Instead, business leaders need to embrace the changes that have come from the last year and determine how best to support employees’ wellbeing through further changes going forward.

An article in Harvard Business Review looks at how this year is likely to be another full of major transitions. It considers the trends businesses could face in 2021 as the implications from 2020 play out across the next several years. These include employers shifting from managing employee experience to managing the life experience of their employees, and a greater focus on mental wellbeing.

We have all faced unprecedented personal and professional challenges during the last year, and, as HBR states: “It’s become clear that supporting employees in their personal lives more effectively enables employees to not only have better lives, but also to perform at a higher level.”

According to new research from CoursesOnline 66% of employees believe that more time and resources will now be dedicated to mental health in the workplace because of Covid. However, the anonymous survey of 300 UK companies, also revealed that 40% of workplaces are yet to implement any new mental health policies in response to the pandemic.

To help businesses succeed, organisations can create a more meaningful employee experience that enables employees to do their best work—and bring their best selves to work. One way of doing this can be through developing a strategy to support employee life experience. This requires leaders to put people at the centre of everything they do. It starts with the needs of individuals and teams, empowering them to take ownership of their fulfilment, growth, and success.  A report from Gartner stated that employers which support employees with their life experiences reap the benefits, with employees reporting better mental and physical health.

As businesses continue to adapt to the changes brought about by the pandemic, engaging with employees is also vital to support their mental wellbeing. Employees who feel they matter, who are listened to and whose opinions are considered important, are much more likely to embrace any changes implemented.

Engagement surveys can be used to gather the necessary employee feedback when it comes to change. At MovePlan, we are seeing an increase in businesses asking for our expertise to design and build engagement plans to guide them through workplace changes. This can often include other changes such as the introduction of new hybrid models of work as staff begin to return to the office for collaboration while also working from home, in a more flexible approach.

Dorota Piotrowska, Head of People at Netguru, told HR Technology said that a company-wide “human centric culture” is the basis for their robust employee engagement policies. She highlighted the need for leaders to create a sense of belonging, inclusion, and equal opportunities in team members to build a healthy work environment.

A company-wide “human centric culture” is the basis for their robust employee engagement policies

— Dorota Piotrowska, Head of People at Netguru,

It is perhaps this quote from HBR which sums up the importance of businesses focusing on employee wellbeing and engagement in 2021 as they go through further changes: “The Covid-19 pandemic has brought wellbeing to the forefront as employers are more aware than ever of the impact of mental health on employees and by association, the workplace.”