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We take a break from the ‘Story of a Pharma Salesperson’ and move on to other topics. We shall return to it later.
Employees and Employers are tied in multi-level, multi-dimensional ties. The employer is looking for maximum output from staff and the staff is thinking about maximum benefits. Both parties are on the right.
Trust deficit is a serious issue in this relation where both parties view one another with suspicion. Employers feel that all employees are inherently lazy and unwilling to work while employees feel that all employers are inherently exploitative. This is also true by and large.
The area which has been least worked upon is employer-employee relation. Due to factors mentioned above, this relationship remains tense and dissatisfying.
Initiatives on both sides are desired to improve the situation. However, greater onus is on the employer to work towards making this relation better.
Wellbeing may be considered for both physical and mental states. One does lead to other, but both should remain in focus.
Wellbeing of employees is an important area which can be used to great advantage. This subject can be seen from two angles; from the benefits it may accrue, and the way it should be done.
Benefits of Employees Wellbeing
Greater Output – It is easy to understand that wellbeing is directly linked to output. Employees in better shape and state definitely work more, work better and work longer. Healthy, happy employees strive to achieve more than expectation. They are more prone to take on challenges and break new ground.
Better Environment – The overall work environment gets better. Under stress, colleagues tend to have more conflicts with each other. It is like ‘displacement’ phenomenon when a person knows he cannot react back to the employer giving stress and takes it out on peers and subordinates. In the presence of a general goodwill, conflicts go down sharply, and environment becomes congenial.
Higher Engagement – Engagement is the current buzzword. An employee is considered ‘engaged’ when she/he is physically, mentally and emotionally engaged with the company. Several studies have shown that engaged employees perform much better and stay much longer.
Lower Turnover – Employee turnover is mostly related to work environment and behavior of bosses. Every leaving employee takes with her/him a wealth of information. It is lost forever. Having said that, employee turnover shall never be zero, but corporates must work to keep it at the lowest possible level.
There are more benefits, but the above list makes the point quite clear and may not require to be explained further.
How should the wellbeing of employees be brought in, kept up and grown over time?
Following strategies may be considered.
Include Employee Wellbeing in Corporate Values – Many corporates claim a set of core values where all good things are promised. Employee wellbeing should be included here so that it remains in focus and attention.
Make Employee Wellbeing a Priority – Owing to the potential rewards of wellbeing, the initiative to improve and maintain employee wellbeing should be considered a priority. It would mean allocating and providing adequate resources to make it happen sooner than later.
Design and Execute Strategies for Employee Wellbeing – Without proper strategy back up, employee wellbeing shall remain elusive. It is mandatory to make proper strategy, execution and monitoring to bring concrete improvements to employee wellbeing.
Include All Stakeholders – It is also mandatory to include all stakeholders so that the ownership and responsibility is shared, so that everyone understands the importance and so that everyone realizes the corporate commitment to this cause.
Employees are the most important asset of an organization and shall remain so even when the machines may take over humans using Artificial Intelligence created by the humans. It will definitely pay great dividends in short and long term to work towards greater wellbeing for everyone.