One of the key developments in today’s corporate world is that companies are now becoming increasingly concerned about employees’ wellbeing. However, Lana Leeb believes that very few companies grasp the true meaning of employee wellbeing and the role Human Resources (HR) department can play in achieving it – and we agree with her.
Lana Leeb is an entrepreneur and the founder of Atled Consulting Ltd., an Alberta based outsourced Human Resources consulting firm, offering holistic flat fee management and subscription-based plans for small-to-medium sized companies across Canada. The firm’s mission is to make it possible for small to mid-tier organizations to experience best-in-class HR programs with zero overhead. This is done by harnessing human resources, change management, operations, and communications expertise – scalable for every business owner.
According to Lana, it’s great that companies are becoming more aware of the concept of employee wellbeing and are working towards increasing it in their respective workplaces. However, most companies fail to realize that HR plays a key role in encouraging employee wellbeing. As a result, they fail to accomplish 100% results. Lana believes that there are many ways in which HR contributes to employees’ well-being, including the following:
1. Making employees feel safe and comfortable
Besides hiring employees that are most suitable for the organization, HR is also responsible for creating an environment where employees feel safe and comfortable. “In my personal opinion, HR is the most neutral department in any organization. Hence, all those working in that department should ensure that individuals from other departments feel safe and secure,” Lana says, adding that HR members should be the confidants of employees and hear them out in case they feel threatened or insecure due to unfair work practices.
2. Gathering data about workplace environment from employees
Besides encouraging open dialogue between themselves and the employees, Lana believes that HR should also regularly gather data from the employees about the general workplace environment. This increases the chances of employees reporting unfair work practices, and it also allows HR employees to take action against such practices and resolve such issues before they cause more serious problems. “Gathering data from employees allows HR to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the workplace environment, which helps in tackling serious issues before they get out of hand,” says Lana.
3. Helping Employees Manage Stress
Stress is one of the main causes of employee unwell-being. Of course, HR Managers cannot reduce workload, but they can help employees adopt effective strategies to deal with workplace stress. Moreover, Lana believes that by improving communication between managers and their subordinates, HR managers can help reduce stress. She says, “Most of the time, employees are stressed due to a lack of communication between them and their leaders. By encouraging better communication from both sides, HR can help employees manage work-related stress”
4. Keeping Things Tidy and Organized
Not all is about mental stress – the shape of the workplace can have a significant impact on an employee’s well-being too. “Untidy and unorganized workspaces can lead to lower productivity and vice versa,” Lana says. She further added, “The responsibility of providing employees tidy and organized workspace – particularly shared spaces – falls on HR. Thus, it’s imperative that they offer employees a proper space where they can work and roam around freely instead of feeling suffocated.
These are just some general ways HR can help improve employees’ wellbeing in an organization. Of course, every organization is different, and hence, what works for one might not work for the other. Therefore, HR Managers should explore and find out what works best for their organization, as employee well-being is one of the determinants of the success of any business.