The workplace has been changing faster than anyone could have predicted. While the COVID-19 pandemic is largely responsible for these changes, various social movements and technological advancements have also played a role. Many of these changes occurred suddenly, leaving most HR professionals without time to prepare. These rapid changes created—and in some cases exposed—several workplace challenges, which are likely to continue for the foreseeable future. Due to the speed and number of challenges, many HR professionals have been unable to keep up and respond appropriately.
Employee mental health and well-being is potentially one of the biggest HR challenges employers currently face in 2022. According to a recent Harvard Business Study, more than 85% of employees said their workplace well-being declined since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Employees have identified various reasons for their mental health and well-being decline, including job demand and feelings of isolation, loneliness, stress and disconnection.
Employee mental health and well-being significantly impact an organization’s ability to succeed. When employees struggle with mental health issues, their productivity declines. HR professionals who prioritize employee mental health and well-being can stave off drops in productivity and support workers, which can improve employee retention.
Many HR professionals are prioritizing their employees’ mental health and well-being by doing the following:
• Helping employees find work-life balance
• Providing employees with manager support when struggling with mental health and well-being
• Giving employees information and resources for mental health and well-being
• Building a culture of supporting mental health and well-being
• Encouraging employees to be proactive and positive
While HR may be more reactive since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in addressing employee mental health and well-being, HR professionals should shift to a more proactive and sustainable approach in 2022. This may require HR professionals to remain vigilant and listen to employees to help them feel safe in the workplace.
While these difficulties will likely persist for the foreseeable future, we will continue to update you about the most pressing HR challenges and help guide employers as they implement impactful strategies to address and respond to them. Reach out to American Health & Wellness for information about effective and preventive wellness programs.