Take a moment and think of the mental and personal effects that a pandemic has on a person as a form of spinning wheel. Among the different effects that people all over the world have been feeling, the most predominant ones have been stress, depression, and fear.
In fact, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, between 40-50% of Americans have been affected financially and mentally by COVID-19.
The reality is that the percentage of people that have not yet financially been affected due to remaining employed have also felt emotionally and mentally affected. For many, the pandemic has compelled workers to take on more responsibilities such as financially providing more for their families, shifting duties within their household, multi-tasking between work and becoming a makeshift education center for their children, and more.
Due to the added stress, it’s natural that people are wondering if the businesses they’re employed in will hang on or crumble as many others have already done. The question for employers now is how and to what extent they can give back to their employees to ease the stress and fear. Some businesses are providing covered paydays for mental health, others are finding alternative education venues for their employees’ children at no cost.
While providing these sorts of benefits are positive attributes to a business, all of these go unnoticed if a business does not have a strong diversity and inclusion strategy.
As of 2013, a Gallup survey recorded that 70% of Americans dislike their jobs. Fast-forwarding to just last year, this number increased to 85%.
When asked why they were discontent with their jobs, some of the reasons mentioned were:
- Job security
- Promotion policies
- Bonus plans
- (Lack of) Educational/training programs
The most common factor between all of these reasons is that they’re all deeply correlated with discrimination and bias within the workplace.
As we discussed in our previous article, not having a strong D&I strategy in place can greatly affect employee retention, business productivity, and profitability at an approximate $64 billion every year. This number is expected to increase throughout the pandemic as businesses struggle to remain sustainable amongst other disadvantages such as loss of clients, reorganization across departments, modification of business strategies, and more.
In order to better prepare for what’s ahead, a business needs to re-asses, improve, or create a strong D&I strategy for its employees in an effort to ensure that their worries and needs are taken care of, they’re supported and remain motivated to continue working or increase their productivity. Sometimes, employers can forget that employees can make or break a business alongside its ability to gain clients. It’s important, especially now given the circumstances, to take care of your employees by providing them with a healthy environment even at a distance.