How Offering Well-Being Provisions To Employees Can Stem The Great Resignation?

According To a 2022 Linkedin research, "82% of the Indian workforce is considering job switches with workplace benefits for financial, mental, social, physical and career well-being being significant parameters for assessment."

With significant expansion of its business in the Indian market, driven by new customer acquisitions, channel partner success, and a rapidly growing team in the region. Janet Paul, Director Human Resource, APJ & ME, Securonix is on an expansion spree in 2022. Within only two years of operations, Securonix has managed to capture a significant market share in India with a high end customer base.

  1. What kind of well-being benefits does your organization provide? Are these initiatives helping in curtailing the Great Resignation?

It is important to us that the Securonix community be placed at the very centre of our decision-making process. Our attractive compensation packages are balanced by competitive benefits ranging from wellness initiatives to opportunities for professional development. The following are a few of the well-being initiatives that we provide:

●Time Off policy, development opportunities

●Insurance packages covering medical, accident and life

●Periodic employee counselling programs that include preventive healthcare

●Employee wellness and assistance programs

●Doctor consultations and annual medical checkups

●Employee engagement exercises to enable team building

While increasing compensation is one way to attract and retain employees, well-being initiatives are gaining importance especially during the pandemic season. These complementary initiatives are powerful tools in curtailing the Great Resignation.

A 2022 Linkedin research highlights that 82% of the Indian workforce is considering job switches with workplace benefits for financial, mental, social, physical and career well-being being significant parameters for assessment. It is very important that employers introduce and sustain concrete initiatives that will cater to holistic employee well-being.

2. What is the kind of employee feedback you receive on such well-being initiatives? Do employees actively take part?

We are very keen to have an active and open feedback loop in connection with all employee initiatives no matter the scale. So far, we have been receiving positive feedback from the team and it's reassuring to see how the well-being initiatives have helped boost morale and sustain a healthy workplace environment.

One thing we still need to consider is that one size doesn’t fit all. With companies at different stages of hybrid work, holistic wellness focusing on individual preferences will be more effective. It is also important to measure these programs for effectiveness and improvement areas. If implemented thoroughly and strategically, wellness programs can yield savings in the long term.

According to a study by the Harvard Business Review, Johnson & Johnson saved over $250 million in healthcare costs in a decade courtesy of improved employee wellness programs, returning $2.71 for every dollar spent.

3. Could you let us know if HR budgets have gone up post pandemic? What is the percentage split between compensation, well-being, appraisals, incentives, training, etc.?

The pandemic has seriously impacted HR budgets and many leaders have reduced their budgets owing to the economic slowdown. However, the priorities have changed with HR leaders opting to  retain important initiatives and re-allocate funds towards impactful measures. The following are the priority areas in ascending order for HR leaders this year:

●Recruitment is always on top agenda for companies, especially for a company like ours which entered the market just 2.5 years ago .

●A major chunk of the HR budget is being used for employee-related initiatives and programs (mostly healthcare related) .

●HR tech is also gaining centrestage with the widespread permeation of hybrid work culture

●Rewards, incentives, bonuses and other perks always help in boosting employee morale. According to a report from global advisory firm WTW, India Inc employees are likely to get bigger pay hikes in 2023 with companies budgeting an overall median increase of 10%,

●Learning & Development is a domain requiring substantial investment in the near future as there is the need to accelerate the pace of upskilling and re-skilling.

4. What is the importance of well-being initiatives in your opinion, especially post-pandemic? 

Employee retention is the most important factor for every organisation today. This can be achieved only by giving ample importance to employee well-being initiatives, given that most of the workforce is still adjusting to the hybrid and remote models of working. Many organizations are in the process of revising their employee well-being programs so as to better address the aftereffects of the pandemic, and to focus more on the needs of diverse employee pools. Employers are now looking to include programs that support employees’ mental and emotional health, create work-life balance, and enhance financial health as well. 

5. What are some of the trends that you are witnessing in the Great Resignation era?

A few interesting trends have emerged from the Great Resignation era. Some of them are as follows: 

  • Startups now have an edge over big corporations in terms of hiring as employee preferences have changed. Employees are now placing more emphasis on work culture over compensation.  It is also helpful that startups provide employees with an independent entrepreneurial environment that is conducive to freedom of thought and expression.
  • Increased awareness around employee burnout and maintaining a work-life balance has empowered several firms to offer additional wellness leaves and periodic breaks for employees to recharge themselves
  • Employees are now making sure that work is restricted to the designated 9-6 work cycle, and that additional work is not taken up outside office hours
  • Flexible work arrangements are becoming the norm, and not the exception. More companies are embracing this change to attract and retain talent. 
  • Remote jobs are becoming more competitive as the pandemic has accelerated the  pace of automation with companies embracing digital waiters, concierges and other technologies amidst social distancing rules and virus fears. 

6. Is there a mismatch between what employers want and what employees are looking for in a job? If there is, please elaborate.

In my opinion, there will always be a mismatch between what employers want and what employees are looking for in a job. This is because both parties have different interests in mind and objectives to fulfil. As recruiters, we always keep a tab on what employees are looking for and how the common ground can be arrived at. We have to take a multifaceted approach to attract and retain talent as distinct pools of workers come with different work priorities.

There are several instances where employers want experienced employees who can function in a  remote working setup without much assistance. There are also employees who would prefer working from home although employers may prefer in-person work owing to increased productivity and a greater degree of control over the work environment. Lastly there is an ongoing discussion about employees not wanting to work 24/7 and opting for a balanced work-life style instead. So, there is always a possibility of a mismatch in employer-employee expectations.

7. What factors led to the Great Resignation?

There are multiple factors that have contributed to the Great Resignation. They include:

  • Toxic corporate culture: A toxic corporate culture is by far the best predictor of industry-adjusted attrition, accounting for 10 times more than compensation in predicting turnover. A failure to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion at the workplace; the prevalence of unethical behaviour and the presence of other factors that contribute to workers feeling disrespected are signs of a toxic work culture.
  • Job insecurity and reorganization: It's probably no surprise that worrying about losing one’s job at any moment prompts one to look for another one. As a result, this factor is seen to have played an important role in the Great Resignation.
  • High levels of innovation: It may seem counterintuitive, but the more positively employees spoke about innovation at their workplace, the more likely they were to quit. This could be attributed to the struggles and exhaustion faced by employees in keeping up with the pace of innovation and changes in the organization.
  • Failure to recognize performance: Employees are more likely to leave companies that fail to differentiate between high performers and laggards in terms of recognition and reward. Independent of pay, limited avenues for employee appreciation on account of excellent work can be a strong deal-breaker.
  • Poor Covid-19 policy responses by organization : If organizations haven’t framed appropriate policy responses to pandemic situations vis a vis sick leaves and work flexibility, attrition numbers speak volumes about the quality of employee well being.

A healthy strategy to promote cohesion within the workforce is key to combating all of the above

8. 'Moonlighting' is currently in debate a lot with people having divided opinions about it. What are your thoughts on it?

Moonlighting is not a new concept and the remote work format has made it the new normal. Although many business leaders view it in an unfavourable light, I am of the opinion that it is not entirely unethical.  What matters is that employees pursue the second job outside of office hours and on weekends without it creating a conflict of interest and interfering with the productivity required on their day job. Job opportunities are expected to grow in the coming years as the pandemic makes remote working more acceptable. In this context, Indian IT engineers will almost certainly find work outside of their office jobs. Many experts believe that as work-from-home opportunities resume, the number of moonlighting opportunities will decrease, but this is still debatable. We can conclude that there appears to be no right or wrong answer for the time being.

9. Are the effects of Great Resignation being seen only in Gen Zs & millennials or senior professionals are also displaying a similar behaviour?

In terms of the workflow, senior team members are busier than pre-pandemic times.  Additional strain in terms of managing remote teams, and dealing with the physical and mental health ramifications of the pandemic is being felt. However, it would appear that the Gen-Z and Millennial groups are facing the larger effects of the Covid situation.

One of the most common reasons for young people quitting their jobs is  less pay, which invariably has a domino effect on mental health. The leading challenge that senior team members face is employee retention. The engagement scores captured in multiple surveys reveal that the pandemic has disconnected leaders from their organisations.

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