Well-being can be achieved when we are generally satisfied with our lives both personally and professionally. It's a state that is constantly changing and can be influenced through learnable skills, much like working on our soft skills.
Companies should consider well-being as a tangible skill, a critical business benefit, and a measurable outcome. It is important that leaders value the well-being of their people as much as they value their skills.
Two years of the COVID-19 pandemic have affected all of us and have had a direct impact on productivity at work. According to research, employers have invested in wellness benefits and activities to give their employees a helping hand.
However, employees reported that constant availability due to poor use of technology, lack of flexibility and autonomy, or unsustainably high workloads were sources of burnout. The problem, then, lies in employers' grasping the issue of well-being at the wrong end.
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Well-being, burnout, and mental health tend to be perceived as personal problems. Therefore, companies often address it by offering wellness programs or educational workshops.
However, a global survey by McKinsey & Company revealed that building resilience and adaptability in individuals alone is not the solution to burnout. They believe that companies need to start with themselves and come up with a systemic solution.
What exactly does that mean? A systemic solution means to think about the functioning of the organization and its processes and to make changes in the job description and the cultural and working environment. To move to a more sustainable operation where people come first.
In other words, a webinar on mental resilience and a yoga class won't help an employee's long-term well-being as much as finally not having the workload of three people and having the boss stop micromanaging them.
Finding the source of the problem and focusing on employee well-being is a worthwhile long-term investment that pays back in the form of retaining and attracting the best people.
Through our research, we found that well-being has so far been important for only a third of companies and 30% of them considered it a TOP priority. However, 50% of HR professionals said their primary focus at the moment is on employee retention due to how difficult it is to find quality candidates in the market and how costly high turnover is. Well-being was one of the most recurring issues that they are actively looking for an answer to and a viable solution.
Systemic changes will be a challenge for the company, so it needs to support its decisions with data on the current state of employee well-being. This allows leaders to identify which employees are at risk, prioritize changes, and monitor how new solutions are working through regular surveys.
Well-being is like a marathon. You have a long way to go and you need to strategically adapt your running to that. And the most important thing is not to give up after a few kilometers.
Is measuring well-being suitable for everyone? Yes, but it is not a foolproof solution, especially in companies where employee trust in their leaders is low. According to research from McKinsey, only 30% of employees feel comfortable enough to open up a conversation about their well-being and mental health.
So again, companies need to start with themselves, and the first adepts to tackle well-being are their leaders.
The hybrid model of work has emerged as a challenge for employers and employees during the pandemic. However, it has proven to have a direct impact on people's well-being for several reasons:
From a workplace-centric to worker-centric world: Relationships and social connections at work are key to well-being. A safe and supportive environment contributes to greater mental resilience and increases productivity.
From a static and fixed to a dynamic and fluid workplace: Employees with more autonomy and accountability for their outputs are better able to manage their energy. For example, when they have the freedom to go for a walk or exercise after lunch, they return to their afternoon block of work with more vigor and a better ability to focus.
From office work to work from anywhere: It's a matter of preference. Previously, working from anywhere used to be the domain of digital nomads and freelancers, but the hybrid work model has also allowed many more employees to choose where they work.
Would you like to learn more about Behavera Well-being Index and how it can help you improve the well-being of your employees? Learn more here.
+ Weforum.org, The priority for workplaces in the new normal? Wellbeing, author Liz Hilton Segel
 Mckinsey.com, McKinsey Health Institute (MHI) global survey
+ Weforum.org, Addressing employee burnout: Are you solving the right problem?, author Jacqueline Brassey
 Weforum.org, Restoring employee wellbeing for the new world of work, author Marie Puybaraud