Total Rewards Asia Summit 2024 Singapore
Employee wellbeing: It’s now or never
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Employee wellbeing: It’s now or never

Since so much of our time is increasingly spent working, be it at home or in the office, it is increasingly crucial for employers to prioritise workforce wellbeing.

This article is brought to you by AIA Malaysia.

Dear Diary,

The past two years have been tough. Sometimes it seems like it is a never-ending journey of highs and lows. I can’t even remember what normal is like anymore. We’ve gone from movement control, to total lockdown, to opening up and closing again - all in a matter of months. One day it’s work from home, another day we’re back to the office. 

It was crazy moving to work-from-home when we first started out. There was no boundary anymore between office and personal hours. I found myself emptying my little snack box a little too often, while trying to cope with the stress of online meetings without moving much from my desk. I’m pretty sure Natasha was talking about me when she made that joke about chubby cheeks on the team call this morning.

I’m thankful my boss has been trying to motivate us. The company has been supportive of the hybrid model, so that I can spend more time with the kids at home. These mental wellness days have been really useful too, but I wonder if more can be done?

Chances are that this diary entry may be a reflection of what your employees were jotting down in the past two-and-a-half years – a solemn reminder of just how much all of us have gone through. The stress and anxiety of juggling work and personal commitments amidst a never-before-seen pandemic has tested the resilience of a majority of us.

A December 2020 survey by Ipsos cements this – out of 12,823 employees surveyed in 28 countries, it was the employees in Malaysia who reported the highest level of anxiety towards job security (74% in Malaysia vs 56% globally), stress due to changes in work routines and organisation (67% vs 55%), and stress due to family pressures (58% vs 45%).

A significantly high percentage (65%) struggled with working from home, versus 52% of employees globally.

One in 10 (10%) shared that they had lost their jobs, while 7% had to leave their jobs.

But 2020 and 2021 were, in many ways, mirroring trends that were already evident in pre-pandemic 2019 — where 66% of Malaysians reported living a physically inactive lifestyle; 90% said they did not have a healthy diet, and 53% slept less than seven hours a night. Would you agree that these numbers would have worsened with the onset of the pandemic? Further, are you set to make things better for your workforce as we move into the new normal?

You’ve seen it, heard it, read about it – what's next?

As an employer, as an HR leader, we know you empathise with your employees – you've tried and continue to walk the journey hand-in-hand with them, because you all want the same objective: to come out of these challenging times safe, happy, productive, and most importantly, healthy.

In that regard, many of you have introduced initiatives that have not only changed the way of work but benefitted your employees’ health — be it mental wellness days, meeting-free Fridays, 24/7 confidential helplines, Zoom workouts, and teambuilding sessions to get healthy together, or, on a larger scale, a complete shift to a hybrid work model.

A new way to work well

Come 1 April 2022, Malaysia will awaken from its pandemic slumber with many workplaces seeing employees returning in full force, bearing the scars of the past two years’ endless lockdowns and Zoom calls. You may be asking yourself, “How do we move forward from here? How can we make the workplace better for our employees?”

To answer these questions, AIA has recently unveiled WorkWell with AIA – a proposition under its total corporate solution that offers guidance and support to organisations who are seeking to nurture and improve their employees’ wellbeing. Built upon the pillars of ‘live well, think well, plan well and feel well’, WorkWell empowers organisations to care for every aspect of their employees.

Perhaps you may be concerned about your employees’ level of medical coverage in light of COVID-19 or are trying to understand how you can better support your employees’ mental health. You could be seeking new ways to provide efficient and prompt healthcare to your employees (perhaps virtually?) or just want some feedback on how you could increase engagement among a weary and tired workforce. Overwhelming, yes – but WorkWell might just have the right solutions for you.

Understanding the seismic shifts that the workplace has experienced recently, the leading employee benefits insurance provider in Malaysia has built upon its wealth of experience in the sector to help organisations achieve the best possible solutions that will bring about a healthier, happier, and more productive and engaged workforce. So, if this sounds like it might be just what you’re looking for as you plan your HR strategies for the new endemic phase, reach out to an AIA Account Manager today and find out more about what WorkWell with AIA can do for you.

Image / 123RF

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Follow us on Telegram and on Instagram @humanresourcesonline for all the latest HR and manpower news from around the region!

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