The new employee experience: How to help your people thrive in life and work

employee experience

Source: Unsplash/Priscilla Du Preez.

Here’s a not-so-hot take: COVID-19 changed everything. Of course, everything is a great number of things. And it’s easy to get dazzled (side-tracked, even) by the 40ft headlines, and ultimately lose sight of the many, many smaller changes that have recently gone down.

In business, everyone knows about the major, and mighty, shift towards remote or hybrid work. Yet this is only the foreword to a wider workplace revolution.

Mental health — once misunderstood, or outright ignored — has launched itself up corporate agendas. And not just in the context of wellbeing benefits, either. Company executives are increasingly alive to the fact that we all have mental health, all the time, and that investing in your workers’ minds is about far more than ROI. In fact, VOI — that is, value on investment — is maybe the metric that really matters.

To read the full report visit The employee experience, mental health, and the post-COVID-19 workplace.

It’s not just work that’s different. Employees have changed too. Their wants, needs and expectations of what a career looks like are almost unrecognisable, compared with the pre-pandemic workforce. These days, more than half would up and leave if not given flexibility in their role. And yet, as above, firms would be foolish to limit their thinking to working from home alone.  

“It’s common for significant life events, like living through a pandemic, to offer an opportunity to re-evaluate our priorities and values. This may have led many to place greater value on life outside work and so emphasised the importance of work-life balance and wellbeing,” says Dr Sofia Gerbase, clinical psychologist at Unmind.

“Employees may therefore gravitate towards empathic, caring employers who offer flexibility and work environments that enable a good work-life balance, and who encourage employees to bring their whole selves to work.”

“Awareness around mental health already existed,” says Dr Kate Daley, psychology lead at Unmind, “the pandemic simply turned up the volume on these conversations.

“There has been a generational shift where more people are willing to talk about their struggles, and social media has given them the platform to do it. Before the pandemic people were talking about the need for topics like depression and suicide to be spoken about more openly in the workplace, and for more work-life balance. Many employees were already saying their company should do more to support mental health.”

The new interactive handbook The employee experience, mental health, and the post-COVID-19 workplace digs down into the past, present, and uncertain future of employee experience. 

The handbook covers:

  • The vital role EX plays — alongside mental health — in workplace performance and a staff member’s home life. 
  • The landmark ‘moments that matter’ during an employee’s time at a company. 
  • And the power of cultural markers, like diversity and inclusion (D&I) schemes, and mental health programmes, to boost EX across an organisation. 

You will also find out about the dual-spectrum model of mental wellbeing, how this crosses over with employee experience, and the many ways it too can help companies deliver positive cultural change at scale.

“The model draws attention to the idea you can have a mental health problem and still be flourishing; and that you can have no diagnosis but still be languishing,” says Dr Daley. “It also emphasises that you can move up and down these areas, and that this can be impacted by factors in and outside of work.”

Click here to download the report, and take your first leap towards making some major, and mighty, changes.

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Unmind is built on the belief that everyone has the right to a healthy mind. Our workplace mental health platform empowers employees to proactively measure, understand, and improve their mental wellbeing, while giving leaders insight into the mental health of their people, enabling them to drive wider cultural change. Unmind takes a whole-person approach, focusing on seven key areas of wellbeing — sleep, coping, health, calmness, fulfilment, happiness, and connection. Our scientifically-backed tools include self-guided L&D programmes, in-the-moment exercises, and mental health and wellbeing assessments, all available anytime, anywhere. To find out more about launching a proactive and preventative workplace mental health strategy with Unmind, click here to get in touch today.

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