With the rise of the gig economy, workplace digitization and flexible work arrangements, traditional ways of working have been disrupted. The shift has some clear benefits but also drawbacks including social connection. But as humans, our social connections deeply influence our mental health, workplace engagement, and productivity. As the workplace becomes more digital and distributed, startups need to nurture employee social well-being for the good of the startup’s bottom line.
Employees need to feel connected and included in the workplace. With remote and distributed workforce it can be difficult but an issue to be addressed. The employers who can support social well-being will stand out in a competitive talent market.
The way to support employee social well-being is to offer your workers the right assortment of social benefits. Implemented properly they can be easy to deliver and relatively cost-effective. Some examples include: holding monthly lunches, hosting after-work socials, throwing success celebrations, or granting employee charity days where they can donate their time to a good cause.
If you don’t know how to start, look at your culture and examine what employees are already doing. Find ways to lend startup support to your employee’s social activities. It is also helpful to get your team involved by asking what kinds of events or gatherings they’d like to see providing you with valuable insight into what they need.
The success of implementing social benefits is that they are meaningful and relevant providing a real opportunity to build social connection. Publicize your social well-being offerings through email, benefits portals, and staff meetings to raise awareness and encourage more engagement.
Startups who implement a strong social wellness offering will boost employee engagement and productivity while creating a valuable differentiator in the war for talent.