least 50 workers said their workers upped their use of mental health services.”

Is your company offering enhanced benefits to help bolster employee resilience during this stressful season? If you’re not, you could be fueling turnover instead of retention.

4. A roundup of reports on sustainability updates, DE&I progress and ESG initiatives.

For a bit of inspiration on demonstrating your company’s sustainability activities or philanthropic ventures, have a look at these recent reports:

5. How to create a culture of open dialogue, trust and transparency.

Forbes offers 15 tips, including:

  • Build a culture based on courage and integrity.
  • Model what teamwork looks like in practice.
  • Have a sense of boundaries for yourself and others.
  • Be curious about team members’ opinions.
  • Model the behavior(s) you want to nurture.
  • Host “AMA” sessions for deeper dialogue.
  • Provide accessible avenues for reporting issues.
  • Set up regular one-on-ones.

6. Five crucial questions to ask about financial wellness.

HR Reporter says to formulate better, more effective financial well-being programs, start by asking:

  • What does financial wellness mean for our specific workers?
  • Why should we, as a company, care about our employees’ financial wellness?
  • How can an employer benefit from employees who are financially healthy?
  • How do employees who are financially unwell affect the workplace?
  • How, specifically, can our company support our employees’ financial wellness in a sustainable, long-term manner?

Aside from being the right thing to do, EBN notes that offering financial wellness programs can be a bulwark against the massive wave of resignations that continue sweeping the nation. If you’re not stepping up to provide these perks, your competitors will.

7. Don’t neglect the DE&I basics.

HR Dive offers a sobering reminder that just “51% of talent leaders surveyed by SmartRecruiters said they don’t have a process for setting diverse hiring goals.”

Furthermore:

“Only 31% of companies surveyed said they use structured interviews and 21% use assessments to evaluate candidate competencies. Internal applicants to jobs may also be an ignored aspect of diverse hiring; less than 15% of those surveyed said they scrub identifying factors from internal applicants to minimize bias from hiring managers.”

What’s missing? Structure, clear objectives and accountability, just to name a few glaring gaps. HR Dive continues:

“To advance DE&I, companies need to make it a business function and not just an aspect of HR programming, a February report by Josh Bersin analysts found. Often, DE&I is seen more as a compliance issue rather than a talent lever; ‘roughly 80% of companies are just going through the motions and not holding themselves accountable,’ according to the report.”  

8. Celebrating your ‘invisible’ employees.

Inc. offers a reminder that some of your most important workers aren’t always the most visible—or vocal. These are the folks who let their work do the talking, and who tend to reduce stress rather than create it.

Inc. explains:

“While you can’t add “Reduces My Stress” as a formal category on your employee appraisal forms, you should consider that attribute when you evaluate your employees. Why? Any employee who scores high on your informal stress-elimination scale is likely to be a ‘quiet’ performer: one who consistently does her job extremely well. Who always works well with others. Who never seeks credit for going above and beyond. Who is so good, she’s almost invisible. Except, now, to you.”

9. Supporting women in our new workplace environment.

Forbes lists 16 “Superwoman myths to dispel” to ensure your workplace is more supportive toward women. The myths include:

  • Perfect work/life balance exists.
  • There’s a benchmark women must reach.
  • Women need to be all things to all people.
  • Women leaders should be perfect.
  • There is only one way to lead.
  • Women have to choose between a career and a family.
  • Women will be happier if they keep doing more.