Partner & Co-Founder at Kuroshio Consulting, advising clients across North America on strategy, transformations and leadership.
Are you focusing on employee well-being as a tenet in your workplace? If not, why haven’t you started?
As companies look toward embracing hybrid work models and remote work, and tapping into talent pools across traditional geographic boundaries, well-being is central not only to recruitment efforts but also to workplace culture wherein your employees maintain engagement throughout their tenure.
Having advised client organizations for almost two decades, the question around financial benefits to the organization is still top-of-mind. Two main areas wherein well-being programs can help reduce costs are healthcare and productivity. One study found that for every dollar employers spent on wellness programs, their overall healthcare costs decreased between $1 and $3. Research has also shown that there’s a positive correlation between well-being and productivity: “A meaningful increase in well-being yields, on average, an increase in productivity of about 10%.”
I recommend the following as you begin curating your desired employee experience journeys focused on well-being:
• Use pulse surveys to obtain just-in-time feedback from your employee population, but act on the ideas/suggestions in a timely fashion. If you stay silent and don’t take action quickly, you run the risk of eroding trust and accelerating disengagement.
• Offer well-being seminars that are tailored to teams. Where there is high stress, encourage teams to share their perspectives and be vulnerable, with the intent of garnering peer support and learning new coping mechanisms through the seminar content.
• Explore options for mental health wellness as a supplement to your employee assistance programs. Highly personalized therapeutic experiences are now possible with augmented reality and virtual-reality-based apps. Leverage these emerging technologies and encourage employees to use them when they need to decompress.
• Train managers to optimize their performance management techniques for hybrid and remote workers. The focus should not be on micromanaging hours worked or outputs; instead, the focus should be on healthy work-life harmony through the provision of flexible schedules, with performance focused on outcomes. A highly engaged workforce usually correlates to improved productivity.
• Improve social well-being by prioritizing employee recognition, which can boost both engagement and productivity levels. Use a system that allows both peers and leaders to give kudos and quick rewards to employees for a job well done.
• Offer access to mental health support services, not just apps. This includes a combination of healthcare coverage for comprehensive clinical therapy and medications, and tailored mental health apps.
Employee well-being will no doubt have a great impact on the future of work, and it is critical to long-term organizational success. With the competition to hire and retain top talent increasing in intensity, especially where hybrid and remote work models are in play, ensuring that the end-to-end employee experience journey is focused on well-being is nonnegotiable. By deploying the strategies above, your workplace hopefully can not only experience the financial returns on investment in well-being, but also impact your organizational culture through having a long-tenured, engaged and highly productive workforce.