For years, employee wellness programs centered around human resources (HR) benefits and opt-in exercise challenges. While designed with good intention, the pandemic has shown us a significant opportunity for communicators, HR leaders and wellness professionals to act together as trusted advisors to find new ways to show how wellness programs deliver business impact.
As companies continue to evolve through the pandemic, some key insights are coming to light.
- Every employee departure costs money and potentially impacts reputation. Research from Gallup says:
- Employees who were struggling or suffering in their lives in March 2021 were about twice as likely to change jobs later in the year than those who were thriving.
- For every 1,000 production or front-line employees hired, the turnover differences represent 200 employees per year, or conservatively $3.3 million.
- Managers are bearing the brunt of workplace challenges. Recent research from The Conference Board says, “Sixty-six percent of respondents want their organizations to encourage employees to disconnect at the end of normal working hours,” which suggests a need for managers to empower their employees to do so guilt-free.
- Employees are more forthright with their compensation than ever before. According to a 2018 survey by Randstad:
- Fifty-five percent have left jobs in the past because they found better benefits or perks elsewhere.
- Ninety-four percent want their employers to ensure the benefits offered have a meaningful impact on their quality of life.
This data suggests companies need to show their commitment to wellness in a new light: from an individual-, team-, and enterprise-wide perspective. Each level requires different strategies laddering up to the business goals of every company.
Let’s dive deeper into each category.
We often forget that we influence others. People look up to us to set an example. They look at every move we make, analyze every email we send, follow how we lead meetings and overall, treat ourselves and others.
While we don’t know exactly how our work environment will evolve over the next year or decade, one thing will always be consistent: Our need to be mentally and physically fit to lead.
Staying fit is essential to have the energy to build trust and rapport with your teams, which will increase respect, understanding, communication and ultimately acting as trusted advisers to help your organizations meet their business objectives.
Keeping connected with your employees will boost morale. It will show your humanity and ultimately help grow those professionals to see you as the people they want to become.
This series will examine how we can make this a reality to positively impact the next step: the teams we lead.
As business leaders, we take pride in the people and teams we manage. Their success is our success and gives us the confidence to evolve. With this new year, your team members will make a lot of decisions as they design their personal and professional plans for the year.
According to Indeed, “Companies tend to hire most in January and February.” Your team members might already be thinking about moving away from your company, leaving you with gaps to fill immediately. Therefore, as you head into 2022, this is an opportunity to make sure you’re thinking about the career well-being of your team members.
I was recently chatting with a communications director for a global company. They’re building a brand-new team and asked for my thoughts on best practices to keep up team morale. They’re concerned about their team burning out and want to do what they can to ensure they are showing their team they are prioritizing their well-being.
I’m challenging you to establish agreed-upon expectations with your teams. Getting collective buy-in from your teams about how they will support each other’s wellness and career goals will show leadership, demonstrate you care about their well-being and ultimately could see a reduction in employee turnover.
Your in-person, hybrid and virtual teams need to prioritize their well-being so they can shine, which will make you shine as well. Mentally and physically sharp teams will positively impact your business, which leads us to our enterprise-wide approach.
Communicators, HR leaders and wellness professionals, we need you now more than ever to lead the discussion on the importance of your employees staying mentally and physically resilient.
According to a July 2021 Gartner survey, 49 percent of HR leaders said they do not have an explicit future of work strategy. This is THE time for communicators to shine.
Why? Wellness is inherently tied to dollars and cents, and a surefire way to show your value is to demonstrate how your role can positively impact business results. One way to do so is to play an active role in improving awareness of and activating the use of corporate wellness benefits through designing and executing an internal communications strategy.
This series will provide relatable, practical, and actionable steps you can take to ensure your wellness, the wellness of your team and your enterprise are all made a priority.
Mark Mohammadpour, APR, CPT, CHC, is the owner and Chief Wellness Officer at Chasing the Sun. After spending his public relations career as an executive at Edelman and Weber Shandwick, and after losing and keeping 150 pounds over the last decade, Mark launched Chasing the Sun to empower public relations professionals to prioritize their well-being so they can shine in the family room and the board room. Mark’s keynote speeches, workshops, and individual, team, and enterprise-wide programs deliver relatable, practical, and actionable advice to help increase morale and reduce turnover. To learn more, visit chasingthesunpdx.com, contact Mark at email@example.com, or connect with him on Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter.