Businesses are run by two broad sets of people – Managers and Employees. Although they may work to achieve the same business goals, they may have varying attitudes about work. And the COVID-19 pandemic has only expanded the gap. While the managers felt their company supported the employees enough, the employees felt their employer was not really concerned about them.
A recent Limeade survey revealed that 77% of managers felt their employers were genuinely concerned about employee wellness, while only 55% of employees felt the same way. Likewise, while 78% of managers felt their company offered adequate initiatives to engage and support employee wellness during the pandemic, only 66% of employees felt the same way.
Studies have shown that the pandemic has impacted the holistic health of employees and employers. Affecting employee work-life balance, social interactions, communication with colleagues, mental health, and overall wellbeing, the pandemic has caused concerns about many resources. The Limeade study showed that before the pandemic almost 86% of employees and 96% of managers agreed to have favorable wellbeing resources. However, after the pandemic started, the numbers fell to 59% of employees and 73% of managers.
A recent interview with Limeade management shared details about the attitudes of employers and employees, and the communication gap between the 2 major working groups at the workplace.
Disparity Between Managers and Employees
When questioned about how the pandemic increased the imbalance in the way managers and employers felt about their employers, there was quite a distinction in the answers. Owing to the power dynamics, managers had a higher chance of taking time off from work for their own wellbeing, compared to the employees. While 83% of managers felt comfortable asking for permission, only 68% of employees were comfortable taking a day off to support their own wellness. This showed that if the employees did not feel prioritized or supported for their health and wellness before the pandemic, it only plummeted during the pandemic.
Why The Disparity Exists Managers and Employees?
Factors like power dynamics and organizational norms can significantly impact employees, and these factors hardly considered employee wellness as an integral part of the workplace policies. Since the pandemic, companies are struggling to find answers to their employee wellness concerns. While 70.8% of managers felt they discussed more about employee holistic wellness during their meetings, only 33.6% felt their employers actually focused on their wellbeing during work conversations.
This difference in thoughts caused due to a communication gap or lack of trust in the employers increases workplace discrepancies. Although the employers may be concerned about their employee wellbeing, the absence of resources could be the missing puzzle to make the employees feel valued, cared for, and supported.
Employer Initiatives To Support Employee Wellbeing
When employers plan to invest to support employees and managers, they can come up with creative ideas to demonstrate their care. From interacting with employees about their wellbeing and family care to scheduling team discussions and rewarding incentives, employers and managers can bond with employees. Seeking employee feedback through pulse surveys is also an effective way of showing that employee opinions matters, making them feel valued.
Having a workplace culture where employees are comfortable talking about their workplace experiences and concerns to their employers and managers, is essential to strike a cordial balance between the two working groups. The leaders and the entire management must build trust with their employees to ensure open communication in the organization, without any negative consequences.
Only when there are genuine concern and resources that make employees feel safe and cared for, it can impact their relationship with the managers, employers, and the organization.