Do You Care About Your Employees?
The Rise of Workplace Suicide
Do you really care about your employees? The past couple of years have marked a sharp shift in why and how we work. Technological advancements and gains in efficiency, and flexible work environments have led to a new approach. In The Great Recalibration, we shared in great detail some of the reasons the current workforce is reevaluating what makes sense or what is a fit.
One of the reasons we highlighted was wellness or work/life balance.
When you work traditional work hours and days you barely have enough time to connect with family and friends, tie up loose ends, and take care of yourself. With the increasing rate of workplace suicide we thought it might be a good idea to expand on the immeasurable benefits of work flexibility and the many ways it can contribute to the overall wellness of an employee.
In a Forbes article one of the top reasons listed as why remote work supports wellness is because the worker can create a workspace that feels good, and made to their unique specifications. Studies show that employees that feel comfortable are 16% more productive. Working remotely also circumvents the social anxiety of fitting in or conformity.
The latter especially rings true as I've talked with remote candidates that are relieved they do not have to go to Happy Hour every Friday like when they worked onsite. They shared that they are not seen as team players, if they don't go to the bar with the rest of their colleagues.
Some are people of faith, and are further set apart by not conforming to secular standards. Also, the drive to and from work can be angst-ridden if you live in a major city where the highways look like a parking lot during the rush hour.
All of the situations mentioned contribute to an unpleasant and uncomfortable work experience which when exacerbated can end badly. Workplace suicide is increasing and employers have a responsibility to their employees to provide flexible options
that can potentially increase their work/life balance.
One of the battlecries from back-to-work activists is the lack of connection between employees when they do not work onsite.
There is some overlap, interesting enough, a Harvard Business Review study pinpointed social pain as one of the reasons a worker might commit suicide. In the context of work, social pain happens when a worker is not able to establish meaningful workplace relationships and does not see themselves as valued within the organization.
Working onsite will not in itself foster meaningful relationships or make a person feel valued, and accepted. Much has to do with the people on the teams, and their respective managers that drive the immediate environment for good, and sometimes for ill. Most recently Nestle paid a million dollar settlement over workplace bullying. Google, Amazon, and Microsoft have all settled workplace discrimination lawsuits. All four companies are amazing, but just a couple of bad apples in leadership positions can unfortunately rot the rest. That's why it is critically important to hire right the first time.
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Virtual meetings, Weekly check-ins, Affinity groups, Professional networking events, Career workshops, Assigned mentors, Group outings, and Wellness perks are just a couple of ways to help workers feel connected, and valued. The workplace suicide of a Wells Fargo employee earlier this year tells a story of working in a high pressure environment with long hours, and a heavy high priority workload that left no time for dinner with his family. Following the employees death, Wells Fargo stopped tracking badge swipes according to the article.
Making huge asks of your workforce like forcing them to work onsite and glamorizing burning the midnight oil does not create a high achievers environment. What it does is create a toxic and desperate workplace. And from a pure recruitment standpoint-it will be exponentially harder to attract successful game changers from your direct competitors to your company.
way to facilitate positive professional, and personal outcomes.
For more resources on how as an employer you can help prevent workplace suicide check out this link.
Employee wellness should be prioritized always. Beloved brands are viewed as altruistic, caring and relevant. Apathetic companies that do not reinvest their profits into their workers and their respective communities experience a decline in popularity and sometimes even fail..
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