*Originally published in RH Magazine
In 2022, companies shifted their concern from productivity and customer experience, which were the main focus through the height of the pandemic, to strengthening morale and mental health. Most of the world was just coming out of one crisis to enter another one as the war in Ukraine started. Uncertainty settled back in, and the consequences of the war started to unravel, taking a human and economic toll.
Many people have been afflicted by feelings of loss and grief that, coupled with major changes in how we work, resulted in endemic stress and burnout. These symptoms are now prevalent in most organizations and getting worst, to the point that they are getting dangerously normalized. In this context, we are not surprised to see that a growing number of organizations have reacted to this situation by focusing their attention on caring for their team’s well-being in ways we had not seen before.
To tackle this challenge, leaders were compelled to embrace a more human-centric approach to keep their teams engaged and optimistic. This push for human-centricity has led some organizations to reinvent themselves in several inter-related dimensions:
In 2023, and for years to come, the challenge is to get employees to use these programs, adopt the tools offered, and reap the benefits as intended. To achieve that, companies have to offer a holistic approach or framework that helps program participants connect the dots and apply the tools that are relevant to them personally from a place of self-awareness. The keyword here is self-awareness. It is only from a place of self-awareness and clarity that employees will understand what’s in it for them, intentionally apply, and benefit from any of the programs already offered. It is only from the personal application of the tools that the benefits for teams and the organization at large become clear.
Well-being is about reaching a holistic balance that ensures the simultaneous flourishing of employees, teams, and the organization. The benefit of this type of integrative experience is that it generates the will from all stakeholders to stay on course and continue to work on being well with themselves and others. The evidence and communication of these benefits are what drive the self-organizing energy that makes continuity possible at an organizational level.
Think of each independent well-being initiative already in place as the seeds, and their application within an integrative framework, as the energy that generates the well-being ecosystem. These conditions are what drive the ecology of well-being in your organization, the actual holistic integrative experience of being and acting well to flourish and support others in a collective pursuit of purpose. This, in turn, gives deeper meaning and value to each employee’s personal journey of self-development and to what is achieved as a team. Who would ever leave an organization that is vibrating at such a high frequency? Who would not want to be part of such an organization? We reckon that all generations would thrive in such a work environment.
Successful implementation also requires leaders not to consider these types of well-being programs just another employee perk designed as part of an employer branding campaign to attract and retain talent. It is a lot more than that! It should become an essential foundation that will enable your organization’s vision and business strategy for years.