Back to Resources

Look To Employees’ Performance To Check On Their Well-Being

There's been an understandable rise in attention paid to employees' well-being. Centrical's CEO, Gal Rimon, offers his thoughts on how measuring performance in real-time can help assess employee well-being in a commentary that originally appeared in Forbes.

By: Gal Rimon, Founder & CEO, Centrical

Look To Employees’ Performance To Check On Their Well-Being

Covid-19 has had a major impact on employees’ sense of well-being. There’s the nagging sense of isolation while working apart from co-workers. The whittling down of any sort of work-life balance. And then there’s burnout, something Deloitte says 77% of the employees they surveyed have experienced at their current job, often multiple times.

A survey by WebMD Health Services found the effects of the pandemic on employees’ well-being has been the greatest on the youngest of the working population. Nine in 10 Gen Z employees report it has had a negative impact on their health and well-being. Older generations have also experienced challenges but to a lesser degree. For example, 70% of baby boomers in the workforce say the pandemic has been harmful to their well-being.

The WebMD research noted employees were not eating as they should and were exercising less often, drinking and smoking more, and seeing relationships suffer. These matters will be with us as long as the pandemic is omnipresent and will likely continue once Covid-19 is under control. The view that when things return to “normal,” all will be fine is false. We won’t be going back.

Instead, we’ll be entering a “new normal.” Gartner recently revealed that about 40% of workers will continue to work from home. What’s more, about 25% will operate in a hybrid model, spending some time working from home and some time from the office. That will affect the comfort of knowing who employees will see at work and who they’ll physically interact with, which makes monitoring and managing employees tricky.

Before the pandemic, managers could look up from their desks and see which team members were dealing with something that could be affecting their well-being. Those managers could then walk over to have a face-to-face conversation to better understand what was going on. Of course, that can’t happen when teams are working remotely.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways managers can monitor the well-being of employees working remotely. For example, an employee engagement and performance management platform can be helpful for large numbers of employees, particularly when they interact with customers on a regular basis and perform tasks that can be readily measured.

Another method is scheduling one-on-ones where work-related topics don’t dominate the conversation. Think of it as a virtual coffee break, allowing for a relaxed dialog that enables you to get a read on an employee’s mood. It’s also helpful to note when employees send and reply to emails. This can be an indicator that WFH employees are having exceptionally long days. If there’s a pattern, have a conversation to learn what’s going on and why.

Whether you use a technology-based solution or a variety of commonsense approaches, what’s needed to keep tabs on employee well-being is something that works for all involved — without any hint of Big Brother. If you opt to use performance measurements or indicators to assess well-being, make sure:

1. Employees and their team leaders can see relevant, real-time data simultaneously. Such visibility lets employees know how they’re doing in terms of reaching their goals and what they need to do to get to the next level.

2. Employees feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves. With a sense of purpose, employees will feel more positive about their job and their lot in life in general.

3. Employees are engaging in activities that improve skills or close knowledge gaps. When employees know how to do their work, their confidence improves, and so does their on-the-job performance. And that translates into a better state of mind and sense of well-being.

4. Work is fun. Harness game mechanics, or gamification, to spur friendly competition, team spirit, achievements and a sense of connectedness — a big factor in well-being among WFH employees.

5. Communication is open and frequent, even if there’s no apparent issue. But make sure it is two-directional. An important aspect of well-being is to know someone (i.e., managers) will listen. This allows you to deal with a problem before it becomes unmanageable.

If performance or learning KPIs are trending down or appear uncharacteristic of team members, managers can help by discussing priorities to help employees manage their workload, urging employees to take care of themselves by eating healthy, getting adequate sleep, exercising and taking breaks from work for a change of pace in terms of what they do or how they do it, and, lastly, starting the week by setting goals and ending it by reflecting on their efforts.

Request a Free Demo