Employee support is essential for a loyal, satisfied and productive workforce.
“No news here, we know these are unprecedented times,” Teresa Bucello, partner and health practice leader at Mercer Connecticut, told an audience of 130 business leaders at the CBIA conference in May 10 Healthcare’s Future: The Post-COVID World at Rocky Hill.
“The talent market is heating up and unfortunately the number of job openings in the United States has grown to a staggering 11.5 million.
“American workers are leaving at unprecedented levels. We have drop rates at 3% for March 2022, which is back to the highs we saw in November. »
Bucello detailed the main reasons for employee fatigue and offered solutions for employers.
She attributed the record number of people quitting to a change in employee needs.
“Seventy-seven percent of employees say they feel burnt out,” she said, “and more than 91 percent say stress has impacted the quality of their work.
Bucello said employee struggles hurt businesses because “it’s our productivity, it’s our business, it’s our bottom line, it’s the care we provide to patients.”
The solution, she added, was to listen to employees and provide them with what they need for a productive work environment.
“We need to demonstrate to our employees that we listen to their needs, care about them and are committed to supporting them,” she said.
Citing a joint Mercer survey of employees, Bucello pointed to some of the biggest issues for low-wage and high-wage workers.
The main concerns of low-wage workers were making ends meet, looking after themselves physically and mentally, and financial well-being, including retirement and debt.
“It’s hard to think about your future, plan your retirement and plan for your children’s education when you can’t pay your monthly bills,” she said.
“But it’s not lost on this group. It’s something they’re concerned about.”
Top concerns for high-wage workers were health, work-life balance, and personal fulfillment and purpose.
Bucello stressed that in trying to address these issues, it is crucial to consider each person as an individual, instead of focusing on one aspect of themselves, such as their income level or where they live.
“Supported employees are more loyal to their employer, they are more productive at work, they lead healthier lifestyles and they are happier,” Bucello said.
“But not every employer is going to be in a position to want to dig this deep and be able to look at it on an individual basis or even in groups with personalities.
“That doesn’t mean you can’t create a meaningful program to support your employee population, better engage them, and drive satisfaction and loyalty forward.”
Bucello highlighted three policies highly valued by employees: flexible work arrangements, time off during the workday to focus on health and wellness appointments, and the ability to customize benefits. social services to meet their personal needs.
Mental health support
Additionally, Bucello said nearly half of all employees surveyed valued a wide range of mental health support, with reduced costs for mental health treatment topping the list.
The survey also showed the benefits of employer support for employees.
Among employees who said they received good or very good support during the pandemic, 45% said they were less likely to leave their job because of this support, compared to only 24% who received fair or very good support. poor.
And of those who said they received good or very good support, 71% said they felt energized at work, compared to just 39% who received fair or poor support.
“The employer’s support is important, it also earns loyalty and it works,” Bucello said.
“Your employees react to how they feel from their employer.”
Bucello concluded by outlining four key actions employers can take to navigate the competitive job market and make employees feel valued.
The first consists of identifying and prioritizing the population most at risk of leaving.
The second is to take steps to mitigate burnout and support employee mental health.
Third, create a psychologically safe and inclusive workplace that embraces diversity.
“Make sure people feel safe,” Bucello said.
“Not just their benefits programs, but the culture within the organization says, ‘I’m a safe place for you to come to work and voice your concerns. “”
The fourth and final action is to continue to provide flexibility during the pandemic and beyond.
“We have to start changing in order to attract and retain,” Bucello said.
“It’s not an easy undertaking,” she continued, “but it’s important, and it matters.”
Healthcare’s Future: The Post-COVID World was made possible through the generous support of JPMorgan Chase Bank and additional support from Deloitte and Pullman & Comley.