Imagine you are faced with the prospect of having to find a new job. What things would be most important to you? Some people give a lot of weight to salary and benefits. Others look for jobs that are suitable to a particular schedule. However, a growing number of workers in the post-COVID era believe employee well-being is most important.
Employee well-being is number five on BenefitMall’s list of six employee health and wellness concerns for 2022. According to the Dallas-based general agency, the COVID pandemic has changed the way people think about work. It has led to an awareness that the way many of us work does not necessarily contribute to our general well-being.
Could that explain what is being called the Great Resignation? Yes, at least partially. BenefitMall CEO Scott Kirksey says that employees are offering their feedback on well-being through their actions. If they do not feel that their current jobs are conducive to their well-being, they are looking for new employment elsewhere.
An Employer Wakeup Call
Although one could argue that the Great Resignation is not as great as it is being made out to be, it is hard to dispute that tens of millions of people leaving their jobs is an employer wakeup call. At a time when employers are desperate to fill open positions, they would do well to set aside the old clichés and dig deep to find out why the mass employment migration is occurring.
Some employees undoubtedly feel as though their current circumstances do not contribute to their well-being. In some cases, they might actually be detracting from it. But what does it all mean? What do employees mean when they talk about their well-being?
What Employees Really Want
The interesting thing about all of this is that the answers to most of our questions are not so hard to come by. What employees want in 2022 is no different from what they wanted in 1992. Human beings are pretty consistent year in and year out. We all want similar things in terms of work and well-being:
- A Clear Separation – Employees do not want their work lives to be so encompassing that they have to be available 24/7. They want a clear separation between work and the rest of their lives. They want to be able to go home and leave work at work.
- A Good Balance – Workers have been pursuing the elusive work-life balance for as long as most of us can remember. Work-life balance is more than just creating a distinction between work and everything else. It is doing so in such a way that work does not remain the dominant activity in a person’s life.
- Limited Stress – Medical science has documented just how damaging stress is to physical and mental health. Your typical employee already has enough stress in their life. There is no room for any more. Furthermore, employees would love to see less stress as time goes on.
The good news is that employees are beginning to make their voices heard. Thanks to the many changes wrought by the COVID pandemic, employees suddenly feel empowered to pursue their own well-being – even if that includes resigning and looking for a new job.
Could this year be the year of employee well-being? Things are starting to look that way. As employees are making clear just how much they value well-being, employers are starting to explore ways to facilitate it. Even general agencies like BenefitMall are jumping on board. Employee well-being could end up driving hiring and retention policies moving forward.