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by Colleen Reilly, VP Wellbeing Services, ThrivePass
As the 2018 year comes to an end, we all have a choice on whether we ruminate over the past year or look forward to the upcoming year and apply the lessons we have learned.
I prefer to do the latter and believe the workplace of the future needs to be cultivated now.
But taking a fresh start provides organizations enormous opportunity to create a thriving culture and improve their workplace cultures to attract, engage, and retain talent successfully. There are three big wellbeing and culture trends that will influence how organizations shape their employee experiences in the new year:
- Wellbeing is a strategy and a responsibility;
- Personalization and relevancy are key – gone are the days of “burpees and broccoli” only programs; and
- Realizing and acting on the fact that HR does not own wellbeing and employee experience alone – everyone does.
Wellbeing is a strategy AND a responsibility.
Many employers are putting in place innovative programs for financial wellness, mental health, healthy diet and exercise, mindfulness, sleep, stress management, and more. The aim? To both increase worker productivity and meet new social expectations.
As the line between work and life continues to blur, providing a robust suite of well-being programs focused on physical, personal (mental and emotional), financial health, is becoming a corporate responsibility and a strategy to drive employee productivity, engagement, and retention. While organizations are investing heavily in this area, there is a significant gap between what companies are offering and what employees value and expect.
However, this is easily remedied by simply as asking employees what they need, want and value. Many companies are surprised about what they learn, but the data they receive and the industry research is substantiating some new trends. Student loan support is one of the most highly regarded well-being benefits, as is volunteerism, and having a sense of belonging within the organization.
These findings are causing major organizations to not only rethink their wellbeing program, but also their talent acquisition processes, training and development programs, and their reward and recognition programs. By fusing all of these areas together and actually developing a data-driven strategy, it is becoming a priority and more importantly a responsibility of good corporate citizenship and the key to creating a stellar employee experience.
The fusion is not only across the entire HR department but also leadership, operations, middle management, and employees. We’ve just been applying an over-simplified and siloed approach. Wellbeing must be uncoupled from a healthcare cost savings strategy alone and instead positioned as an investment as part of the onboarding, people development, engagement, and retention strategy – in other words, the culture.
Personalization and relevancy are key, gone are the days of “burpees and broccoli” only programs.
The global corporate wellness market size is expected to reach USD $84.9 billion by 2025, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc. The market is estimated to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.8 percent during the forecast period. Stress and mental health have risen to be one of the top risk factors, and heavily influence other behaviors such as diet, lack of exercise, smoking and obesity etc. This makes the industry very attractive, but the one-size-fits-all approach will not work.
With the information overload at work and home, employers and employees need relevancy to pay attention and actually drive action and engagement. This is manifesting in a couple ways. One is the obvious ability to provide the right resources, tools, information, and nudges to the right person at exactly the right time. This may mean an automated system that immediately recommends a training and development class to a newly promoted manager or articles and resources available for the employee who just became a new parent. This not only engages people, but it also makes them feel like they belong and are truly being cared for.
This authentic and relevant communication can become so personalized to the person at the right time that it becomes more than an experience. It is no longer an email reminding you to “to get your 10,000 steps” but more of a nudge that is curated exactly for you to help you thrive in the way you need.
Realizing and acting on the fact that HR does not own wellbeing and employee experience alone – everyone does.
Intrinsic motivation of talent is changing away from the traditional factor of compensation. Motivation is now shifting towards the quality of the workplace experience, and that experience has as its most direct corollary the idea of wellness. As presently utilized, the HR function is responsible for this, but the success of traditional wellness programs depends upon upper management support. Not just talk, but visible and transparent action. I truly believe the key going forward will be more collaborative competition across siloed functions such as HR, IT, and facilities and management – all aimed at creating an experience brand of well-being for employees. For example, when one department spends money to improve the workplace, the dollar benefits all. This is a cultural shift, not yet another program which will fade away after a budget cycle or so. That means a changing change in thinking for everyone from tactical to strategic.
December 19, 2018 at 11:21AM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs