Wildfires rage in Australia. Prince Harry and Meghan step away from the Royal Family. President Trump faces an impeachment trial. The UK leaves the EU. And that was all before the end of January – we haven’t even got to the pandemic yet.
To put it simply, 2020 has been a lot. And it doesn’t show any signs of letting up. Instead of seeing a slow return to ‘normality’, we’re saturated with stories of rising cases and local lockdowns. Couple that with more political unrest (Brexit and the US election immediately spring to mind), and it’s no wonder we’re feeling more than a little fraught.
This national unease is rightly re-emphasising organisations’ responsibility to protect and support their employees’ mental wellbeing. But if employers aren’t regularly checking in with their people, how can they be sure what their employees need?
So we’re all feeling fraught. How can we be sure? Because we’re measuring it.
Studies from the likes of the Office for National Statistics and Mind show us that the nation’s mental health struggled during lockdown – and continues to do so. For example, even as restrictions eased, the Centre for Mental Health forecast that half a million more UK people may experience mental ill health because of Covid-19.
There’s also growing evidence of the impact it’s having on organisations. A recent survey by Glassdoor found that two in five employees are suffering from anxiety. It also stated that since the start of lockdown in the UK, 42% of employees say they’ve experienced a lack of motivation and 40% say they’ve lacked energy.
Studies like these help us to monitor the (mental) state of the nation, and are vital in shaping effective and accessible communication and support for this vital issue.
In the same vein, organisations need to invest time and effort into measuring the wellbeing of their employees. Ensuring they understand employee issues to help build resilience, encourage open conversation, and communicate relevant and practical advice and support.
But with Gatehouse reporting that almost 70% of internal communication specialists only occasionally measure their impact, and 39% don’t measure behavioural change at all, how many organisations are ready to regularly measure employee wellbeing as part of the employee experience?
“We’ve long believed that communication and wellbeing are part of the same employee experience picture, and since Covid-19 that’s become increasingly clear,” says Paul Jones, Sequel’s Head of Insight. “The pace of change within organisations is so rapid these days that having a timely understanding of your colleagues’ engagement levels is valuable business insight.”
And you don’t just have to take Paul’s word for it (although we think his words are very wise ones). A PwC study of CEOs shows that 93% of UK CEOs prioritise employee health and safety, with 90% providing wellbeing support and initiatives. And Forbes reports that 89% of employees at organisations that support wellbeing are more likely to recommend their company as a good place to work.
That’s why Sequel’s MetrIC tool is an internal communication tool that measures both workplace experience and wellbeing. Offering regular, simple and cost-effective measurement, MetrIC gives organisations the quick insight they need to understand the employee experience and recommendations for change.
“Things are changing weekly – sometimes daily. You can’t wait for an annual survey to tell you what your people feel and need. You need to regularly talk with your employees, ask how they’re feeling, listen and then act,” says Paul.
“Only that way do you have the best chance of putting effective wellbeing initiatives, and supporting communications, in place to support them.”