‘Karen – a manager at a communications company – wasn’t surprised when her company announced layoffs and reduced payments. ‘The rumours had been going around for weeks. The only question was how bad it would be. I guess I was lucky to keep my job, but we were hit with a two-day-a-month cut in hours plus a salary cut. The worst part was the way they told us – BY EMAIL! My manager couldn’t even answer any of our questions. She was in shock too. Talk about feeling like management couldn’t have cared less. The whole experience has left me so demoralised that, when things get better, I’m looking for another job.’
An organisation’s concern for employee wellbeing is critical. Wellbeing encompasses three aspects of an employee’s work life:
– Physical health
– Psychological health
– Social ‘health’ – work relationships, work/life balance, equity, fairness, respect, social connectedness
Planning and communicating any major changes in an organisation can ensure that we maintain employee engagement – even enhance it in many cases. Engagement, well-being and retention are all entwined and we need to strengthen the links to ensure real engagement as a strategy.
Karen can then look at the example of Bonnie’s experience – Bonnie is a senior manager at a global technology company. Bonnie has a child with special needs, and she talks about her boss Frank:
‘Frank is just great at stopping by the office, asking how it’s going, or if he sees you are a little distressed, he just sort of lets you know he is there – he doesn’t forget to say ‘thank you. If he recognises something I did, I want to work harder. That means much more than money.’