Employee experience to show your people the purpose in what they do

People are searching for caring employers that will support them through difficult times. Now is the time to deliver an employee experience that gives them what they need

The long-lasting effects of the global downturn in 2008, the Covid-19 pandemic and now the cost-of-living crisis are making people – particularly the under 40s, who have suffered particularly badly economically over the past few years – demand a new narrative from employers about their purpose and why they’re worth working for. 

The employee experience takes centre-stage

At the European Pharmaceutical Market Research Association (EphMRA) annual conference this week, I emphasised the important of the employee experience in meeting employees’ evolving requirements and helping organisations to attract, retain and nurture them. 

A great experience, which has employee wellbeing at its heart, is critical for today’s employees. And employers are responding to this by redesigning their employee experience to focus more on fairness and equality; they see employee wellbeing as crucial to sustaining operations. Fair pay and treatment, wellbeing, sustainability, social impact, diversity and ownership are all playing out in this new employee experience. 

Employees now want and expect to work for an employer who takes care of them and their wellbeing. It’s now the number one priority for jobseekers. It’s also one of the five strategic priorities that HR leaders identify as critical for today’s hybrid workplace (along with employee experience, agile work practices, digitisation of HR, and diversity, equality and inclusion). 

But it’s not all one-way traffic. Research by McKinsey & Company shows that employees who get the purpose they want from their work enjoy better outcomes in and out of the workplace than their less satisfied colleagues. Generally, they report having more energy, resilience and satisfaction; at work, they report being more satisfied, committed and engaged and achieving more – all good news for the bottom line. 

4 steps to success 

There are four things that you can begin doing straight away to show that your organisation provides meaningful, purposeful work within a caring and compassionate environment – and that they should bring their talents to you rather than the competition. 

The first, of course, is to show them their purpose by talking about yours. Communicate your values and mission clearly, engagingly and regularly, so they can see how their purpose aligns with yours. The more closely the two align, the more satisfied and productive your people will be. 

The second is to share your stories and engage your people in telling them. A great way to achieve step one is to tell engaging stories about your organisation and the good it does, whether internally for its employees or externally for the wider community. When employees see for themselves what your purpose looks like in action, it becomes easier for them to connect with you.  

The third is to put collaboration for good at the heart of what you do. This sits at the core of compassionate capitalism – as DeVos made clear in his book, doing good (compassion) is the ultimate aim of capitalism, not profit – so it must sit at the heart of your organisation, too, if you want to attract and retain the best talent. 

And the fourth is to prioritise employee wellbeing. This is enormously important, because employees struggling with the challenges of the last couple of years are looking to their employers for support. Put your benefits programme to work with options that are useful, tailored and user-friendly; whether it’s free financial education, access to mental health support, or opportunities to save money, find out what your people need and deliver it.  

This is a huge opportunity to support your employees and give them a sense of purpose at a crucial time. Your investment in their wellbeing and in delivering an exceptional employee experience will produce a significant return for everyone.  


Gethin Nadin

Chief Innovation Officer @ Benefex

Gethin is an award-winning psychologist who has been helping some of the world’s largest organisations to improve their employee experience and wellbeing for two decades. The last 10 years have been spent working as part of the senior leadership team here at Benefex where Gethin leads our thought leadership in the market.

As a frequent writer and speaker on employee experience and employee wellbeing, Gethin has been featured in Forbes, The Guardian, The Huffington Post and The Financial Times as well as all major HR, Reward and Pensions publications. Gethin has been listed as one of the world’s top 101 Global Employee Experience Influencers for the last two years running, is listed on the Employee Engagement Powerlist, is one of LinkedIn’s top global contributors and an Inspiring Leader 2021. Gethin is also a regular keynote speaker, Chair of the UK Government-backed Engage for Success Wellbeing Thought Action Group, a Key Stakeholder in UK Government Transport Employee Wellbeing KPI’s and a Fellow at the RSA.

In 2018, Gethin published his first book – the HR bestseller ‘A World of Good: Lessons From Around the World in Improving the Employee Experience’, which has gone on to inspire HR and Reward teams at some of the world’s best known brands. In 2022, Gethin co-authored his second book ‘Das Menschliche Büro – The Human(e) Office’ a collaboration between leading academics and workplace professionals from across Europe.

This article was first published on hellobenefex.com

International Leadership Week: How can leaders look after their wellbeing?

This week is International Leadership Week and offers a chance to reflect on the importance of leaders maintaining good mental health and wellbeing, considering the challenges faced by being in a leadership role, which have been exacerbated throughout the pandemic. Whilst there is considerable focus on how managers can enhance the wellbeing of their employees, we can’t forget about the leaders themselves. After all, they must be taking charge of their own wellbeing in order to continue to lead.

Challenges faced by leaders

For many leaders, the beginning of the pandemic posed significant challenges, including remote working and the requirement to make difficult decisions, such as placing employees on furlough or making redundancies. Now, employees are returning to the office and there is the new issue of the great resignation, meaning that leaders are having to constantly adapt and change their approach to ensure they continue to lead well and look after themselves and their employees. These differing challenges are likely to increase pressure on those at the top and create greater risk of burnout and poor mental health, so how can leaders ensure they look after themselves and why is it important?

Why leaders need to look after their wellbeing

It’s important that those in charge are managing their wellbeing for a number of reasons. In  high pressure positions, stress and burnout are common and preventing these responses is vital to maintaining a healthy body and mind. Moreover, poor wellbeing at the top can trickle down to influence others and lead to low morale, less productivity and consequently result in more pressure on leaders.

How can leaders look after wellbeing?

Look after mental and physical health

Physical and mental wellbeing work in tandem and there must be a focus on both to ensure the maintenance of good health. This means that it’s important to be eating well, exercising on a regular basis, staying hydrated and getting enough sleep. Wrkit’s POWR platform is a great way to monitor all of these factors and keep track of progress on each path.

Additionally, leaders need to be looking after their mind as well as their body. Practicing mindfulness is a good way to do this, or taking some time to relax through breathing exercises or release tension via yoga. Leaders are generally very busy people but it’s crucial to take some time to focus on the self and just five minutes a day can make a real difference to wellbeing.

Take a break

It’s often difficult to disconnect from work, particularly in the age of remote working, where the lines between working hours and leisure hours are often blurred. To avoid stress and burnout, it’s vital that leaders stick to their working hours as much as possible in order to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Whilst pressure may mean it’s tempting to carry on working late in the evenings or check emails at the weekend, this means that there is no break from work and is likely to worsen performance in the long run.

Talk or write down feelings

Although it’s reducing, there still remains some stigma around asking for help, this is especially prevalent with leaders through the idea that it shows weakness or inability to do the job well. However, it’s much more likely to set a good example of speaking up and prioritsing wellbeing that employees will really understand and appreciate. Everyone should be entitled to support, regardless of their status in a business.

Talking to friends or colleagues about mental health can often be a daunting and difficult task, so it may instead be beneficial to write down thoughts and feelings, through the practice of journaling. This helps with clearing the mind, setting priorities and problem solving.

Recognition

Finally, it’s easy to remain focused on recognising and rewarding the hard work of employees, but leaders should remember to celebrate their own successes too.  Keeping the team’s morale up is important but recognising personal achievements helps to boost self-esteem and feelings of appreciation.

To access resources to maintain great mental health and wellbeing visit https://wrkit.com/contact/request-a-demo  to request a POWR demo.

How employers can support financial wellbeing at work

Financial wellbeing is a significant component of overall wellbeing, defined as feeling safe, secure and in control of finances. Not feeling financially secure can cause a huge amount of anxiety and stress for employees, which can negatively impact overall productivity and performance, which is why it is so important for employers to support financial wellbeing within their organisation.

November 9th – 12th is the Money & Pensions Service’s Talk Money Week, which aims to reduce the stigma around money by encouraging conversations among families, friends, neighbours, customers, colleagues and communities.

Employers are uniquely positioned to support their employees with guidance at the times they most need it, with most employees believing there is a role for employers in supporting their personal financial wellbeing. However, only one in five are satisfied with the efforts their employer makes to help them manage their finances.

Money can be an uncomfortable workplace subject, especially for the British where it is a particularly taboo topic point, so we have compiled some tips for employers to help alleviate financial pressures from employees.

Take stock of financial wellbeing within the workplace

Sending out an anonymous survey to employees will give employers an indication of financial health within their workforce. This also gives employees an opportunity to confidentially highlight any areas that they may be struggling and the kind of support that they need.

Benefits packages

Ensure your benefits package has financial wellbeing support, and make sure this is well advertised. Wrkit’s Lifestyle Savings offering gives employees access to discounts on both leisure, such as shopping, and essential expenditure, such as fuel.

It is crucial that employees know how their benefits package can help them out financially, otherwise they won’t take full advantage of it.

Financial education

Educate employees about finance. This could be by implementing a financial wellness programme or learning module to help employees budget better, understand the importance of emergency savings, educate them on debt or plan for retirement.

Enlist expert support

Bring in varying personal financial experts to talk about topics such as the basics of investing. This will give employees invaluable extra insight into the world of finance and help them to feel more confident and comfortable in managing their money.

In addition, experts can offer financial counselling services or resources for those who need them. This will help employees be more prepared for any emergencies or setbacks that arise.

Be sensitive

The past year especially has been financially challenging for many people. By being aware of and sensitive to this, employers can improve financial education, financial health and overall wellbeing.

According to Neyber, a quarter of workers have lost sleep over money worries, 59% say that financial troubles prevent them from performing their best and 46% say pressures affect their relationship with their manager. The research also found that poor financial wellbeing costs the UK economy £120 billion and 17.5 million lost hours of work.

Request a demo of Wrkit today, and don’t let low financial health negatively impact your workforce and business.

The role of the workplace in combatting loneliness

The number of adults in England who feel lonely has been on the rise since 2017, but the last year has unsurprisingly accelerated the increase. Between 2019 and 2020, loneliness in England jumped by 44% from 2.6 million people to 3.7 million as the population was forced to stay at home and socialising in professional and personal capacities became digital.

The increase in loneliness coincides with a general decline in wellbeing, which has been in motion since before the pandemic and exacerbated by lockdowns and restrictions. These red flags around general wellbeing in the population have led to calls to measure national progress in wellbeing via the gross domestic wellbeing (GDWe) index, rather than traditional metrics such as GDP.

For many people, working from home has brought about lifestyle changes that promote a better work-life balance meaning flexible, hybrid working looks like it now has a permanent place in society, but with this, there is the potential for employees to become isolated.

Following the lifting of restrictions and the return to the workplace, employers should consider the role that their office or central space has in combatting loneliness among employees and supporting their overall wellbeing.

As we move forwards, the workplace needs to become something more than simply a place to work as many people have discovered that they can effectively work from outside it. The workplace now needs to be a place for colleagues to be together, to collaborate and to socialise. Viewing it in this way and encouraging employees to think of the workplace as more than that will help to promote social interaction and minimise loneliness.

Rather than asking employees to come into work on specific days, employers could encourage them to come in for specific events. This could be work-related, for example, a team brainstorm, learning session or company catch up, or entirely social, perhaps a special lunch or post-work drinks.

By doing this, the workplace offers something extra that they don’t get at home. Offices will then move away from being a place for stress and towards being a place to interact with others, encouraging workers to spend less time alone.

Using the workplace as a social work hub will improve overall company culture, as employees have the opportunity to bond outside the boundaries of work. As well as keeping loneliness among colleagues to a minimum, promoting a social, friendly culture will improve engagement and job satisfaction.

Loneliness is a difficult feeling for people to process and can have an incredibly negative effect on overall mental health and wellbeing. Although restrictions have lifted and many people are socialising regularly again, the new hybrid working world may make it easy for people to isolate themselves from their colleagues, heightening feelings of loneliness. Putting measures in place to keep workforces cohesive and social is a great step to take in supporting employee wellbeing and combatting loneliness.

Why demanding that young people return to the office isn’t the answer

Chancellor Rishi Sunak made headlines this week when he publicly aired his view that young people should return to the office, or risk damaging their long-term career prospects. For better or worse, these comments have sparked a great deal of debate across both employers and wider society, with public opinion divided across the board.

So, is encouraging younger workers – and, indeed, the workforce in general – back to the office en masse the answer? As with so many aspects of employee wellbeing, the answer is more nuanced than a simple yes or no.

There are without doubt many benefits to having members of the team in the office full-time, such as collaboration, creativity and overall workplace culture, which is naturally crucial for long-term engagement and success. However, for many employees there is also an opportunity cost to full-time office-based working and, indeed, many staff also saw a number of benefits from working remotely – which will be difficult to give up. For example, our recent Global Working from Home Survey found that staff were almost universally sleeping better with no commute to contend with, scoring this affirmation 8.6 out of 10.

Factoring in other benefits such as staff being able to tailor workspaces to their own needs, less need to arrange childcare and being able to save money on everyday expenses such as office lunches, and it becomes clear that a blunt-force approach to enforcing office-based working will not sit well with all.

For staff to return to the office, therefore, there must be some kind of incentive for them to do so – employers must provide more of the carrot, and less of the stick. For starters, the office could, and should, become more than simply a place to work, which we now know can be achieved just as effectively as at home in many cases. Employers should position the workplace as more of a hub in which teams can come together, collaborate and socialise, creating working experiences that are greater than the sum of their parts.

Rather than asking employees to come into work on specific days, employers could encourage them to come in for specific events, such as a lunchtime learning session, a team brainstorm, or even a more social event such as a teambuilding day or post-work drinks.

By doing this, the workplace offers staff something extra that they don’t get at home. Offices will then move away from being a burden to work from and more towards being a place staff actually want to visit because of the wellness benefits the workplace offers them – not merely because they feel they have to.

Looking outside the office, the daily commute – a recurrent pain point for staff – could also change. According to new research from transport technology specialist Kura, almost a third of employees (32.4%) spend more than an hour each day commuting to and from work each day, which is time many would prefer to spend with loved ones, pursuing personal passions, or organising life admin – not to mention the significant financial cost of commuting.

Given this, businesses that expect staff to return to the office could consider factoring commuting-related perks, such as season ticket loans and flexible working to beat the rush-hour traffic, into their overall benefits package. On this note, it may also be advisable to offer coaching to help employees with their personal finances, to help offset the increased costs of commuting and office life. For example, businesses could consider offering a savings programme, such as Wrkit’s Lifestyle Savings, to help employees spend less money.

Overall, moving forwards there will be no one-size-fits-all approach to either working patterns or employee wellness more widely, and businesses should not seek one. In order to ensure healthier, happier workplaces long-term, employees must be offered flexibility in how they work, as well as how they are supported, rewarded and recognised for the work they do.

To find out more about WRKIT’s suite of wellbeing and engagement products, please visit: https://wrkit.com/products/

Prevention over cure: Avoiding mental health problems as employees readjust

After more than a year of lockdown restrictions, it is no surprise that many people are raring to get back to normal life again, but that is not the case for everyone. As people start to use workplaces more often, perhaps as before or perhaps now adopting a hybrid model, employers need to keep in mind that their employees will be going through another huge life adjustment, and this may be taxing on mental health.

By acknowledging the extra pressures, including health-related anxiety, that will be on employees as they transition back to life in the workplace, employers must be supportive and stay one step ahead to prevent more serious mental health issues from arising down the line.

When it comes to mental health and wellbeing, prevention is always favourable over cure. As problems progress, they get more complicated to resolve, more challenging for the person experiencing them and can lead to an impact on the business if a person needs to take time off as a result.

With this in mind, here are some steps employers can take to ensure they are taking care of their employees’ mental wellbeing in the return to the office.

Provide suitable self-care resources

A simple way to ensure staff are taking care of their own mental wellbeing is providing or signposting to resources such as self-help activities, meditation, or resilience training. These give employees mechanisms to help themselves at the first hint of mental turmoil and resources such as resilience training may prevent those feelings from arising at all in the first place.

Wrkit’s Wellbeing product, POWR, is designed to empower workers to proactively manage their mental and physical health. It provides plans across life, mind, work, food, activity and sleep to offer holistic, preventative support for employees.

When used in conjunction with the Surveys product, which bypasses conscious bias to measure how people actually feel, the POWR platform becomes an incredibly useful tool as the surveys can pick up on issues that the person is not yet fully aware of.


These surveys can flag when it looks like someone might need professional support to get their wellbeing back on track, and access to these professionals is the next thing employers need to consider in the return to the workplace.

Mental health first aiders and professional care

Not all issues will be able to be resolved through self-help, so all businesses should have measures in place for when problems progress.

This could be in the form of colleagues who volunteer to train as mental health first aiders or giving employees access to professional counselling and therapy. If a problem has developed to the point of needing support from a professional, it is still important to get help as soon as possible.

Access to professional support should be proactively communicated so that employees do not have to ask a member of the HR team or a line manager as this could put people off seeking help. Being open about how employees can access help should they need it will begin to establish a company culture in which people are not ashamed or worried to admit that they are struggling, which is really important in overall employee wellbeing.

Creating an open and honest culture

By creating a culture in which mental health issues of all scales are normalised, employees will feel more comfortable turning to their colleagues for support. They will also feel like their company cares about them and wants them to get better, rather than feeling like it is something that they must hide for fear of judgment.

An atmosphere that accepts that a huge number of people face struggles with their mental wellbeing will empower people to get the help they need earlier on, once again supporting the idea that prevention is the best cure.

Take work-life balance inspiration from the pandemic

The pandemic has proved that, on the whole, people can be trusted to be productive when not in an office and when not necessarily working standard nine to five hours. Better work-life balance will improve overall employee wellness and engagement, boosting productivity and job satisfaction.

Employers should take inspiration from this and, when possible, allow employees to take control over their work-life balance by working flexible hours or from home if they want to.

These kinds of policies and measures tell employees that their employers are invested in their wellbeing and are there to support them when needed. Making people feel valued in their jobs and having outstanding support for when mental wellbeing does take a dip are both critical factors in improving employee wellness and should be central as people readjust to life back in the workplace.

Ending Discrimination Culture in the Workplace

In her bestselling book You Do You(ish), TEDx speaker and career coach, Erin Hatzikostas, wrote: “Stop seeing it as office politics and start seeing it as office partnerships.”

Such a sentiment is borne out by research by the organisation Women in Banking and Finance (WIBF), who as part of their strategic plan have a Men As Allies strand, recently tasked with finding potential steps to take to improve gender balance in the office.

The business case for gender balance in leadership roles is compelling. As McKinsey’s 2018 study Delivering Through Diversity showed, companies in the top-quartile for gender diversity on their executive teams were 21% more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile.

Well go figure! Long ago, Hillary Rodham Clinton, no less, said: “When women participate in the economy everyone benefits.”

New research by LSE and WIBF has shone more light on this subject. Interviews with 79 City of London women revealed that they felt they needed to show sustained excellence in order to progress; faced more scrutiny than male peers; and mediocre male managers were blocking their development because they were more adept at office politics.

A quarter of the women in the survey were black who said they needed to work harder to receive the same recognition as men and white women. McKinsey’s 2018 study also found that for ethnic and cultural diversity, top-quartile companies were 33% more likely to outperform on profitability. This confirms that diversity is correlated to financial performance.

A shift must happen. Board rooms and senior leadership teams need to be more representative to help inspire future generations of talent by building in diversity from the ground up. It will help dispel workplace toxicity.

There are a number of different strategies that can also be adopted, including sourcing talent from diverse educational institutions; rethinking essential requirements in job descriptions to avoid deterring applicants; and working with recruiters or talent sourcing companies with shared values.

A workplace with an underlying culture of discrimination is storing up trouble. It will be difficult to recruit and retain talent and attract and keep business, investment or customers. Mediocre managers, male or female, fuel the fire. They create barriers to open communication and inclusivity when employees should be able to speak up, share their views, offer ideas, be valued, recognised and rewarded, which engenders a positive company culture – but only if leadership acts on it. Peer to peer recognition is also statistically proven to have a positive effect on employee performance and happiness.

Earlier this year Wrkit, spoke to a female business leader about her experience. She advised mentoring between genders and female-female to unlock impact and create alliances. She concluded: “Leaders, whether male or female, need to open the doors wider to give women that chance to prove themselves. When we do this more often, I believe the culture will be enriched for our doing so.”

Returning to five days in the office will undo progress in promoting work-life balance

Despite the push back of the lifting of all remaming Covid restrictions, employers world-wide are starting to consider their long-term stance on working from home. Predictions from think tank, Centre for Cities, are that the five-day office week will be the norm again within two years.

However this may have damaging implications that on employee wellbeing, especially as many have now reached a sufficent work-life balance. 

The prediction of a return to a five-day office working week might be premature, while we are seeing a large majority of workers come out in favour of the hybrid system of work. There are a lot of hurdles that those returning to work face, especially over the anxiety of a busy morning commute that will force them to rejuggle their schedules to account for the extra time.

Additionally, workers now have over a year of experience working from home, which has for many allowed them to adapt a healthy work-life balance, one that they are at risk of losing when returning to  five days a week in the workplace.

For many, the practical benefits of easier childcare, reduced commuting stress, better sleep and increased time at home will be something they are not prepared to forgo for the sake of their improved overall wellbeing. Furthermore, a number of teams and businesses have found they can produce work of the same, if not better, quality and quantity from home.

Now that businesses and staff have this insight into what real work-life balance can look like, we anticipate there being more reluctance than has been predicted to simply going back to how things were before the pandemic.

This is not to say that returning to the office doesn’t bring with it advantages, including being able to build working relationships between coworkers in person, but for some this does not outweigh the negaitvies. Employers should take into account the prefereances of each employee and not rush or force those to return to the workplace if they are as happy and productive working from home.

To find out more about how Wrkit can support your company with its employee wellbeing and wellness strategy, visit www.wrkit.com.

Getting Office Workers Moving

Thanks to research commissioned by office equipment business, Fellowes, images of Emma, The Office Worker of the Future, have emerged in the press as a warning of what could happen if employers fail to give employees adequate physical wellbeing support.

The gruesome life-sized mannequin represents the way office workers may look in 20 years if there isn’t more done to encourage better workstation setups, posture and getting a good level of exercise. Emma’s permanently bent back, varicose veins, rotund stomach and dry, red eyes serve a stark reminder of the consequences of poor workplace health.

With the return to a more normal working pattern imminent, employers must encourage employees to look after their physical wellbeing. In our Work From Home Survey, UK-based employees scored agreement with the affirmation “I get more exercise at home” 6.9/10, versus 5.7/10 worldwide. As people spend less time at home and more time in the office, there is a real risk of exercise levels declining, which will impact overall health.

What is the solution?

Office work is sedentary by nature, but that doesn’t mean employees should be sat down for eight hours a day. Whether it’s putting on lunchtime yoga, starting a walking group or signposting relevant resources, employers can encourage their workforce to stay healthy and active.

Wrkit’s Move product promotes and supports exercising at home, on the move, in the garden and even in the office. The platform hosts a huge range of activity choices, from quick desk stretches to full body conditioning sessions and there is something to suit those at every level.

The on-demand video classes are led by qualified professionals and are ‘always on’, so employees can move at the times which suit their personal schedule.

As well as supporting physical health, the mental benefits of exercise are well documented. Taking short movement breaks throughout the day, such as two-minute deskercise sessions, will promote healthier work schedules with an adequate amount of breaks, which only 29% of people currently report taking.

To avoid developing a workplace full of Emmas and promote a healthy and happy workforce, employers must do more in encouraging employees to take care of their physical health. Implementing exercise or movement into employee wellbeing and workplace health strategies should be a priority in the return to the office.

To find out more about Wrkit’s Move module and how it could help your workforce, visit this page or request a demo here.

Worker Wellbeing In The Hospitality Industry

The gradual reopening of hospitality over the past few weeks has been a significant signal of better times – meeting friends, enjoying food and drink that you cannot have at home and generally soaking in the feeling of the return of normality.

However, behind the scenes, a staffing crisis within the sector is a real challenge.

Hospitality does have a reputation of staff working long, antisocial hours and dealing with difficult customers as well as it being a somewhat physically demanding and often low-paying job. A year of uncertainty, furlough, increased risk of infection and last-minute closures has only exacerbated these issues as jobseekers may be avoiding the sector in search of more stable and safer employment. Furthermore, Brexit has caused many European nationals previously working in the industry to return to their home countries.

As the country reopens to both citizens and international visitors, an adequately staffed hospitality sector is essential not just for the industry, but for the wider supply chain. To attract and retain staff, it is now vital that employers are making a conscious effort to support employee wellbeing and offer additional staff benefits to attract and retain workers.

Some businesses have increased wages and offer other financial incentives and while this is a good move for an industry that is known for low wages, support for hospitality employees should go beyond this. By being creative with their employee benefits offering, employers will improve staff satisfaction, morale and retention which may be crucial to the survival of their business.

Resilience

It is no secret that hospitality staff frequently come under fire from disgruntled customers and that these exchanges can be unkind and may leave team members upset, low and feeling less resilient. Similarly, amid busy service tensions between staff can run high and lead to stressed encounters between colleagues.

Offering stress and resilience training will give staff the tools they need to handle difficult situations, reduce the effects they have on them and allow them to protect their mental wellbeing while developing their confidence.

Employees can take an active part in developing their own resilient mindsets by discussing issues with supervisors and by reframing challenging situations to look like a learning opportunity and to discuss ways to grow and develop as an individual and as a team.

Employers can also support staff resilience by recognising that they have handled a difficult situation well and reassuring them that it is not necessarily a reflection of them or their capabilities. In combination with mental health resources, stress and resilience training will go a long way in protecting employees’ wellbeing.

Talks and workshops offered by Wrkit will give teams the tools they need to grow, develop resilience and manage the challenges that they face throughout the day through practical workshops and coaching sessions.

In addition, the self-help tools on the POWR platform will help employees build resilience and improve wellbeing. The platform allows employees to take control over their health and wellness through Self Awareness, Goal-Setting and ongoing Self-Monitoring.

Recognition

Recognition is not just a tool to build resilience, but it also makes employees feel valued in their role which improves overall job satisfaction.

Wrkit’s recognition module is a fantastic tool for promoting this and creating a culture of mutual support and celebration between the team to help everyone to feel appreciated and respected. This should span from management down and between both back and front of house staff.

Switching off

Spending hours on your feet, working busy shifts and keeping on top of what customers need and want throughout the day sounds exhausting, but in reality, it stimulates your brain and makes it hard to transition out of “work mode”.

Employers should encourage staff to unwind at the end of their shift, whether that is sitting down and having a drink before going home, providing a quiet space to sit at the end of the day and process the shift before leaving, or giving access to mindfulness or meditation tools.

These switching off practices are especially important for employees working late night shifts as failure to do so could leave them awake until the early hours of the morning and not getting enough rest.

Sleeping and resting

The hospitality industry is known for long, late hours and often a lack of breaks. While it is understandable, especially in the face of a staffing crisis, that staff cannot always take a break during a busy service, managers must ensure they are doing everything in their power to give their staff a reasonable amount of downtime.

Getting a good amount of sleep is critical to performing well at work and maintaining mental wellbeing. Late-night hospitality venues in particular must consider this. Avoid putting staff on shifts that require an early start after a late finish and explore options to help staff rest quicker after a shift, such as mindfulness or meditation resources.

Megan Sowney, Wrkit’s UK Managing Director, said: “Hospitality staff face challenging situations every day, but these challenges have been amplified in recent weeks. The public have missed eating and drinking out, so have descended on establishments in huge numbers. This combined with staffing issues means that hospitality workers are working incredibly hard, and this is likely to take its toll on mental health.

“Employers must ensure they are taking care of their staff, or they could end up losing them to other businesses or industries, which could have dire implications. The hospitality industry needs staff to operate, and it needs staff who are not burnt out to run well.

“Businesses that look after the wellbeing of current staff, re-evaluate the current industry standards and offer an attractive employee benefits package will enjoy higher levels of retention and an improved employer reputation, aiding recruitment.”