That’s why strategic leaders recognize that their workforce has been through a completely unique experience that will affect business success in the months and years ahead.
Going the extra mile to focus on and improve your employee experience post-COVID is essential in a post-lockdown world. Here are five ways employers can improve the workplace experience by helping employees feel supported and “at home” in an office environment.
1. Offer wellbeing activities
The entire process of going back to work is stressful and made worse for those stuck at their desk and staring at a screen for hours on end. Organizations can try to change this by offering both mental and physical wellbeing activities. Running and other exercise sessions are a great way to build professional relationships and give people an opportunity to let out some energy.
To support mental wellbeing, try creating a social calendar and filling it with events that appeal to everyone. Listen to what your employees want to do and find a way to put this into practice. It could be as basic as going out for a social to a pub– anything to encourage interaction and being together outside of day-to-day work.
2. Enhanced employee assistance
A well-rounded wellbeing strategy should create safe spaces for employees to talk openly and honestly about stress and concerns and making sure there are individuals that employees can speak to without fear of bias. Having someone who can support employees in this way is highly valued and allows employees to have a voice at work instead of holding back their true opinions and letting it get on top of them.
3. Broaden the conversation
Hold group meetings that encourage all individuals to show their value in their own way – and that’s not to mean that the one that speaks the most is also the most valued. Group meetings are an opportunity for everyone to be part of a conversation away from technology, emails, and most importantly, Slack.
Another good idea is making sure your managers are having 1-on-1 conversations with their direct reports. These regular meetings are a great way to create more in-depth relationships, build trust, and build humanity at work.
4. Improved physical environment
Good natural light, comfortable chairs, and maybe even enjoyable background music can boost your employee experience significantly. The office should be a place where your employees can relax and feel part of a communal goal. Photos that capture people and their friendships can also show that management is paying attention and cares.
5. Healthy food
Having fresh fruit and drinks available will help your employees stay fueled up over the course of a day. Whether it’s an employee running a bit late and missing breakfast or hunger pangs towards the end of the day, it’s good to have something on hand that employees feel comfortable to take. It’s also going to make for a much more enjoyable day, as employees will feel more cared for, too.
Put employees first
Taking care of your employees is more important than ever, and when they’ve been working from home for the last 18 months, they’re likely going to miss some of the at-home comforts that they’re now used to.
Improving your employee experience through mental and physical wellbeing efforts is a priority that will pay dividends, and having a strong employee experience strategy in place will make for an environment where every employee can thrive.
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