Today, stress is the main reason for sick leave in Sweden. The amount of cases has almost doubled during the last ten years and two out of five employees in the retail industry have experienced or experience stress at work. This is further aggravated by the conditions of the corona pandemic. In the presence of the pandemic, stress levels are likely to rise for retail workers, who are already dealing with increased stress during the holidays.
Meanwhile, employers experience difficulties to navigate and support their employees. The work environment is strongly affected by changes in consumer behaviour, higher demands and lack of resources. This year, the pandemic restrictions add extra uncertainty to the Christmas retail forecasting. Therefore, all signs indicate that retailers must adjust to the new situation.
A hopeful scenario
The corona pandemic has in some ways benefited the retail industry. This year, households spend less money on travels, cultural activities and restaurants. Even though the pandemic conditions create greater uncertainties, there is still hope for a scenario with increased growth for the retail industry during the holiday season.
Smooth store visits and safe deliveries are predicted to be the key factors to success for stores to stay profitable during the pandemic. This puts additional pressure on the retailers and employees for an uncertain period of time. There is a risk that the increased stress of today will generate illness. If not prevented, stress and illness could naturally be manifested in company culture.
Additional organizational and social challenges in the retail work environment result in increased risks for lowered work performance. In return, this leads to job-related illness and according to Arbetsmiljöverket in Sweden this costs companies around 400 000 SEK per employee. Consequently, employers are motivated to reinvent organizational patterns and unhealthy trends. Retailers are also increasing the use of preventative methods and proactive tools to boost the motivation and mental health of their employees.
How to increase motivation and wellbeing
At Bluecall, we help employees and managers to work proactively together to create sustainable conditions, decrease sick leave and increase profitability. BlueCall’s digital mental wellbeing solution provides anonymous sessions through chat or call to your employee for coaching and counseling for their work or private issues. For the managers and HR professionals, BlueCall becomes an extended arms with expert consultation through 1-1 coaching sessions or group webinars to improve in leadership areas that benefit from clinical psychological training.
The BlueCall app and services, helps employees work on their individual mental health everyday by increasing personal awareness and actions through mental health self-risk assessments, articles, tips and tricks to mitigate the risk of developing mental health issues, giving everyone the possibilities to take part of the knowledge needed to ramp up motivation and prevent mental illness.
During the pandemic, our resources have been utilized more than ever before. The number of calls per month increased with an average of 76% between the pandemic months of March and August. All signs point towards a continuous high level of utilization during the Christmas holiday. At this time it is increasingly important to prevent stress for employees in the retail industry. This is why retailers see the value of working proactively for mental health and build higher levels of employee motivation, during the pandemic and for the upcoming future.
Would you as a HR professional like to know more about BlueCall’s mental wellbeing solution and how to mentally equip your employees for everyday challenges at work? Book a meeting through calendly and we will tell you more.
Here you can read interviews from your fellow HR professionals in the retail industry on why mental wellbeing is a key focus for them and why they choose BlueCall.