4 Strategies for Employee Wellbeing & Engagement in Remote/Hybrid Workplaces

A recent study by Viser showed that 70% of employees would quit their jobs if another employer offered better policies around burnout prevention.  As many people leaders know (and as many company leaders are beginning to see) there is clear connection between employee wellbeing and retention of top talent. In mello’s burnout research, we found that investment in mental health and employee wellbeing services has nearly doubled since the start of the pandemic.

However, the fact that wellbeing looks different to every employee means the challenge of finding the right strategies and tools for burnout prevention still persist. To tackle this, we tested a list of strategies and tools, to identify and address the unique needs of each team. Here are the one’s we found most effective:

Improve check-in frequency and personalization

In a study done by Microsoft Analytics, employees given more 1:1s and check-ins are 67% less likely to be disengaged at work...67%! Most growing companies we’ve spoken with however face one or both of the following challenges with this:  

  1. Managers don’t know how to host effective 1:1s  
  1. The company has less time for 1:1s as the team grows  

To help support leadership and management, check out this article by Forbes on hosting successful 1:1s. We found that emphasizing personal development and wellbeing were the most useful in engaging our team. If you are facing the second however you might need to start thinking about a way to effectively automate 1:1s, while maintaining the human feeling. Mello's weekly slack check-in for example, focuses specifically on workplace wellbeing, giving employees a space to express their needs and goals anonymously or non-anonymously, with about 60% of people using our solution choosing the latter (try this feature for free).

Make wellbeing accessible, meet your team where they are

Another challenge we hear a lot from People Leaders is that there isn’t enough capacity to tackle burnout because it is constant rather than cyclical during the pandemic and everyone's needs are different. In an attempt to mitigate this, many have resorted to sending blast email reminders of benefits, EAPs, and Paid time Off, but are noticing that these messages are rather ineffective. If we do not share resources at the right place and the right time, they are less likely to be used.  

From our research we’ve found that employees utilize resources most if they are sent to them on messaging apps (I.e. slack, teams, etc.) as well as if they are sent immediately after a check-In. Mello’s automated check-ins do this by instantly sharing post check-in “nudges” (benefits and activities) that can be leveraged right away improve wellbeing. We’ve also found it helpful to create a resource library addressing common burnout symptoms and causes, this way employees can help themselves to information, and its easier for people leaders to share resources quickly with team members in need of support.  

Provide EAPs that actually work for your team’s needs

Employee Assistance Programs help address a diverse array of wellbeing issues. However, the usage of EAPs are generally confidential, meaning we don’t quite understand how they are being used or how effective they are. Some people leaders are using survey tools such as surveymonkey or google forms to understand this. One thing to note however is that employees are getting tired of surveys that don’t provide them with immediate value or make clear how their answers will effect culture and wellbeing.  

Mello can help track EAP usage more effectively by presenting available EAPs after a check-in and measuring (at an agglomerate, anonymous level) their usage over time. This helps build a business case for leadership, and gives people teams a chance to explore and expand EAPs based on the dynamic needs of their team.  

Drive Connection through virtual volunteering

Employee engagement and workplace wellbeing have always been strongly tied. 94% of people who volunteer have expressed improvements in mood, and an estimated 71% of employees believe it’s critical to work in an environment that supports volunteering and giving back. Many non-profit organizations have started offering “virtual skills based volunteering” opportunities that leverage your teams unique skills to create positive change. A great way to find these opportunities is by using platforms like deed (check them out here).  

To learn more about employee wellbeing strategies and tools, visit mello’s resouce page, or get in touch with a member of our team.

Geordie Graham
October 22, 2021
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