28 April 2020
At some point in a managerial role, we may wonder if our team is indeed adequately focused to deliver efficient results. A well coordinated team results in faster and more productive output, to the advantage of both the company and the employees. But often the case is such that employees lose touch with this part of the concept, and eventually slack off, leading to a drop in performance. This is often the result of poor work-life balance, compounded by financial stress – an issue that’s steadily on the rise.
Organisations have already begun to recognise this. According to Willis Towers Watson’s India Health and Wellbeing Study, 63% of employers have or are developing a strategy to improve employee financial wellbeing. While this may not entirely address our challenges, it’s likely to assist considerably.
Organisational culture isn’t a function of work ethics and values alone. It is impacted by your workforce’s mindset, which in turn is a consequence of their personal and professional lives. It’s therefore critical to address sources of stress – such as financial issues. If we’re looking to build a happy workplace, focusing on financial wellness can go a long way in improving workplace atmosphere and output.
In addition to the positive cultural changes, a well constructed financial wellness program can assist with:
The process isn’t as simple as rolling out conventional ideas – such as educational seminars, or sharing insights. The objective must be to ensure that the initiatives are truly effective, and that they address issues from multiple perspectives. For example, offering healthcare benefits could financially assist a number of employees. Others may look forward to easy and expedited access to credit whenever the need arises. Our approach must be one that works customer-backwards and addresses specific needs.
But activating financial wellness initiatives is only getting us halfway home. The next step is monitoring results and driving the evolution of these programs to our intended goals. Regular feedback, data analysis, and a consistent eye out for emerging trends and best practices are crucial components of a complete approach to our desired outcomes.
Of course, a shift in focus from work to wallet may not be driven by financial stress alone. It can stem from issues in culture, quality of work, leadership gaps, and more.
A team thrives on purpose. One of the primary factors behind a team or an individual not performing to their full potential can be a lack of clarity. A team needs clear-cut goals and support on how to achieve them. Only then can they work together to boost their performance and reap its benefits.
Harmony isn’t consistent, and as a manager/leader, I must carefully evaluate strengths and ensure overall team efficiency and productivity. An ability to strategise and deliver, after all, is what is expected of us. Strategy can elevate the quality of time management – especially when we begin cutting down on extended meetings and talk sessions that often add decreasing value with increasing duration.
The modern workforce is energetic, and seeking drive and purpose. It is also often seeking instant gratification, which can lead to frustration due to a sense of disconnection. Addressing these challenges demands a holistic approach – one that focuses on all possible factors simultaneously. After carefully evaluating and learning what works and what doesn’t, I believe that to ensure the financial security of both the organisation and the employees, we need to focus beyond financial wellness, and address some deeper issues as well.