Wellbeing in the workplace has become a top priority. Employers have shifted how they treat employees, and staff have expectations about how they are supported in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, not everyone is getting the same support. Worknest has spoken 130 employers and HR professionals on employee wellbeing issues and found that frontline workers are being overlooked.
79% of employers have not given frontline managers training or tools to help support employees with their wellbeing. Despite this statistic, 93% of employers claim that they are aware of having mental health and wellbeing responsibilities.
On top of that, 38% of HR professionals admitted that they are not taking steps to combat the issues that staff are facing. Interestingly of the 58% who have not implemented programs to tackle loneliness and isolation, only 12% intend to address these issues.
Digging into workers’ wellbeing problems
Additional research into Google searches has found that the number of people looking at results for ‘loneliness working from home’ rose by 76% over the past four years.
In addition, ‘loneliness or isolation in the workplace’ searches rose by 26%.
Discussing this situation, Rob Evans, senior HR consultant at WorkNest, commented: “It is worrying that a large majority of employers have not provided training to line managers to support employee mental health and training.
“For managers, learning to deal with and address any wellbeing issues in staff is vital to creating a well-supported team.
“Mental health affects how everyone thinks, feels, and acts, but it also helps to determine how employees handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.
“In addition, ensuring employees feel safe to communicate and express any issues they are experiencing is crucial. Finally, line managers need to understand any impacts their team’s mental health may have on normal day-to-day activities in the workplace.”
Evans added that “line managers play a principal role in supporting employee wellbeing. By getting to know their team well and encouraging open communication, line managers are better placed to spot any changes in team members’ behavior.”
On the back of this, Evans encourages businesses to equip managers with the tools and skillsets to help their employees.
He concluded: “An employer has a legal responsibility to consider making reasonable adjustments to accommodate the needs of that employee suffering from mental health issues.”
With this legal responsibility in mind, it’s time to start addressing the wellbeing of all workers, rather than making small steps for the few.
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