Covid-19, New-Wage Rule: How HR can support Employee Financial Wellness – #1 reason for stress

Financial Wellness MonAmI

COVID-19 has not only challenged our daily lives but also had a lasting effect on many employees financial wellness. Also, New wage Rule all has created a lot of confusion and stress and impacted Employee financial wellness and mental health.

According to PwC’s 9th annual Employee Financial Wellness Survey | 2020 COVID-19 update 54% said that Financial or money matters caused most stress.

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Beyond the vital financial decisions needed to overcome the immediate impact of COVID-19, employees may need support as they recover financially and continue to protect themselves from future financial issues. PWC team found actually 42% seek guidance only when there is an important financial decision.

Added to that, New wage rule may raise India Inc’s costs from April (Source : Economic times). After April 2021, there can be significant impact on :

  • Salary slips
  • Provident Fund (PF)
  • Gratuity components
  • Take-home pay
  • Balance sheets of India Inc

All these are because of the government’s new compensation rules, which are part of the Code on Wages passed by Parliament last year.

This might be effective in the next financial year, the new definition of wages (that includes salaries of executives in the private sector) caps allowances at 50% of total compensation. That means basic pay (in government jobs, basic pay plus dearness allowance) will have to be 50% or more of total pay from April.

We at MonAmI along with our Financial Advisors are helping enterprises and their employees to manage their personal finance better.

What is adoption rate of your Employee Wellness Programs and Initiatives?

Employee Wellness Adoption

There has been a lot of changes in 2020 with respect to employee productivity and engagement. When there is no clear distinction between work and personal lives, employees are isolated, it became critical for every organization to lay hold of employee wellness programs and initiatives. In 2020 almost every organizations large or small took different initiatives and signed up for programs to help employees to reduce fatigue, stress and anxiety, and help employees to stay well and avoid getting sick. But one thing we are hearing from most of the organizations is low employee wellness programs adoption rate. When we spoke to few HR leaders, we found employee wellness adoption rate is between 1 to 10% not more than that.

In fact, According to Havard Business Review – 63% Employees are not utilizing Mental Health Support that companies are providing.

If you are facing a similar issue, then in this article we are going to cover how can you solve employee wellness program adoption challenges. In my last article, Criticality of Employee Wellbeing Analytics, I already covered what important role analytics play in curving out employee wellness programs and initiatives and this holds true in adoption too.

While strategizing any employee wellness programs or initiatives, 6 questions we should always ask :

  1. Mass Program Vs Personalized  – Are you Creating mass programs like a yoga session, quiz or fun activities or personalized programs based on employees need. If an employee is stressed due to financial management and you are trying to engage them with mass yoga session it may not help that particular employee. He might need a financial advisor or tips and tools to manage his finances better.
  2. Mental Health Apps: Lot of companies started adopting mindfulness apps to support employees mental health as part of well-being program. First of all its important to note how many of them are downloading another app and adopting it. Secondly, how many employees are going to remember to use the app at the time of stress. Downloading another app and adopting it itself is a stressful activity.
  3. Employee feedback: Are you empowering employees to be part of employee wellness program decision or asking them to attend any program that you find for them.  Lot of times internal survey gives leadership team a great impression that their employees are motivated and satisfied. But external websites like Glassdoor etc gives organization different picture altogether. So its extremely important how we are capturing employees feedback.
  4. Solving mental health issues in silos: Accept it or not – Mental health is still a stigma. Can mental health stigma be solved in silos or do HR leaders need to walk 1 extra mile to show that empathy?
  5. Right coaching at right time – Every employee is unique and so is their need. So how can you cater to their unique need at right time with personalized coaching, counselling or advice. Right coaching and care at right time is again extremely important to build that trust and relation
  6. Analyze : How are you analyzing participants and non-program participants and find out why it is not important for the non-participants. how can you Compare different data of different departments, roles and analyze patterns and strategize what is important and what is not.

If you have captured answers to all above question, battle for employee wellness adoption is half fought. Now to plan employee wellness programs there should be proper step by step hacks that we should plan. Here I am sharing few hacks.

5 hacks to increase adoption of employee wellness program :

  1. What’s the incentive – Curve out proper incentive plan for employee wellbeing adoption. It need not to be always in cash rewards but as simple as employees personal growth and financial growth.
  2. Awareness Marketing: Curve out proper 30-60-90 days plan how marketing will happen in order to make employees aware about wellness initiatives and how can they benefit.
  3. Communication Channels: How are you going to reach out and notify employees via email, sms or any other means. There are immense of options available today because of technology. so what will be innovative way to communicate with employees. Here are some more communication tips by HBR
  4. Buy-in from Leadership : Employee wellness shouldn’t be core charter of HR leaders only. every leaders should come forward and promote as productivity, engagement is directly linked to outcome of employees.
  5. Word of mouth : If program and initiatives are catering to employees professional and personal growth, chances of word of mouth spread is high which in turn will automatically increase adoption.

8 employee wellbeing program ideas in 2021 that your employees will appreciate

Employee Wellbeing Ideas 2021

In 2020, Employee wellness program has become most important need  to keep employees engaged, focused, productive and healthy. Employee wellness programs are beyond checklist now. Adoption is the key success of any wellness program and to bring adoption it is important to make wellness programs that matter most for employees and at the same time it should be fun.  If  team is not engaged, wellness program ideas will loose momentum quickly. So we at MonAmI are sharing with top ideas that you can think of implementing in 2021.

Here are few ideas that has been tried by different organizations in 2020 to encourage employees 

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1. Work Life Flexibility

Now work life balance has been redefined to work life flexibility. With maximum workforce working from home, work life flexibility has taken center stage. Every employees needs more flexibility with work because it allows him or her to plan and manage their day and household work. Focusing more on outcome, productivity and quality should be key objective rather than calculating number of hours in 9 AM to 5 PM job.

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2. Focus on personal development of employees

Empower employees to focus on personal development. Help them in self development and forming good habits  like “Go to the gym 3 times per week”, “run 3 km every day ”, or “read 10 books this year” are some good ones to get people started. This will empower employees to be productive and achieve more even when they are isolated.

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3. Empower employees with Financial management.

One of the biggest reason of stress, worry for many individual life can be money. Giving proper tips, advising them and helping them with proper financial tracker, books and videos empowers them to take control of their finances well.

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4. Celebrate Wellness Days

Lets say October 10th is World Mental Health Day - Dedicate whole October for Mental Health month and bring Psychologists, Psychiatrist and talk about different scenarios of Mental Health challenges. Similarly, another option can be every first friday of the month lets dedicate to Financial Wellbeing and bring an expert to give tips on "How to manage your finances better".

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5. Workplace wellness  campaign 

Awareness campaign on fitness, nutrition, financial wellness, mental wellbeing , self development, productivity tips can be a great way to engage and empower people. Quick tips, motivations, alerts and assessment can help people to re-organize their lives with different mindset.

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6. Promote laughter and smile therapy

Laughter is one of the best medicine for isolated workforce. Laughter has both short- and long-term benefits like :Improved immune system, elevated mood, reduced stress. Try out some activities like games, improv shows, standup comedy.

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7. Encourage walking meetings

Walking meeting was Steve Jobs favorite way to hold a meeting with an employee, partner, or potential collaborator. Conducting meeting while walking has 2 clear benefits - health benefits and productive meeting.
 

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8.Acknowledgement and gratefulness 

Acknowledgement and gratefulness helps employees to boost their morale and motivates them to reflect and appreciate. Find innovative ideas to acknowledge and appreciate. Acknowledgement can be writing a letter to family members by leadership and appreciate about contribution.

But at the end it is critical to survey employees and check what is working and what is not. Don’t waste time and energy on corporate wellness initiatives that employees don’t find engaging or beneficial. Read more about how critical it is to find out analaytics of employee wellbeing programs

Struggling with employee wellbeing program ideas that work, connect with our experts to share more ideas powered by AI

Criticality of Employee Wellbeing Analytics in 2021

Employee Wellbeing Analytics

One of the most critical components of employee wellbeing program is appropriate use of employee wellbeing analytics especially when maximum workforce are either remote or working in hybrid model.

Employee Wellbeing Analytics helps HR Leaders to quantify the value and power that organizations can do for employees

Let’s say a company conducted a survey on employee productivity and wellness to decide employees sentiment outlook. Based on the survey, company selected few employee engagement programs like yoga session, teams quiz etc. HR found participation and engagement are pretty low.

So most critical questions that HR should look into :

How many employees responded to the survey?

  • Some employees are very busy that they don’t take time to fill out these surveys. Also, communication channels and reminders play an important role in response rate of survey.
  • If few employees completed the survey, organization may create a program that is only meaningful and relevant to few of those employees. This might be completely misleading. In such case, analysing the reason for unresponsiveness can be more informative and valid than analysing the survey results.

Did employee really read the questions properly and respond to it? 

    • We often see surveys are boring and after few questions employees lose interest and start responding randomly which in turn can again mislead the complete analysis.
    • Some employees also avoid sharing true feelings because they don’t trust – anonymity
    • Sometimes the interpretation of question might give complete different picture

Infact, lot of times internal survey gives leadership team a great impression that their employees are motivated and satisfied. But external websites like Glassdoor etc gives organization different picture altogether.

So, employee wellbeing program analytics, measuring ROI, effectiveness and impact analysis has been super critical specifically when employees are remotely working or working in hybrid model.

While analyzing the impact, ROI and effectiveness of employee wellbeing programs – few areas that HR leaders can not miss while developing employee wellbeing programs in 2021
  • Personalized intervention – Creating mass programs like a yoga session, quiz or fun activities may not interest or engage every employee. If organizations start focusing on personalized employee development, productivity and mental health HR leaders might see different results and outcome and program impact.
  • Think creative about adoption and employee engagement: Lot of companies started adopting mindfulness apps to support employees mental health as part of well-being program. Downloading another app and using it at the time of stress itself is a stressful activity.
  • Find innovative ways to take employee feedback: find innovative ways to empower employees in program decision rather than asking them to attend any program that may or may not useful for all
  • Re-think on employee mental health challenges: Can mental wellness stigma be solved in silos or do HR leaders need to walk 1 extra mile to show that empathy?
  • Right coaching at right time – Every employee is unique and so is their need. So catering to their unique at right time is again another important point to build that trust and relation
  • Analyze participants and non-program participants and find out why it is not important for the non-participants.
  • Compare different data of different departments, roles and analyze patterns, customize/personalize interventions

MonAmI has been solving all these challenges with unique approach. MonAmI provides personalized intervention to all workforce catering to employee development, productivity and mental health.

Here are sample analytics to show – how MonAmI has been focusing on impact, ROI and effectiveness of employee wellbeing program

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Employee Adoption and Employee Engagement Dashboard
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Employee Sentiment Analysis
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Employee Development, Engagement and Productivity

Struggling with employee Wellbeing impact, effectiveness and ROI?

Alarming Employee Wellbeing Statistics for HR Leaders in 2020

Employee Wellbeing Alarming Statistics

Employee Well Being has gone for a toss after pandemic hits every industry. HR Leaders are continuously trying to bring innovative solutions around employee Wellbeing by technology, counsellors, yoga sessions, teams fun activities and weekly check-ins. Still, after 6 months of work from home, various data show that employees are still concerned about their future of work. Lets look at some surveys – what is actually bothering employees

According to data published by economic times

  • 84% felt more stress and anxiety at work this year than before
  • 93% say their mental health issues at work negatively affect their home life
  • 92% would prefer to talk to a robot over their manager about stress at work
  • 32% feel the burnout from over work
  • 34% say lack of work, life separation contributes to work stress
  • 41% cite lack of separation between work and personal life as impacting well being
  • 95% believe companies should be doing more to support mental health of workforce

Reason for Stress

  • Pressure to meet performance standards
  • Handling routine and tedious tasks
  • Juggling unmanageable workloads
  • Blurred lines between work and life
  • Social distancing and fear of catching the fire
  • Trying to balance child care and household chores
  • Many still coping with change in work practices due to WFH

In the 2020 Millennial Survey by Deloitte says 54 % Gen Zs and 57% millennials in India said they were stressed all or most of the time. They were concerned about family welfare, long-term finances, and job prospects.

According to LinkedIn News

LinkedIn surveyed 3,377 professionals between July 27 and September 6 as part of the LinkedIn #WorkforceConfidenceIndex and found that close to 40% of the respondents are facing increased stress and anxiety. This is as many as the share of people facing financial instability.

Among those working remotely:

  1. 2/5 Employees are dealing with elongated working hours
  2. 1/4 respondents said they’re struggling to focus on work.
  3. Around 36% are juggling between personal and professional lives.
  4. Less than 23% of the employees were offered emotional well-being initiatives and flexible working hours during the first few months of the lockdown.
  5. 1/3 women respondents are putting in extra hours to afford childcare. 
  6. Around 36% of the working mothers were finding it difficult to concentrate on work as they had to tend to the children at home.
  7. More than 1/4th parents are working fewer hours to provide childcare and around 28% (37% women) are having to work late to make up for the lost time.
  8. With many offices opening, 50% of the professionals are worried about exposing themselves to the virus. 
  9. Over 3/5 professionals in India who reported financial instability due to the ongoing crisis faced an income reduction, LinkedIn’s #WorkforceConfidenceIndex finds.
  10. More than 1/3 of this cohort witnessed a significant decrease in their investment value
  11. Many of them faced increased expenses on food and supplies and cut back on savings towards major purchases like house and college.

Side effects of remote work

Gartner Says 2/3rd Organizations have Introduced New Wellness Benefits to Support Employees’ Mental and Emotional Well-being

Accordingl to Gartner, 68% of organizations introduced at least one new wellness benefit by late March 2020 . As employees struggle to live within today’s new normal, leading to an increased amount of stress and anxiety, HR leaders must support employees

Even before the pandemic, Gartner research revealed that 45% of well-being budget increases were being allocated to mental and emotional well-being programs To further support employees’ mental health and emotional well-being during the COVID-19 outbreak, Gartner suggested HR leaders to consider incorporating the following strategies:

  • Focus on A Holistic Approach : Focus on employees need
  • Maximize the Impact of Existing Offerings : Maximize and Analyze Impact of current programs
  • Look Beyond Employee Assistance Programs : Don’t go for checklist approach and do tick-mark activity

If you are struggling with employee Wellbeing impact and analysis, please feel free to reach out to us. We are helping organizations to deal with Personalized Intervention for Employee Mindfulness