Pre-pandemic there was a shift in the workforce beginning to emphasize a stronger work-life balance across the board. During the pandemic, balance and wellness were highlighted and enforced during remote work and flexible schedules, but while remote work offers flexibility, it can blur the boundaries between personal and professional life. Some employees might regret not being able to establish clear boundaries, leading to longer work hours, decreased personal time, and difficulty disconnecting from work-related tasks. Even post-pandemic I am glad to see that work-life balance and wellness remain a core value for both candidates and municipal governments. Candidates expect their municipalities and other public sector organizations to provide the necessary infrastructure and technology to support efficient remote work. This includes reliable internet access, collaboration tools, secure data management systems, and ergonomic support for remote work setups. When implemented properly remote work setups can empower employees to take their well-being into their own hands with support from the organization.
With many organizations in the public and private sector requiring employees to return to the office on a more regular basis, municipalities will need to implement stronger health and safety measures. Even with the pandemic behind us, social distancing, sanitization, and vaccination policies will remain around for a while and continue to impact talent at every level. Particularly in the public sector, workers, employees and even citizens expect their individual municipalities and public sector organizations to prioritize health and safety protocols in the workplace and in public spaces.
The pandemic forced work-life balance into the spotlight across the board. While the pandemic made candidates more conscious of their own mindfulness and well-being to improve their mental health – public sector organizations and municipalities must continue to promote a reasonable workload, encourage employees to take time off and offer added mental health services or resources to those in need. Some municipalities are accomplishing this by offering flexible work schedules, a shift to a 4-day work-week, part-time work or even job sharing opportunities.
Going beyond the simple benefits that remote work and flexible work schedules bring to candidates in terms of wellness, public sector organizations will also need to consider employees’ wellness not only for today, but for their future as well. Candidates and employees still value opportunities to grow and advance their careers and this can become part of an organization’s wellness plan. Professional development, training, and upskilling are just a few ways municipalities and public sector organizations can invest in their employees’ growth and create clearly defined career pathways. This will not only help retain talent, but openly recognize the value they bring to the organization.
The way public sector organizations and leadership communicated to their team members and employees changed dramatically during the pandemic. Empathy became central to most every conversation and touchpoint and this communication style and value remains today. Candidates appreciate the open lines of communication and regular updates from their Municipal leaders particularly during times of uncertainty. Public sector organizations that demonstrate empathy and understanding towards employees’ and candidates’ personal challenges outside of the workplace are likely to foster stronger relationships, increase retention rates and prioritize wellness and balance as a core element of their culture.
Emphasize Wellness In Your Recruitment Marketing Efforts
Every organization knows the power that well-being and balance brings to its teams. In your recruitment efforts and process, put your employee wellbeing plans and work-life balance in front of candidates during this process. Show how you currently support your team’s mental health and highlight any specific work-life balance programs, summer fridays, subsidized counseling, vacation / holiday policies.
In your recruitment marketing strategy, create a special area of your website that emphasizes the ways in which mindfulness and well-being are ingrained into the organizational culture. Highlight any wellness programs or initiatives your organization offers, such as employee assistance programs, mental health resources, fitness facilities, yoga classes, mindfulness training, or wellness challenges and explain how these programs contribute to a positive and supportive work environment. Be sure you communicate your company’s commitment to creating a healthy workplace culture and describe how your organization fosters a supportive environment and places well-being at the center of your Employee Value Proposition (EVP). You can also choose to highlight these in the job description as well and consistently point to these programs and offerings as a value add for candidates.
Within your recruitment marketing efforts, feature stories or testimonials from current employees who have experienced positive outcomes through the company’s wellness programs. These stories can illustrate how your organization prioritizes wellness and the impact it has on employees’ lives. Incorporate wellness into the structure of your physical office space by adding standing desks, more natural lighting, ergonomic furniture, or on-site fitness facilities. Develop an employer branding strategy that highlights wellness as a core value. Incorporate wellness-related content and imagery in your website, social media channels, and recruitment materials. This helps candidates see your organization as an employer that genuinely cares about their well-being.
Remember to ensure that your wellness marketing efforts align with the actual practices and policies within your municipality or public sector organization. Authenticity and transparency are key in building trust with candidates who value wellness.