These past two years have formed an unprecedented time in our world, not only for individuals but for businesses as well. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, as an executive, you have to concern yourself with planning out strategies to alleviate and solve obstacles related to inflation, supply chain disruptions and staffing issues — and that’s just on the business side.
As recent trends have shown us, it is equally important to consider the aspect of what is often referred to as your company’s human capital: your workforce, employees or team members, both those currently on staff and those you hope to hire.
After all, they are the lifeblood of your company. Like you, they have had to combat a multitude of stressors that have been accentuated and exacerbated by the drastic adaptations caused by the pandemic. These issues include isolation, anxiety and depression, and they can all take a serious toll on the overall psyche, commitment and productivity of your workforce.
So how do you provide the long-term resources and benefits that attract the workforce talent your company and current team needs without adversely affecting the overall operations of the business itself? It is not an easy answer, but there are several aspects to consider for the present and the near future.
Encourage Mental Health And Work-Life Balance
A company needs to look at every one of its employees from a holistic perspective, recognizing that every person who is a part of the team is a multidimensional individual who also represents one link in a much larger chain. Given this, it is imperative to provide the resources necessary for employees — both current and prospective — to function at their best, regardless of them working in person or remote.
For starters, companies can encourage employees to regularly schedule five minutes out of every hour to get up and partake in some type of movement to get the blood flowing, even if it is just walking through the rooms of one’s home or the halls of the office. Furthermore, a short walk outdoors could help employees regain focus, stimulate their creativity and improve their mood. Employers can also allow employees to schedule regular personal activities, such as reading or yoga, even if they’re simple activities that can be done by their workstations.
When it comes to maintaining the mental health of employees, companies can promote or enhance no-cost counseling initiatives such as employee assistance programs (EAP). Employers could also provide free membership to a variety of guided meditations apps and services that offer an outlet to calm down or an outlet to fall asleep at night in order to encourage adequate and restful sleep.
For employees working from home, it is important as leaders to place an emphasis on unplugging from work duties when possible to do so. Not only can it help with physical and mental health but it can also reduce the feelings of burnout.
Create A Sense of Structure And Unity
When employees do not take breaks from work and let their personal lives freely intermingle with work tasks, a destructive sense of chaos can grow without the traditional structures in place from which they relied on to have a sense of balance, such as a morning commute or quietly sitting in one’s office for a few minutes. So, define these expectations within your company.
And just as important as it is to attempt to promote the need for a more defined barrier between work and home life, company leaders need to maintain consistent, clear communication to all employees in planned intervals, which adds to the overall sense of structure.
Working with an internal communications team or other related team members, executives need to instill hope and vision of the future through their words to create a sense of collaboration and connectedness (even when not able to do so physically) and stability when everything seems to be out of place.
Furthermore, emphasize that the communication platform is a two-way street in which employee feedback is welcomed and even encouraged through a series of surveys to get a better gauge for what is needed for their betterment and that of the company. Employees should feel comfortable and knowledgeable about where to send any questions they might have, whether that is to someone on the HR team or another team member.
Strive For An Equitable Work Environment
Another aspect of clear communication and collaboration is ensuring that the business is treating all employees fairly and respectively by working toward a more equitable work environment and overall compensation structure. HR and payroll departments should work together to regularly audit and review their own operations, identifying any irregularities with salary, bonuses, benefits or other factors that might unfairly favor some employees.
If a payroll department makes its information available to the HR department, the business is better able to make objective and informed observations about the trends they notice. Of course, salaries and benefits such as vacation or stock options could depend on a variety of factors. But it’s up to the company to determine where things could be more equitable whenever possible and that pay or benefits aren’t simply differing because of factors such as gender or race.
This helps to not only raise the workforce morale but to also earn a better reputation among candidates and be able to provide more competitive and satisfying compensation.
By working together to maximize each department’s roles and share the right tools and communication, HR and payroll teams can create fairer, more efficient and accurate processes that will have a positive impact on their organization and their employees’ experiences.
Ideally, this partnership can maximize the time both departments can spend helping their teams while simultaneously minimizing administrative effort or risks. That makes for a more productive and sustainable work environment, which is what every business leader is hoping to cultivate.