In a word, now. Over the past year, we’ve learned that employees depend on employer support to help them not just cope with periods of change and uncertainty, but to maintain their daily, whole-person wellbeing. The transition back to the office and into post-pandemic workplace norms is going to reveal additional challenges — and opportunities to take employee wellbeing to the next level.
The pandemic opened our eyes to the harsh realities of employees’ work/life, particularly in the realm of mental health, and there’s no looking back. Wellbeing solutions are essential for enabling employees to manage stress and handle life, and can also keep them happier and healthier while making a positive impact on their employee engagement and productivity, not to mention business results. As Grokker's founder and CEO, Lorna Borenstein, says in her book, It's Personal: The Business Case for Caring, "Employees are telling us what they want, and it turns out that what they want is not only good for workers, but also good for our businesses."
Today, going back to work as companies reopen is also causing a lot of stress. Employees are looking for a way to make re-entry more normal, and solutions for wellbeing are at the top of the list. Over 75% of the top performing companies regularly measure the health status of their employees, and more companies are making wellbeing a priority.
Should You Wait and Launch Wellbeing With 2022 Benefits?
With the state of transition for most employers today, there’s every reason to not wait until the launch of their benefits program to provide employees the support they need right now.
Employees Need Support NOW
Leaving employees to their own devices for months, until a wellness and benefits program launches, is leaving those employees very vulnerable and without the quality support they really need. According to stats from the research at the Grokker Innovation Labs:
- 76% of workers describe themselves as currently "stressed"
- 46% of workers describe their stress levels as moderate or above
It's not just that employees are stressed. It's also worth noting that stress causes a lot of work-based problems for employees, and in very high percentages when considering the employees surveyed, including:
- 50% focus — difficulty concentrating
- 46% motivation — procrastinating
- 33% creativity — lacking inspiration
- 31% social — difficulty connecting with, or avoidance of, colleagues or clients
- 24% productivity — missing deadlines or meetings
Approximately 80% of workers report that the onset or worsening of mental health symptoms came along with the start of the pandemic — and 23% have been diagnosed with a mental health condition since that time. Employees are also experiencing the onset or worsening of a lot of typical symptoms of burnout, along with increased symptoms of illness, including:
- 55% — fatigue, insomnia, or lack of energy
- 35% — headaches or musculoskeletal aches and pains
- 27% — stomachaches, bowel problems, or other digestive issues
- 14% — heart disease or high blood pressure
Yesterday's Initiatives Don't Resonate Today.
Employee wellbeing isn't a check-the-box initiative. In the past, wellbeing used to be very much this way. It was enough, allegedly, to put together some 10,000-step challenges and a few lunch-and-learn get-togethers or other types of activities that tackled a single element of wellness. But now, times have changed. These programs don’t meet everyone’s needs and preferences, and clients are telling us that these tactics just aren't enough anymore. The research supports their opinions.
Wellbeing is deeply linked with engagement and productivity. A 2018 study found that employees who smoke, as well as those who are overweight, miss significantly more time at work than those who are non-smokers and/or a healthy weight. Mental health also plays a role in how much time employees miss from work.
Employers today need well-rounded wellbeing solution options that meet employees where they are and fit into their life from the standpoint of abilities, goals, and interests. These employees also need access to their solutions for wellbeing on any device, anytime, and anywhere. When employers provide benefits that are accessible to everyone, all employees feel healthier, happier, and more valued. Being inclusive matters. A step challenge, for example, isn't valuable to an employee in a wheelchair.
Community is a key for wellbeing, and solutions need to enable a way for employees to connect with one another, and with others in the community. Grokker's Group Classes feature was introduced during the pandemic, and has become very popular because it brings an element of fun and togetherness to wellbeing activities. During workplace re-entry, most people aren't seeing all their co-workers. But feeling connected — even if they'll still be working from home — can be very important for their health.
You Don't Have to Wait
The good news is that you don't need to wait to launch a quality employee wellbeing solution. Grokker is easy to launch quickly, and your company can get programs and promotions up and running in just 30 days. Often, that can even be done without internal IT or other technical resources. It's easy to configure Grokker to meet security requirements, and it's already passed security reviews with Fortune 500 customers. Health management platforms can take months to implement, and require multiple processes. With Grokker, it's one implementation, and it's quick and easy.
Your Wellbeing Solution: Don't Wait to Launch With 2022 Benefits!
There's no reason to wait to launch an employee wellbeing solution when you have Grokker on your side. You can get started right away, and your HR team and workforce will thank you. Your employees need your support now more than ever, and with Grokker you can help them get that support now, rather than waiting until later. Your employees will thank you!