Fall is in the air, and with it, the ways we work and spend our down time are changing.
The respite of summer vacation is giving way to more standardized routines and a recommitment to work, school and extracurricular activities (for adults and children alike!).
As we fall back into the structures that keep our lives moving forward, autumn can be a great time for seasonal housecleaning. For HR departments, this can mean refocusing on company priorities and workplace culture before Annual Enrollment becomes the focus for the remainder of the year. But where can an empathetic HR leader direct those efforts to have the most impact?
It’s worth starting with an acknowledgment that fall isn’t always as sweet as apple cider and pumpkin pie—for many Americans, autumn marks a shift into a more challenging time of the year. Nearly half a million people in the United States suffer from winter Seasonable Affective Disorder (SAD), a period of depression that usually starts in fall and is marked by heightened sadness, anxiety and irritability. SAD goes beyond the standard cold-weather feeling of being cooped up inside for too long—it can be a debilitating condition that leads to social isolation, restlessness and trouble with focus.
What an unfortunate coincidence, then, that just when folks may be impacted by the onset of annual SAD, businesses are feeling the pressure of the impending fourth quarter. Annual budgets and yearly reporting will soon be due, and the next year’s marketing plan needs to be prepared. On top of this pressure, many industries have a regular uptick of activity come fall.
This approaching stress of the season underlines the importance of revisiting policies to keep employees mentally healthy, socially engaged and productive at work. We know from Businessolver’s 2019 State of Workplace Empathy Study that benefits are still one of the top ways to keep employees satisfied and healthy in the workplace. This fall, revisiting your company’s wellness benefits in particular will build a solid foundation for your employees to maintain their health and happiness. Here’s where to start:
The arrival of fall may mean busier schedules, but with the help of HR leadership, it doesn’t need to be met with trepidation. With deliberate planning and empathetic programming, employers have tools at their disposal to empower employees to build healthy habits that support their well-being until the temperature starts rising next spring.
As the workplace continues to change, so do your options for offering benefits. Find out more about the latest option below.