The COVID-19 pandemic has increased feelings of isolation and worry amongst employees, according to research from MetLife. As part of its Re:Me report, MetLife has produced a Guide for employers which highlights the key findings from the report and aims to provide practical tips and actions for organisations who are navigating a changing relationship with their employees following the pandemic. Offering advice and insights for small businesses to larger enterprises, the research compares what different expectations employees have based on their age, gender and their seniority.
Moreover, despite these concerns, only 43% of those aged 50+ were found to be prioritising their mental health currently. Feeling fulfilled and a sense of belonging within an organisation was found to be a greater priority than mental health.
In contrast, younger workers aged 18-29 experienced anxiety around monetary concerns; 35% admitted they continuously worry about their finances which had impacted their productivity levels. Aswell as worries around money, job security was another concern that affected young workers focus and productivity at work.
The shift to working from home during the pandemic has been a key driver of change between employees and employers. Tight restrictions during the pandemic left almost half (47%) of employees feeling isolated from the company they work for. The concern is that as employees belonging and commitment to their employee decreases, so will their productivity and likelihood of staying loyal to their employer in the longer term.
The guide from MetLife is available now and builds upon findings from their recent Re:Me report. The guide looks at different employee demographics and how each group was affected by the lockdown.
Adrian Matthews, EB Director at MetLife UK, comments: “The pandemic has put a significant strain on employees’ mental health and heightened their concerns about job and financial security. Each demographic has been affected by the pandemic in different ways, but employers must view each employee’s situation through an individualistic lens and appreciate that everyone’s experiences are unique – in the same way their workforce are. By understanding their unique challenges, organisations can start to better segment staff and their needs, including the focus groups we have identified through our Re:Me research.
“Although the easing of restrictions and the return to the office is likely to have improved the wellbeing of some employees, for others, anxieties and uncertainty will remain. It is critical that employers remember the lessons learnt during the pandemic and channel this into future changes that better support the needs of each individual employee.”