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Florida State Council Affiliate of SHRM

Workplace Enablers Promote Employee Longevity

By Taylor Queen

Employers are more dedicated than ever to making the workplace employee-friendly. In recent years, businesses have prioritized employees and achieved tangible results. In fact, a report from McKinsey reveals the importance of balancing workplace demands, which require sustained effort from employees, with workplace enablers, which support overall well-being, including mental, physical, spiritual and social health.

The term “workplace enablers” describes the policies, resources or initiatives within a work environment that facilitate or support employee performance, well-being and productivity. These enablers are designed to create a favorable and positive workplace culture where employees can thrive—and they are as good for business as they are for employee wellbeing. According to McKinsey’s research, having a positive work experience not only makes employees likelier to report good holistic health, but also makes them likelier to innovate and perform well at their jobs.

To ensure they have workplace enablers in place to help employees navigate workplace demands, employers should offer a robust employee benefits package that supports employee health and well-being while attracting the best and brightest talent. A few examples of workplace enablers include:

Flexible Work Policies: Employees find better balance in their personal and professional lives through work flexibility. Flexible policies can include remote work options, flexible hours to accommodate school pick-ups or doctor appointments or compressed workweeks. However, these policies must be inclusive of all employees to be effective. For instance, a policy that gives parents greater flexibility to care for their children should be paired with a policy that increases flexibility for non-parents as well.

Learning and Development Programs (L&D): When companies invest in their employees, their workforce will grow more engaged. Through programs designed to improve the skills and capabilities of the workforce, including mentoring programs, employers can arm their teams with the resources they need to excel and find more meaning in their work environment.

Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs): EAPs typically provide confidential assistance and resources for employees facing personal or work-related challenges, including mental health support, including counseling services, financial advice and legal assistance. Despite the fact that many employers invest in EAPs, these programs are oftentimes underutilized. Make sure company leaders, HR reps and frontline managers clearly communicate how to use the EAP and encourage employees to fully utilize the benefits provided, especially those facing personal challenges.

Wellness Programs: Initiatives directly aimed at promoting health and well-being can help make a more well-rounded workforce. Wellness challenges, fitness classes, health screenings, ergonomic assessments and access to healthcare resources are all examples of ways employers can take a more preventive approach to employee health.

Career Development: Employers should consider how to help employees chart a path of growth and longevity within the organization through promotions, job rotations, stretch assignments, mentorship programs and succession planning. Encouraging regular conversations between frontline managers and employees can help them find customized career development opportunities.

Recognition Programs: Recognition programs for employees at every level can help create a better work environment. For a junior employee, recognition can motivate them on their career-long journey to becoming a great leader. Programs such as employee of the month awards, incentives, bonuses and peer recognition can incentivize and reward good performance.

Work-Life Balance Programs and Policies: Promoting strong work-life balance is a critical element of a people-first management strategy. Initiatives that allow employees to have the best of both worlds – a fulfilling career and personal life – also do wonders for employee engagement. These initiatives could include flexible scheduling, parental leave policies, onsite childcare facilities and stress management resources like subsidized subscriptions to mindfulness and meditation apps.

Workplace enablers may not be a familiar term to all HR leaders, but every organization needs these initiatives in place to help employees to feel valued, engaged and empowered. When teams are supported by workplace enablers, employees—and the business—will perform their best.

Taylor Queen is a senior HR adviser with Insperity, a leading provider of human resources offering the most comprehensive suite of scalable HR solutions available in the marketplace. For more information about Insperity, call 800-465-3800 or visit www.insperity.com.