In recent times headlines like “600 employees let off by xyz - company”,”6600 jobs cut in India”, “travel industry worst hit after 2019”, have been doing rounds, and they aren’t surprising anymore.
Many of us are avoiding watching news or reading it online. Although people directly involved can hardly avoid it. How can they cope with uncertainties? What does the future hold for them, in times when economy is sluggish? All these questions have added a huge responsibility in the hands of the HR function of organizations all around the globe, taking care of ‘Employee Wellness’.
In times of cut throat competition due to globalisation, we tend to overlook a pretty wide line between our personal & professional lives. Incentive based growth drives us blindly in the direction of unnecessary stress. Even a minor setback in our career makes us feel worthless because of the apparent absence of work life balance. Looking at it from another perspective, if you sit down to have dinner at home, and your food isn’t great, as certain ingredient proportions are not according to your taste, you still finish it. Similarly, our professional lives are an element of the entirety of our lives. You have got to eat the dish and make it better the next time.
Employees today are certainly not alone in this process, as the HR team emphasizes more and more on mental wellness these days through organising myriad of programs. For example, Union Pacific offers a smoking cessation program that consists of lifestyle coaching, as well as pharmacological assistance, to their team members. This program has led to a massive change in reducing and in many cases, putting a stop to the smoking habits of their employees.Another great example is that of Google which is known for the healthy work environment that they create for their employees. As far as reducing stress of the employees is concerned, Google offers paramedical services, like massage therapy, to their team members while they’re at work.
Accenture too provides confidential support for issues like stress, substance abuse, depression, and anxiety to their employees. These are just a few of the many organisations working on Emotional Wellness of Employees. More importantly, these organisations were putting efforts even before the Covid -19 situation existed. Yoga sessions, fitness centres, meditation hours are some common examples. Now post Covd-19, such practices have become the need of the hour.
While it is still early days but it seems, more and more people have started accepting mental health as an area of focus and are working on it as part of their daily routine. Mind valley is one of the biggest online platforms which provides counselling sessions and motivational programs. YourDOST is another such platform. Further, meditation apps, soothing music apps, & podcasts, are some ways through which people nurture their minds.“A happy employee is a productive employee”, has been understood deeply not only in terms of monetary pleasures but also the mental peace of an employee, as a stressed mind not only affects an employee, leads to poor productivity and increased human error. Which eventually hinders the growth of the organisation.
Ensuring Employee Wellness is not a ‘good to have’ anymore, it is a ‘must have’ for growth focused organizations.