Category Filter

This is what worries your employees – and here’s what you can do to help

November 22, 2018

Employees who rate their company as ‘caring’ are far more likely to be engaged.

The biggest enemies to employee engagement are worries over stress, health and money. For the sake of your employees, and for your business, it’s important to address these worries and take action to allay them.

High employee engagement drives productivity, profitability, performance quality, and positive customer perceptions. It therefore makes good sense to invest in initiatives that make your employees feel cared for.

Let’s look at four key worries and how addressing them will mean you take better care of your employees while also putting your company ahead of the competition.

1. Stress and lack of work-life balance

A recent global survey of employee wellbeing found that 87% of workers are stressed. Of those, 15% said their stress levels were unmanageable and 21% said they didn’t receive adequate support to help them manage their stress.

Stress

There is a definite trend towards people worrying more about their social wellbeing. In particular, they’re finding themselves too busy to spend sufficient time socialising with friends and enjoying hobbies.

Provide a workplace wellness programme with stress management

The survey found that 68% of employees of all ages and 73% of millennials felt a wellness programme incorporating support with stress management could encourage them to remain in (or choose) a job.

When asked about the employee benefits they don’t have but would appreciate, stress management was the top response. It’s notable that 6% more employees say their stress levels are manageable at companies with a workplace wellness programme.

When asked about the employee benefits they don’t have but would appreciate, stress management was the top response.

It’s also worth mentioning that the preferred methods for managing stress include talking with friends and family, sleep and exercise. This underlines the importance of a healthy work/life balance. Easing off on pressure to carry on working out-of-hours could make a positive difference to productivity and reduce stress-related absenteeism.

2. Physical health and wellbeing

Along with their stress levels, employees are worrying more about health issues like getting enough good quality sleep, controlling their weight and eating well. Two in three admit to going into work when they’re feeling too ill, even though they recognise that their productivity could drop by one fifth as a result.

Provide health classes and re-examine your health cover

Organising a programme of health, fitness and nutrition classes will give your employees practical help and show that you care. The health aspect could include classes on quitting smoking and controlling alcohol consumption, as well as managing stress.

Organising a programme of health, fitness and nutrition classes will give your employees practical help and show that you care.

In order to tackle presenteeism – people coming to work but not performing at full capacity due to illness – it’s vital to train your managers to show sensitivity to their team’s wellbeing. This includes making sure employees know they can open up to them about their health worries.

3. Financial wellbeing

Only around one quarter of employees express confidence about their financial circumstances. While there are signs this is improving globally, one recent study found that here in the UAE, people are actually feeling increasingly insecure about their finances.

Nearly one quarter of employees in the UAE admitted to financial stresses including:

  • Living paycheck to paycheck
  • Having large personal debts
  • Struggling to pay household costs

Around 70% of these said money worries were affecting their work and had resulted in them taking more days off work.

Provide confidential financial advice and planning tools

Personal finances are something many people prefer to keep private, but money worries can take a huge toll on an employee’s state of mind and impact negatively on their productivity.

Financial advisor

Consider offering confidential consultations with an independent financial advisor, either free of charge or at a discounted rate. You could also provide tools, such as apps, that will help employees take control of their own finances. Either would be a small investment for a large potential gain in productivity and profit.

Provide health checks, pensions and community links

Of the people surveyed who felt most ready for retirement, 70% said they had regular health checks. So including check-ups in your health insurance package for employees is a good idea.

Of the people surveyed who felt most ready for retirement, 70% said they had regular health checks. So including check-ups in your health insurance package for employees is a good idea.

Offering a pension plan still isn’t standard practice among UAE employers. Providing one will give your company an edge and help to ease your employees’ retirement fears.

Keep promoting social interaction at work but encourage staff to cultivate community links outside work as well. This will lay the groundwork for an active social life when they retire.

Tackling employee worries head-on

Some of the figures I’ve quoted come from a recent global employee wellbeing study by Cigna, which ranked the UAE just above average for employee wellbeing across the globe. While that’s not disastrous, we could be doing a lot better and there is definitely an opportunity for you to get ahead of the competition.

Whatever provisions you put in place to help your employees tackle their worries, simply reassuring them that they’re not facing these issues alone will go a long way. By holding onto good people and making sure they’re able to give their best, your company will reap the biggest rewards.

If you’re interested in finding out more on the services Lifecare provides, get in touch with us today via the following form.

About the author: Nausheen Popat, Founder & Chief Operating Officer

Nausheen Popat cofounded Lifecare 20 years ago with Alniz Popat, and is today responsible for managing and coordinating the operational running of the business across Dubai, Kenya and Qatar. Nausheen focuses on delivering Lifecare’s operational excellence strategic initiatives. She has been integral in developing relationships with customers and major service providers in the market in order to promote strategic partnerships that serve our clients and promote the growth of the business. Nausheen is a graduate of the University of Northridge, California and holds a bachelor’s degree in Hotel Management.